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AP, Karnataka in a war of words over IISc campus

April 27, 2010 17:22 IST
The second campus of prestigious Indian Institute of Science is the latest issue to become a bone of contention between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

While AP Chief Minister Ken Rosaiah has thanked the central government for the move to set up the IISc's second campus in the backward district of Anantapur in AP, his Karnataka counterpart B S Yeddyurappa has made it clear that the second IISc campus would come up in Chitradurga district of Karnataka.

The controversy began with Andhra Pradesh CM receiving a letter from Union Minister for Human Resources Development Kapil Sibal informing him that the union government had examined the AP government's proposal and mooted the idea to the IISc, Bengaluru.

According to an official press release from the AP chief minister's office, the Union Minister informed that a Memorandum of Understanding for the sale of land, time-frame for making available the basic infrastructure etc. was under preparation and further developments in this regard would be communicated on receipt of fresh inputs from IISc, Bengaluru.

Thanking the central government, Rosaiah said that move to establish the second Campus of the IISc in the backward areas like Anantapur clearly shows the concern and commitment of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and other leaders towards Andhra Pradesh. The idea of a second campus of IISc at Anantapur was mooted for the first time by YS Rajasekhara Reddy in a letter to the prime minister.

"We have 1,000 acres of land in Anantapur, which is 70 km away from the Bengaluru International Airport and is connected by 4-lane highway. This location enables the IISc to utilise the existing state of the art laboratories built in Bengaluru and it is convenient to expand to new areas besides enabling the sharing of faculty due to its proximity," he had stated in his letter a copy of which was also marked to K Kasturirangan, Chairman, Council of IISc.

Subsequently the IISc team had visited the Anantpur to survey the sites short listed and found suitable 1000 acres of land in Anantapur district bordering Bangalore district. But Yeddyurappa is in no mood to let the second campus go out of the state. "The second IISC campus will come up in Chitradurga", he told the media on Monday adding that the district administration had already granted nearly 2,000 acres at Kudapur village.

Now ball seems to be in the court of the IISc management to clear the confusion on the location of second campus.

The IISc, a century old institution involved in cutting edge scientific research, was established in 1909 at the initiative of Jamshedji Tata for which the  then Raja of Mysore had provided four hundreds acres of land in Bengaluru.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad