9 Sep 2012

SAARC University

SAARC University established in the country has started functioning. The South Asian University (SAU) is functional since August 2010. It commenced its first academic session with an intake of 50 students in two Masters Courses (Development Economics and Computer Applications). In its second academic year, the SAU enrolled 170 students (from all eight SAARC member States) and 30 faculty members. In its third academic year (2012-13), the University has enrolled over 300 students and has 48 faculty members. The University is currently functioning from Akbar Bhawan premises in New Delhi. 
At present, SAU offers eight academic programmes viz. MA (Development Economics), M.Sc. (Computer Science), Master of Computer Application, M.Sc. (Applied Mathematics), M.Sc. (Biotechnology), M.A. (International Relations), M.A. (Sociology) and Master of Law. 
India is committed to bearing 100% of the capital cost towards the establishment of the University. India’s committed contribution to this project for the period 2010-14 is US$198 million towards capital cost, US$ 21.071 million towards Institutional Cost and US$ 20.859 million towards Programme Cost. The total Indian contribution at current estimates is US$ 239.93 million. 
As part of India’s commitment, the Government is providing 100 acres of land in New Delhi for the construction of a campus for the SAU. At the request of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Delhi Development Authority (DDA) allocated nearly 100 acres of land to MEA for the construction of permanent premises of the SAU at Maidan Garhi, New Delhi. 
For this, Government has approved the sum of Rs. 75.45 crores for MEA to purchase 100 acres of land to build the campus for the SAU. 
The Programme Cost of running the University is met through assessed contributions collected annually from all SAARC Member States. India's share is set at around 30% of the Budget of the SAU each year. In the year 2012, this worked out to around US$ 6.1 million. 
So far, India has spent US$ 9.85 million on the establishment of the University; this includes the first tranche of India's assessed share of Programme Costs provided to SAU for the year 2012. In addition to this, an amount of Rs. 65,08,25,271 has been paid to DDA on account of purchase of 85.32 acres of land.
The Minister of State in the Ministry Of External Affairs Smt. Preneet Kaur provided this information in reply to a question in Lok Sabha today. 

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