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Indore: Debt-ridden IITI’s satellite campus is in the doldrums

IITI has to repay 10 per cent amount on a year-wise basis to the Centre from the Rs 350 crore remaining loan amount.

Atul Gautam | Updated on: Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 01:44 AM IST

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Indore (Madhya Pradesh): In a major setback for Ujjain, Indian Institute of Technology Indore’s ambitious project of setting up its first satellite campus in the ancient town is in the doldrums due to debt and a lack of funds even as minister for higher education Mohan Yadav is pressing for it.

IIT Indore, which is finding it tough to repay a loan of Rs 350 crore to the central government, is unwilling to start any major project—forget about a satellite campus—until it becomes debt-free.

Around six months ago, Yadav—who is an MLA from an Assembly constituency in Ujjain—revealed that IIT Indore had planned a satellite campus in the ancient town located around 50 kilometres from Indore. The then IIT Indore officiating director, Neelesh Kumar Jain, had confirmed the development, stating that the satellite campus would start with some PG courses.

Yadav had convinced Vikram Vishwavidyalaya to give away a portion of its building for the IIT Indore satellite campus until it shifted to its own campus. A rough project report was prepared, which suggested construction of a satellite campus on 100 acres at an outlay of Rs 500 crore.

Meanwhile, a change of guard took place at IIT Indore and Suhas Joshi took over as the new director. He was taken aback by the decision taken by Jain on setting up a satellite campus at a distance of a mere 50 kilometres from Indore. His inquiry left him stunned that the satellite campus had been announced just to please Yadav. There were no reasonable grounds to run a campus so close to Indore.

Secondly, the IIT Indore did not have enough money to repay its loan of Rs 350 crore, yet a plan to start one more facility at an outlay of Rs 500 crore had been planned for which it would have to further take loans.

Joshi reportedly put the proposal in the cold storage even as Yadav kept on building pressure for starting a satellite campus.

Recently, Union minister for education Dharmendra Pradhan visited the IIT Indore campus. Through Pradhan, Yadav again built up pressure on Joshi to start a satellite campus from the 2022-’23 session itself as he had made announcements regarding it at many public events. Joshi, however, reportedly reiterated that it did not have the funds to start a satellite campus as of now.

IITI has to repay 10% loan amount annually

It was expected that the central government would open its treasury for the satellite campus. But Pradhan did not make any such commitment. According to sources, IIT Indore has to repay the 10 per cent amount on a year-wise basis to the Centre from the Rs 350 crore remaining loan amount. According to the rules, the old IITs have to return 25 per cent of the money received as loan from the Centre and new IITs around 10 per cent on a yearly basis. Previously, the government used to give grants to the IITs, but now loan is granted to the elite institutes.

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Published on: Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 01:44 AM IST