Students plan protest during PM’s Hyderabad University visit


Hyderabad : Tight security arrangements are in place for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the University of Hyderabad here Tuesday as a section of the students and faculty is planning a protest against laying of the foundation stone for the Hyderabad campus of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).

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The students’ unions and some faculty members are opposing the allocation of university land for TIFR while the Left parties have also appealed to the prime minister not to lay the foundation stone for the institute.

Anticipating protests by the students and faculty, police have made elaborate security arrangements on the campus.

Manmohan Singh will arrive in Hyderabad Tuesday at 11.30 a.m. He will inaugurate the 21st general meeting of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) at 12 noon.

He will lay the foundation stone for the Hyderabad campus of TIFR at 2.30 p.m. and return to New Delhi at 3.40 p.m.

Students Monday staged protests at the university campus against plans to allot the land to various private institutions.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of faculty, non-teaching staff and students fears that the land allotment to TIFR would set a “bad precedent” as the versity authorities could allot land to more private institutes.

The strong protest by the JAC early this year had forced Vice-Chancellor Seyed E. Hasnain to put on hold a project to lease out 200 acres of campus land for Knowledge and Innovation Park (KIP).

Leaders of Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), in a joint letter to the prime minister, appealed to him to cancel his proposed programme as it could be used by an “unscrupulous” administration to sanctify its “selfish” and “unreasonable land deals”.

CPI leader K. Narayana said there were proposals to allot 1,000 acres more to institutions and Singh’s foundation stone laying for TIFR would enable the university to clear them.

The central university authorities, however, clarified that land had been allotted to TIFR, a central government’s institute of excellence wholly-funded by Department of Atomic Energy, and not to any private institute.

The Hyderabad campus of TIFR is coming up on 209 acres of land allotted by the state government on the university campus at Gachibowli. TIFR plans to set up various research and academic facilities in the Hyderabad campus with an investment of about Rs.2,500 crore over a decade.

According to TIFR officials, the Hyderabad campus will have world-class labs and facilities to put India in the forefront of research in the emerging areas of science. It plans to accommodate 200 permanent faculty, 1,000 students and 300 post-doctoral researchers.

TIFR, which was founded by Homi J. Bhabha June 1, 1945, with the support of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, has already entered into memorandum of understanding with the University of Hyderabad to facilitate collaborative research.

The prime minister will also inaugurate the 21st general meeting of Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). More than 350 scientists from 35 countries are expected to attend the four-day event.

The union ministry of science and technology is sponsoring the meet. The Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and the TWAS Regional Office for Central and South Asia (TWAS-ROCASA) are the joint hosts.

Based in Trieste, Italy, TWAS is an autonomous international organization which is working to promote scientific capacity and excellence for sustainable development in the south.