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Calcutta group’s tech college in hills

Posted by Ramesh Khati on November 6, 2009


The Takdah valley

Darjeeling, Nov. 5(The Telegraph): A nondescript valley will soon have an engineering college, the first of its kind in the hills that promises to change the face of the largely tea-based economy of the place.

Calcutta-based Global Indian Educational Trust will set up the private college at Takdah, 35km from here, at a cost of Rs 22 crore.

N. Shah, chairman of the trust, said 12 acres of land had been purchased from local people. “We will apply for to the government for some land on lease,” he said. The college will require around 21 acres and the trust hopes that the government would offer the vacant plot of the sericulture department adjacent to the site that has been already bought.

“We plan to start construction immediately and the college should be ready by July 2010,” Shah told The Telegraph. Apart from engineering courses, the authorities are also planning to start courses in pharmacy and hotel management.

Asked about the choice of location, Shah said: “Students definitely need a peaceful ambience and we always believe that even though there are a number of reputed schools in the hills, higher education is still neglected.” The residential college hopes to attract students from across neighbouring areas including the northeastern states and Nepal.

The trust is planning to name the college either Darjeeling Institute of Technology or Takdah Institute of Technology. “We have not yet finalised the name,” said Shah.

Initially, the college will have a capacity to admit 500 students but the authorities are hopeful that at least 1,000 students can graduate annually after four years.

Asked if the required permissions had been sought, Shah said: “To start a college we have to be a registered trust, which we are. Once the structure comes up, we need to apply to the West Bengal University of Technology (for affiliation), which we will definitely do.”

Narbu G. Lama, the convener of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Teesta Valley constituency, said party president Bimal Gurung would lay the foundation stone of the college on November 7.

Various student unions have been agitating for greater opportunities of higher education in the hills. The demands range from setting up of a central university to the opening of medical and engineering colleges.

When GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh was the chairman of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, he had talked about a medical college in Darjeeling at the old Sadar Hospital site and an engineering college at Deolo in Kalimpong. However, none of the plans materialised.

The trust claimed that although it was their first venture in north Bengal, they are already running the Global Institute of Engineering and Management near the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Calcutta that offers courses in aviation, IT, engineering and business management.

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