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IIM gets going but law school, IIIT for Nagpur still on paper

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NAGPUR: Even though union and state government acted with alacrity to clear IIM in Nagpur, two other national level institutes already sanctioned for the city continue to languish, thanks to the apathy of Maharashtra government, city-based academicians said.

Despite tall promises by the government on allocating ‘Maharashtra National Law School/University (MNLS/U)’ to the city about three years back, it is yet to see light of the day. Even the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) was allotted to Nagpur a couple of years ago but the Union HRD ministry is yet to okay the land proposed for it. Both these institutions thus remain on paper and there are no signs that they would commence operations anytime soon.

With a change of guard, there was hope that these projects would be expedited but nothing has moved. Interestingly, the state government had allocated three MNLS/Us in Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nagpur after much hue and cry. While land for those has been finalized in Navi Mumbai and Aurangabad, government also appointed vice-chancellor for Mumbai. Admissions at both places couldn’t commence as state failed to register them for Common Law Admission Test.

State higher and technical education minister Vinod Tawde had told TOI that unavailability of land was a reason for the delay in starting MNLS/U in Nagpur.

He informed that for IIIT, the government had finalized a piece of land behind Sutgirni on Wardha road that was preferred by HRD ministry team during their visit and the proposal was pending with the Central government. Principal secretary for higher education Sanjay Chahande refused to take TOI’s repeated calls.

Joint director for technical education in NagpurGulabThakre, who played a key role in finalizing makeshift facility for IIM, informed that the government had earlier zeroed in on two large tracts of land for IIIT but HRD ministry’s team didn’t find them suitable. “The first one was atKaldongri, four to five kilometres behind Sun and Sand Hotel on Wardha road but the HRD team found it inaccessible. The second one was on a hillock at Chincholi on Koradi Road but that too was rejected. Finally, they approved the land behind Sutgirni and it is up to HRD ministry to clear the proposal now,” he said.

The academicians pointed out earlier judicial officers training academy, better known as JOTI, was taken to Mumbai after being initially planned in Nagpur.

The MNLS/U controversy

It was during platinum jubilee celebrations of Nagpur High Court Bar Association (HCBA) on February 6, 2011, that former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had assured to open a MNLS/U in the city after a demand was raised by then HCBA president Anil Mardikar. However, the government quietly shifted it to Mumbai after which lawyers association – HCBA and DBA – staged protests and even a PIL was filed in the Nagpur bench. Afterwards, two more were allotted for Nagpur and Aurangabad and a bill to govern all three was tabled in Nagpur session in 2013. Till date, government has failed to find suitable land for MNLS/U in the city and it is unlikely it would commence operations in 2015-16 session.

What’s plaguing IIIT?

Union HRD ministry decided to set up IIITs during the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12) to address the challenges faced by the Indian IT industry and growth of the domestic IT market. Maharashtra government finalized Nagpur and Pune for setting up the prestigious institution. The HRD team that inspected the lands offered rejected two proposals on Wardha and Koradi roads. The government then finalized land behind Sutgirni which was okayed by the HRD team and proposal has been pending with the HRD ministry. On the other hand, land for Pune IIIT has already been finalized and it may commence operations shortly.

Other national level institutions in city:

* National Fire Service College

* National Civil Defence College

* National Power Training Institute

* Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology

* National Savings Institute

* National Academy for Direct Taxes

* National Institute of Intellectual Property Management

* National Academy of Defence Production


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