Birth pangs dog Shimoga UAS

Board members appeal to Governor to halt the formation process

Former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, while presenting the budget for 2010-11, had declared that Rs 10 crore would be earmarked for the UAS proposed at Shimoga.

Purview of the varsity

A government notification dated November 26, 2010 said that seven districts - Shimoga, Hassan, Kodagu, Udupi, Chikmagalur, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi - would be brought under the purview of the varsity. It was also decided to amend the University of Agricultural Sciences Act and the University of Horticultural Sciences Act to facilitate the process.

After an arduous search, the government appointed P M Salimath, Research Director, UAS, Dharwad as the special officer for the proposed varsity, on Novem­ber 29. However, on December 2, the members of the Board of Directors of UAS, Bangalore, are said to have submitted a memorandum to the Governor seeking his intervention to halt the formation of the varsity as “the process is inconsistent with the budget promise and the subsequent notification.”

Move questioned

The members have questioned the rationale of establishing one more agricultural university in the State where five such varsities have already been functioning.

Further, more than 30 per cent of the posts in these institutions are vacant. They apprehend that the proposed university might turn a sanctuary for the government to placate persons of its choice.

“It was envisaged to create an integrated university to cater to the research needs of the area by focusing on field and horticulture crops including plantation crops of the region.

However, the government  took the decision to start a new agricultural university without bringing an amendment to the University of Agricultural Sciences Act and the University of Horticultural Sciences Act,” the memorandum says.

The Board members have urged the Governor to intervene and stall further proceedings to check unnecessary spending of taxpayers’ money.

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