Nagpur: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday urged Vice-Chancellor of Nagpur University, Subhash Chaudhari, to make the Laxminarayan Institute of Technology (LIT) an autonomous world-class research institution, while former students raised the demand for autonomy for the first educational institution to get the same.
Claiming that a lot of water had flowed over the bridge, the town’s deputy asked the VC and his team to act quickly in this regard. “Approach Chancellor BS Koshyari and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to solve all the problems of the first institution. Alumni of LIT are ready to donate Rs100 crore for upgrading the infrastructure of this institution,” he said.
While addressing a function organized to mark the planting campaign by NHAI, the minister said that alumni of the pharmacy department run businesses with a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore or more and that they too can be approached for assistance.
Gadkari’s suggestions came two weeks after the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court censured the university for its failure to take action to fill several teaching and non-teaching staff vacancies and asked it to respond to measures taken in this regard.
LIT Director Raju Mankar said the first step in transforming the institution into a top-notch establishment was to grant it autonomy. “Several institutions like Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai, Pune College of Engineering and Veermata Jijabai Institute of Technology (VJTI), etc. have grown after their autonomy. Even after gaining this status coveted, any institution needs about five years to reach this level. The first requirement to achieve autonomy is to have all teaching and non-teaching positions filled,” he said.
LIT Alumni Association (LITAA) President Madhav Labhe said the historic institution has more than 6,000 alumni spread across the world, of which 2,500 are members of the association. “We are ready to provide Rs100 crore to our alma mater but it is not possible without getting autonomy. We continue to provide a small amount of Rs1 crore to the college for its needs. We want the government to give it Rs300-Rs 400 crore to make it truly world class as Gadkari demands,” he told TOI, pointing out that LIT does not have a girl hostel.
After Gadkari’s appeal, the then Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government granted Rs 10 crore to LIT which was among the top five schools for Chemical Engineering till 1990s. However, its downfall began due to university apathy, sources said. “Through the state grant, we will come up with a research facility costing Rs 8 crore and the remaining funds would be spent on purchasing high-end equipment. Apart from the infrastructure, we also need a good corps IIT or NIT level faculty, to make LIT a world-class institution,” Mankar told TOI.
# WHAT IS THE BED
* Shortage of teaching staff, especially professors
* Shortage of non-teaching staff in all departments
* Failure to obtain all of its courses accredited by the National Council
* Lack of infrastructure and facilities to conduct research
* Absence of teachers of IIT or NIT level to animate the courses
* Shortage of funds to build research infrastructure
* The administration of the government and the NU neglect the first institution