Work set to start on first off-campus of AMU in Murshidabad

New Delhi: The first off-campus of Aligarh Muslim University is set to become a realty soon with HRD Minister Kapil Sibal slated to lay the foundation stone of the centre at Murshidabad in West Bengal on November 20.

President Pratibha Patil, in her capacity as the Visitor of the Varsity, had recently given consent for the establishment of two such campuses, the other one being at Malapurram in Kerala.

Sources said the function in Murshidabad is also likely to be attended by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. The former had taken a key interest in early establishment of the Murshidabad campus.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has released Rs 25 crore and Rs 10 crore for the West Bengal and Kerala centres respectively to meet preliminary costs.

AMU Vice Chancellor Prof P K Abdul Azis had said that by 2020, these would become full-fledged campuses with potential to become independent universities.

The setting up of the campuses is expected to give a boost to the two regions which are considered educationally backward.

The state governments have responded enthusiastically to the campuses. West Bengal Government has provided about 250 acre of land in the Farakka barrage region in Murshidabad district.

The varsity has also decided to set up similar centres in Pune, Bhopal and Kishanganj in Bihar. However, they will come up later.

Programmes like LLB and MBA would be offered by the off-campuses.