HYDERABAD: The vetted draft of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the establishment of a tribal university in Telangana is awaiting the Union Cabinet's nod. The DPR has been shuttling back and forth between the Ministries of Education, Finance and NITI Aayog and the University of Hyderabad (UoH), which had submitted it years ago.
The UoH has been answering queries on the DPR raised by the said Ministries and a source pursuing the issue with the Centre said that the delay in approval was on account of this time-consuming process. The Centre has informed that the proposal is in the final stage and in line for the Cabinet’s approval, the source said.
According to V Sarveshwar Reddy, additional director of the Tribal Welfare Department, the Telangana government had acquired 335 acres of land in Mulugu in 2018 and handed it over to the Project Officer of ITDA Eturunagaram for the varsity.
While 169 acres of these were government lands, Rs 15 crore was spent to compensate those who had alienated 115 acres of assigned lands for the purpose. Nearly 50 acres were forest lands, whose ownership stayed with the forest department, though they were to be used as green spaces.
In 2018, R Subrahmanyam, then secretary for Higher Education, had also visited the site with then UoH vice-chancellor P Appa Rao. A youth training centre and post-matric hostels were identified for running classes. A proposal for Rs 3 crore was sent to UGC for the purchase of furniture and equipment, but the funds are yet to be released.
Sarweshwar Reddy told The New Indian Express that the initial plan was to introduce six programmes with 30 students in each class. He said that the State had requested the Centre to implement 30 per cent reservations for locals, as an exception to the Central Universities Act on a supernumerary basis, a decision that is still pending.
Officials pursuing the matter told The New Indian Express that the DPR was prepared for the tribal university with an estimate of Rs 865 crore, predicting the enrolment of 2,500-3,000 students within five years.