MAC: Mines and Communities

Vedanta varsity faces technical problems in India

Published by MAC on 2006-10-20
Source: Pioneer News Service


Vedanta varsity faces technical problems

Pioneer News Service, Bhubaneswar

20th October 2006

Though the State Government had agreed to provide 8,000 acres of land free of cost to the Vedanta Foundation to set up its world-class university near the Puri-Konark marine drive within three months, the Government has failed to allocate land because of technical reasons.

The MoU between the Foundation and the State Government for the Rs 15,00-crore university project was signed on July 19. The Foundation has sought a total of 10,000 acres of land for making provisions for at least 1 lakh students. The deadline was completed on Wednesday

Sources said the Government could not provide land as the MoU had been signed with a private company. "Had there been an MoU with a society, foundation or trust, the Government could have given the land. But in this case, the MoU is between the Government and the Vedanta Foundation, which is a private company," said a senior officer. He said that though Vedanta Foundation was a foundation, it was a private company registered under the Companies Act-1956.

The sources said that according to law, the Government cannot directly give land to any company. It only can give land for public purpose to a trust or a society. Any company has to apply for land to the State-owned Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (IDCO) for the industrial purpose. the IDCO cannot give land to any private body for setting up educational institutions as an educational institution is not an industry.

Another trouble for Vedanta Foundation is that without the University Grants Commission's (UGC) approval it has used Vedanta University. The UGC puts clear restriction on the use of word university by any one, including a private company. If anybody uses it, he has to give fine as it is an offence as per UGC Act. An institution can be only recognised as a university, once it receives clearance as per the UGC guidelines.

Under these circumstances, the State Government is trying how to sort out the problems facing the proposed Vedanta University.

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