The decades-old dream of having a premier institution like the Indian Institute of Technology in Karnataka comes true with the formal inauguration of IIT Dharwad on Sunday, August 28. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, and other dignitaries will take part in the inauguration.
The inauguration of the premier technical institute was earlier scheduled for July 31. The event had to be postponed as protests erupted in North Karnataka after the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal rejected Karnataka’s plea seeking an interim award and the non-availability of chief minister Siddaramaiah. IIT Dharwad is amongst the six new IITs that have been newly established by the government and will be mentored by IIT Bombay.
Nevertheless classes began on August 1 with 120 students
August 1, 2016 has been marked as RED LETTER Day in the history of Dharwad for the newly established Indian Institute of Technology began functioning at its transit campus on the Water and Land Management Institute (Walmi) premises. On the very first day, all-in-all 120 students reported for the class. Of them, seven were from Karnataka while the others were from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and other states. Amongst them are 10 girl students.
The students thus admitted are staying in hostels on the transit campus for the next three years till a permanent building is established on the 470-acre land in Kelgeri-Mummigatti. They have already been allotted rooms and even the mess is operational too.
The D-Day is all here
The Union minister for human resources Prakash Javadekar will inaugrate IIT Dharwad at the transit campus in Water and Land Management Institute (WALMI) in Dharwad. However, the main function will be at the Seeds Unit Hall in the University of Agricultural Sciences Dharwad. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will preside over the function. Union minister Ananth Kumar, higher education minister Basavaraj Rayaraddi and other elected representatives from North Karnataka will be present.
Preparations in full-swing
The event has created a festival-like atmosphere in the city. Banners have been put at all important junctions by BJP and Congress showing their leaders and welcoming guests to the function.
Too many cooks spoil the broth
It is a human tendency to take credits of everything and anything thereby giving rise to conflicts. When Karnataka is all set to innaugrate its first ever IIT today, the respectable Congress and BJP wings are busy claiming credit that they proposed the establishment of IIT Dharwad. Not many remember it was Janata Parivar leader and former chief minister Somappa Rayappa Bommai who mooted an IIT in Karnataka.
In 1997, Bommai was Union minister for human resources in the IK Gujral cabinet and after finding that no new IIT had been established in the country, he appointed a committee headed by renowned scientist U R Rao to recommend a suitable place to set up an IIT. The U R Rao Committee recommended that Dharwad will be suitable for this. Even before the report was tabled before the Union cabinet, the Gujral government fell and the report was shelved. It was only during the 13th Finance Commission that the issue was taken up and the NDA government with support from the state government finally got the IIT at Dharwad.
In recent times, the demand for reservation to the locals in IIT Dharwad has also risen sharply. They have been demanding this on the basis that the state government has given 500 acre land free of cost for this institution and the locals must be benefitted from this.