AP plans Academic Cities, but needs Centre nod
The Andhra Pradesh government is planning to bring international standards of education down to four of its cities on the lines of Dubai International Academic City (DIAC).
The state government is planning to set up Academic Cities in Vizag, Amaravati, Tirupati and Kurnool and invite universities of International repute to set up their institutes there. The one catch is a bill that needs to be passed first, one that allows foreign universities to set up their own universities in India.
If and when this bill is passed, Andhra Pradesh will be working at full throttle to set up the Academic Cities, state HRD minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao tells Asianet Newsable.
Ganta has just returned from a study tour of Dubai, where his fairly large team, comprising some of the state’s most prominent bureaucrats and academic decision-makers, interacted with the officials of Dubai government and Dubai International Academic City for two days to get a hold of how it may be done for AP.
According to Ganta, the team will submit a concept paper to chief minister Chandrababu Naidu in a week or two.
"The concept of an Academic City is that the government will develop the land and lease 50-odd-acre plot to the universities to set up their institutes or schools. Common facilities will be provided, but it will not be a free-for-all City. Only those universities which have proven track records and global credentials will be allowed to set up their schools here," he said.
About 1000 acres of land have been identified in Visakhapatnam for the Vizag International Academic City. "In Amaravati, capital land is readily available. As for Kurnool and Tirupati, the district collectors have been asked to identify the land. Hopefully, one of the cities will be ready by the next academic year," he said adding that in the first phase Indian Universities such as Amity, VIT, Amrutha etc would start their institutes.
About foreign universities setting up centres, he said, "The state has passed the private universities bill. We are waiting for the Centre's nod for allowing FDI in Higher Education. In the meantime, we will concentrate on entering MoUs with International Universities and faculty and student exchange programmes.”
The minister also said DIAC was an excellent model to be replicated in India by adapting it to Indian conditions.