Just three years shy of turning 100, University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) has sought autonomy.
In a proposal submitted to the Higher Education Department, the constituent college of Bangalore University (BU) has sought Rs. 283.05 crore under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) and revealed its plans to set up an autonomous technical university.
K.R. Venugopal, principal, UVCE, told The Hindu that it was the fifth engineering college in the country. “The other oldest engineering colleges have either got autonomy, university status (College of Engineering, Guindy; College of Engineering, Pune; and Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur), or become an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT- Roorkee). If UVCE remains a college, it will not grow. We have good students and they deserve better infrastructure,” he said.
UVCE’s proposal is for ‘special grants for centenary college and establishment of centre of excellence’. The college expects Rs. 100 crore from the State government, Rs. 80 crore from RUSA (Rs. 55 crore will be allotted if it gains autonomy), Rs. 20 crore from alumni, Rs. 14.55 crore from the All-India Council for Technical Education, Rs. 12.5 crore under Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme-II (TEQIP) and Rs. 16 crore under TEQIP-III.
At present, there are 4,250 students in UVCE in the undergraduate, postgraduate, Ph.D. and evening programmes. The proposal envisions building a mechanical block, centenary block, a Visvesvaraya Metro block, a hostel, civil engineering and architecture blocks and an open theatre block. It also proposes to increase the faculty strength from 200 to 500 as well as double the student strength and introduce new programmes. BU Vice-Chancellor B. Thimme Gowda recently said the varsity was not opposed to the proposal as long as the civil and architecture department of UVCE remained with it. UVCE authorities too said they were in favour of this as it would create another government engineering college under BU.
Asked about the status of the proposal, Rajneesh Goel, Principal Secretary, Higher Education, said it was being “examined.”