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Piyush Group in News: Rajastan: Grabbing land by selling varsity dream

Postby dheerajjain » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:40 pm

DNA News reports: ... 9-NOR.html
Rajasthan: Grabbing land by selling varsity dream
Abhishek Tiwari, DNA | Dec 02, 2012, 06:27AM IST
Jaipur: In September and October of 2008, almost 22 private institutions signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the state government to establish universities in Rajasthan.

The government was witnessing students migrating to other states for higher education. So it offered private organisations sops like land at subsidised rates. Soon, many private players signed MoUs to set up varsities in the state, especially in and around Jaipur. Come 2012, and things began to change.

Private organisations which had shown interest started looking the other way, but not before occupying precious pieces of land in the state. The agreements of many such organisations with the state government have expired and they haven’t applied for further extension. Delhi-based Piyush’s Group had entered into an agreement to set up Piyush National University. It got 56 acres of land on Phagi Road in Jaipur to establish the varsity. But this group, which is engaged in construction business, is not finding the university proposal interesting anymore.

When DNA tried to contact the officials of this group, none of them had any idea about the university proposed by their company in Jaipur. Only one executive, on condition of anonymity, said that the project had been stalled.
Another such university was proposed by KK Poddar Group in Nawalgarh. And Tatia Group too had shown interest in setting up a varsity in Ganganagar district.

Both these organisations have taken possession of acres of land at the proposed sites. But work on these varsity projects are yet to begin. RC Sharma, director of KK Poddar Group, bluntly refused to say anything on the ‘delay’ in setting up the university in Nawalgarh. “I am busy and this is not an important matter,” is all that he said when DNA approached him. His organisation has got acres of land in Nawalgarh and is running several colleges.

The large chunks of lands given to these groups for establishing universities are still in their possession. Higher education department officials said that initially, the government wanted to attract private players for building infrastructure in the field of education so that students don’t have to go to other states, like Maharashtra in the south, for pursuing higher studies. The government diluted norms like strong financial background and availability of land to attract private players. Taking advantage of relaxations in norms, several firms grabbed land in the name of setting up universities, said an education department official.
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