Nearly two dozen IITs and IIMs have approached the Central Industrial Security Force seeking permanent deployment of its personnel on their campuses, the CISF additional director-general, Alok Kumar Pateria has said.
He said the request was under consideration and had been forwarded to the Union Home Ministry, 'but no final decision has been taken.'
Deploying the paramilitary forces - or even the police - on educational campuses can be a touchy issue, and protests against such moves have in the recent past prompted authorities to back off.
Pateria declined to name the institutes that had sought security cover, but added: 'They said their campuses were too big for private security guards to handle..
Sources said that Allahabad University too had requested permanent CISF security cover.
CISF officials said their force, assigned to guard VIPs and airports, already faced a manpower crunch.
'The Home Ministry would have to recruit more CISF personnel before it decides to approve these educational institutions' requests,' an official said.
A request by Banaras Hindu University for permanent CISF deployment had triggered a controversy last July, with rights groups and students suggesting the idea was to crush dissent and pre-empt the sort of unrest witnessed recently at JNU and Delhi University.
The protests prompted the Home Ministry to leave the matter 'pending'.
If the government approves the latest batch of requests, some Home Ministry officials said, all the educational institutions in the country might start seeking paramilitary security.