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July 14th, 2008
On March 30, 2008, The Telegraph had reported how the universities were virtually grovelling before the Centre for the funds, promised as recognition for their service to the nation and coinciding with their 150-year celebrations. Set up in 1857, Calcutta University, Mumbai University and Madras University are the oldest among India's modern varsities.
Only Rs 15 crore of the promised Rs 100 crore had reached the universities, who had written to the HRD ministry to speed up the disbursement of funds.
The original promise, made in finance minister P. Chidambaram's 2006 budget speech, said the funds must be spent by 2009. Chidambaram's caveat will now be interpreted as laying down that the funds must be spent by the end of 2009-10.
"These universities are proud symbols of India. The committee feels a special case needs to be made to ensure they receive funds on time," the report of the parliamentary panel says.
Each of the three universities is to develop research facilities for specific areas of nanotechnology using the funds. Calcutta University will concentrate on nano-chemical materials.
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