Kannada organizations have urged the state government to establish a constituent engineering college in the VTU campuses located in Belagavi and Kalaburagi. This request comes after the higher education minister, M C Sudhakar, announced that the government would set up an engineering college in Chintamani, his hometown.
On Saturday, a delegation from the coordination committee of Kannada organizations met with the minister and submitted a memorandum. The memorandum highlighted the benefits of a government college, particularly for meritorious students from low-income families, as the fees are only around ten percent of what private colleges charge. Additionally, the presence of professors from postgraduate courses at VTU would enhance the quality of graduate education. The memorandum also called for the establishment of a state-of-the-art laboratory and an incubation center to support students in transforming their projects into viable enterprises. The delegates emphasized that collaboration between various industries in Belagavi, Hubballi Dharwad, and other regions of northern Karnataka, along with teachers, could mentor students in the incubation center, fostering entrepreneurship.
Currently, out of the 16 government colleges and three aided colleges in the state, only four are located in northern Karnataka, specifically in Haveri, Gadag, Karwar, and Davanagere. VTU, situated on approximately 200 acres in Belagavi, does not have a government engineering college on either of its campuses. The demand for an on-campus engineering college at VTU in Belagavi has been pending for over two decades, according to Mr. Chandaragi.
Chintamani, located within a 45-kilometer radius of Muddenahalli, the birthplace of Sir M Vishweshvarayya, is home to a fully-fledged campus established by VTU. Additionally, Chintamani is situated 80 kilometers away from Bengaluru, where half of the engineering colleges in the state are located. The delegation expressed their concern that it would be unjust for Chintamani to have a government engineering college while Belagavi does not.
During the conversation, Mr. Sudhakar initially doubted our claim that VTU does not have an engineering college on its campus. However, we were able to convince him of our perspective, as stated by Tamraparni Venkatesh, a retired mathematics professor who was present. “Sir, I have been residing here for 40 years, and I can confidently say that there is no engineering college in VTU. You must trust my words,” Professor Venkatesh emphasized.