Vet varsity land goes to judges

Cabinet decision to allot 20 acres likely to cripple the institution

Vet varsity land goes to judges

The Cabinet decision, which may endanger the veterinary college’s existence, comes at a time when there has been largescale opposition to land belonging to the institution being given away for purposes other than education.

The university was quick to openly condemn the government's decision. Shocked by the development, KVAFSC Dean Dr Vasanth Shetty said: "We thought that the allocation would not happen. It is not a good thing to grant university land for non-educational purposes. We can only be mute spectators.”

Dubbing the Cabinet approval an attempt to sell the institution, former KVAFSC Vice-Chancellor Dr R N Srinivasa Gowda said the decision was unfortunate.

“The government is entering the temple of education. They are spoiling the entire activities here,” he told Deccan Herald.

Dr G S Bhat, another former vice-chancellor, said the loss of 20 acres could potentially cripple the veterinary college, for the guidelines of the Veterinary council of India (VCI) mandate a requirement of 150 acres of land. “The university has already lost 29 acres and an additional loss might force the VCI to withdraw recognition,”Bhat argued.

The Cabinet decided to go ahead allotting the land despite stiff opposition from different quarters, mainly the academia, whose members had raised concerns that their interests were being compromised.

A Supreme Court’s direction and the Karnataka High Court’s criticism of the government’s inability to provide quarters to the judges are the reasons that likely pushed the Cabinet accord approval.

The university campus is spread over 121 acres and houses the veterinary college and other institutions such as the Department of Animal Health and Veterinary Science, the Karnatak Veterinary Council and the Indian Veterinary Research Institute among others.

Terming it a “great injustice to the profession of veterinary sciences,” former college Dean Dr M G Govindiah pointed out that the had a five-decade-old history. The land was exclusively meant for teaching veterinary sciences.

“Veterinary graduates will be at a loss. The crucial land meant for practical studies is gone,” he said.

Now, since the establishment of a separate veterinary university five years ago, all academic activities of the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) has been limited to the GKVK campus. Yet, the UAS has retained some of the veterinary college land.

“Let UAS discontinue its operations and give back our land. If this happens we will be bailed out of trouble,” Bhat said.

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