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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 21 April 2024 7.34 PM IST

Govt plans relaxing norms for new private universities; draft bill to be amended

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A conducive environment along with relaxation will be given to setting up private universities, akin to the government's proposal for setting up foreign universities in the state. Necessary changes will be made in the draft bill prepared earlier for this purpose. The bill was sent back from the Chief Minister's office to the Higher Education Department.

A relaxation of up to 40 acres of land, Rs 25 crore treasury investment and Rs 30 crore operational fund will be given for starting a private university. The higher education department is currently involved in the refurbishing work to present the bill in the upcoming legislative assembly session. Even big private players from other states have volunteered their support for the project.

In the budget, it was announced that the foreign universities will be provided with single window clearance for stamp duty, transfer duty, registration duty exemption, electricity and water supply subsidy and tax exemption. Albeit all this, it is no easy task to start a private university by dutifully following the labyrinthine law upheld in the country.

Foreign universities within 500 in the global ranking can open campuses anywhere in the country, but only institutions that have been operating for twenty years can apply for private universities.

20 acres of land is required in the Corporation, 30 acres in the municipality and 40 acres in the panchayat, for getting approval. As land prices are high in Kerala and more land cannot be found in urban areas, relaxation will also be given to start varsity even for 10 acres of land in city premises.

As of now, institutes within the top 50 in the NIRF ranking and having NBA accreditation for two out of three technical courses can apply. Relaxation will also be brought into this. After five years, off-campus and study centres can be started anywhere in the state.

To build a self-financing medical college it requires anywhere near Rs 2500 crore. And now for private universities, the price can go two-fold high. Shopping, entertainment and housing complexes will also need to be raised alongside universities. This requires a huge investment.

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TAGS: PRIVATE UNIVERSITY, KERALA, COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY, DRAFT, FORIEGN, AMEND
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