Government nod to fast-track Maharaja’s development plan

The government has given its nod to fast-track the implementation of a multi-crore development plan for Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam.

The move assumes significance at a time when the only autonomous college in the government sector was hit hard following the murder of Abhimanyu, a second-year undergraduate student and SFI leader, on Sunday midnight allegedly by activists of the Campus Front of India and the Popular Front of India following differences over wall graffiti welcoming newcomers to the campus.

People close to the development told
The Hindu
that Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac would soon hold a consultative meeting involving college administrators, teaching staff and student representatives on speeding up the vision plan for the college. He had suggested that the meeting be held at the college itself instead of scheduling it in Thiruvananthapuram.

The government has ensured its support for the general perception among various stakeholders that efforts to destabilise the prestigious institution have to be opposed unitedly. It is learnt that the governing council wanted to send out a strong message to its detractors that the foundation and credentials of the college would not be affected by those trying to cultivate the politics of fear on the campus. The counter resistance strategy will lay focus on elevating the academic and infrastructure capabilities of the college.

Education Minister C. Ravindranath is expected to inaugurate the new block for B.A. Economics (Hons.) programme soon. He will also lay the foundation stone for the multi-crore new academic block. The government had already sanctioned Rs. 10 crore for the academic block project. Work is expected to start soon.

The first phase of development work includes the construction of an auditorium, modernisation of library complex, rejuvenation of heritage buildings, infrastructure development (lab and construction of academic blocks), and digitisation of classrooms.

Nearly Rs. 15 crore has been earmarked for the construction of the auditorium and the modernisation of the library. The restoration of heritage buildings on the campus, and the expansion of science and arts departments will be carried out in the first phase. Lab facilities will get a major facelift as the government has already given its nod for improving them.

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