Update on the proposed Xavier Univerisity

Following is from an article in livemint.

In a departure from the current trend in business education, the Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB) is opening its own university and taking away some of its courses from what it describes as a restrictive All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) accreditation process. This will allow it to impart “innovative courses”.

To be named Xavier’s University, the institution will start its first campus in Orissa’s Puri district, followed by two more campuses in Sambalpur and Balangir districts.

“The AICTE has a lot of restrictions when it comes to expansion,” XIMB director P.T. Joseph said over the telephone from Bhubaneswar. “Now, we have got a go-ahead from the state government to start our own university.”

… Joseph said the institute will spend about Rs70 crore in the first phase of the university plan, of which Rs20 crore will come from the state. While the first campus in Pipli, Puri, will be spread across 35 acres, the Sambalpur and Balangir campuses will be built on 25 acres and 15 acres, respectively. The university will be set up as a private one under the state’s rules, which means it will have more autonomy. “There will be more investment as we progress,” Joseph said.

… To start with, XIMB will offer students the rural management course without AICTE accreditation. “XIMB will remain as an institute under the AICTE umbrella. If they create problems, then we have to think otherwise. But we are taking our (two-year) rural management course to the university from next year when the university starts operation,” Joseph said. The institute will also run a master’s programme on public health in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. It will also offer its three-continent master of global management programme under the university.

XIMB’s plan is a smart way of tackling issues related to AICTE, said Pramath Sinha, founding dean of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

… Allowing serious players to open universities is creating an ecosystem that’s free of excessive control, he said. Sinha is planning to open a university in Haryana under the state’s laws.

Joseph said Xavier’s University will offer both undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in areas such as environmental management, microfinance, healthcare management and disaster management. Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik will lay the foundation of the campus on Saturday, according to an official invitation.

The state will pass a legislation to open the private university soon and till that time XIMB will call them additional campuses, instead of a university, the institute’s spokesperson said.

1 comment April 28th, 2012

Finally the CM asks for upgrading the 3 state medical colleges to AIIMS level under PMSSY; He should ask the Agriculture ministry for a Central Agricultural University

Following is an excerpt from  a report in Orissadiary.

Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik today met the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad in New Delhi. Chief Minister informed the  Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare that the proposal to raise the number of seats for admission to MBBS Course from 150 to 250, would necessitate significant increase in the infrastructure of the Medical Colleges in the State.

He requested that the three Medical Colleges of the State may be approved for upgradation to AIIMS like Institutions under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) along with sanction of Rs.432 crore for the purpose. He added that the State has identified an alternative site for establishment of a Regional Institute of Paramedical Sciences at Bhubaneswar for which Government of India may sanction the funds forming part of Central Share component.  

… Chief Minister urged upon the Union Minister to appreciate the just needs of the State for augmenting medical infrastructure and creating new specialized medical institutions. He requested the Union Minister to establish a National Cancer Institute at Bhubaneswar and a Regional Geriatric Centre at SCB Medical College, Cuttack. He further informed that State has already identified 20 acres of land for setting up of the Central Research Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy. Accordingly, Government of India may sanction the required funds to enable early establishment of the Institute along with 100 bedded Hospital, at the earliest.

… The Union Minister assured the Chief Minister that the issues raised by him will receive priority attention of the Ministry. He agreed to provide necessary funds for upgrading the infrastructure of the three Medical Colleges in the State.

… Union Minister promised to take urgent steps for establishing the Regional Institute of Para Medical Sciences at Bhubaneswar.

He assured that the Central Share for the Odisha State Treatment Fund shall be released very shortly and that additional funds will be provided for strengthening the Regional Cancer Centre at Cuttack. Further, the request of Odisha for a stand-alone Cancer Institute will be considered as and when adequate funds are available for the purpose in the Central Budget.
Union Minister agreed to establish a Regional Geriatric Centre at SCB Medical College, Cuttack and requested that Government of Odisha may handover the identified 20 acres of land for setting up of Central Research Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy.

We have been writing the CMO and others about approaching the Health ministry regarding the upgradation of the state medical colleges. See:

It took a long time, but its good that he finally did it.

I hope he also pursues a Central Agricultural University in Odisha. More on this in a separate post.

1 comment March 7th, 2012

Construction of AIIMS-like institute in Bhubaneswar is 65% complete; first batch with 50 students to start in August this year; Center coming up with a scheme to fund 100-150 crores per college for upgradation of the three state medical colleges

Following is an excerpt from a report in Business Standard.

The fist academic session of the city centre of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) medical college is set to begin from August this year. The 500-bed multi-speciality hospital is expected to start functioning from December 2012.

“The session for the first batch of students for AIIMS medical college will begin from August 2012 with an intake of 50 seats. We expect the hospital to be operational from December this year. Work on the AIIMS campus is 65 per cent complete,” said P K Pradhan, Union health secretary. On the state government’s demand for funds for seat hike in three government run medical colleges, Pradhan said, “The Chief Secretary has said that the state government intends to raise intake of each of three medical colleges from 150 to 250. This requires an investment of Rs 100-150 crore per college for infrastructure upgrade. We are coming up with a scheme wherein we can provide funds to the state government for upgradation of infrastructure at medical colleges.”

Various Odia papers report that as of today 65% of the Hospital building construction and 70% of the college building construction are completed.

8 comments January 31st, 2012

Four more new AIIMS-like institutes and 30 more upgrades proposed as part of the 12th plan; this will take the total number of AIIMS-like institutes to 12 and the total number of upgrades to 56

Following is from a report in Times of India.

The report of the steering committee on health for the 12th five year plan (incorporating reports of all working groups and deliberations in Committee meetings) has suggested opening of four new prototypes of premiere All India Institute of Medical Sciences ( AIIMS) in addition to the eight already approved.

… Union health ministry is in the process of constructing six AIIMS-like institutes in Patna, Raipur, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur and Rishikesh at a cost of Rs 847 crore each, up from Rs 332 crore that was originally estimated. There are expected to be ready by July, 2012.

The Planning Commission has given approval to two more AIIMS-like institutes in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. …

With 26 medical institutions have been approved for upgrade, the panel has said an additional 30 medical colleges established at least 20 years ago be identified for support through Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna.

“Other medical colleges, in private or voluntary sector may also be considered for upgrade and strengthening for starting new postgraduate disciplines and increasing post-graduate seats,” the report says.

In Odisha, as per the timeline, SCB medical college in Cuttack was established in 1944, VSS in Burla was established in 1959 and MKCG in Berhampur was established in 1962. All three of them satisfy the above mentioned criteria of being established 20 years ago. Considering that none of the 26 approved upgrades are from Odisha, and 4 states currently are approved for both new AIIMS-like institutes as well as upgrades (WB,Bihar, MP, UP) the Odisha government should push for all three of its existing government medical colleges to be upgraded during the 12th plan.

1 comment December 31st, 2011

OUAT plans a college of Diary Technology in Baripada

Following is from Priya Abraham’s report in Telegraph.

Private institutes in the state have started approaching the Odisha University Agriculture of Technology (OUAT) for affiliation, following passing of the OUAT bill.

The bill was passed on August 23 amending the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology Act, 1965, to enable the university to accord affiliation to institutions in the private sector for imparting education in agriculture, veterinary, fisheries, forestry and allied sciences.

While two private colleges in the capital have approached the authorities, a former professor of the varsity is said to be considering the idea of setting up an agricultural college, sources said.

… While students are keen to take admission in the constituent colleges of the OUAT, the existing intake capacity of the varsity is limited.

This year, the university had received about 12,000 applications for admission in 608 seats in various courses in the colleges of agriculture, agricultural engineering, fisheries, veterinary science and home science.

The university is also working towards the establishment of two constituent colleges. There will be a college of veterinary science in Sambalpur and a college in dairy technology in Baripada.

December 5th, 2011

Existing Universities and institutions wanting to become universties in Odisha; Sri Sri Ravishankar to visit Odisha regarding Sri Sri University

The 30.5 lakh sq feet is equivalent to 2,83,355.4066 sq meters and is equivalent to 70.0158 acres. As a comparison:

November 20th, 2011

NTPC plans its medical college in Sundergarh — location of one of its two new UMPPs

(Thanks to Situn’s post in Rourkelacity.com for pointing us in this direction.)

Following is an excerpt from a report in dnaindia.com.

Patnaik presided over a review of NTPC’s progress on two proposed two projects at Darlipali in Sundergarh district and Gajamara in Dhenkanal district.

… The NTPC has committed to set up a medical college hospital in Sundergarh district and upgrade the existing district headquarters hospital to 100 beds with ICU.

The location of Sundergarh is a judicious one, as Talcher (where NTPC has its current operations) area will have two medical colleges (one by MCL and another by JSPL) and Dhenkanal (the other location of NTPC’s two new UMPPs) is close to Cuttack-Bhubaneswar which have several medical colleges. In addition, it is time something is given back to Sundergarh, whose Ib valley is a major source of coal.

November 4th, 2011

Ignorant attitude hurting Sambalpur

Following is an excerpt from a report in Times of India.

… the debate over Pujari’s brainchild SU Institute of Information Technology (SUIIT) has divided faculty in the varsity and educationists in the region.

While a section of them term the less than two-year old institute as the biggest success story for the varsity, others dismiss it as the culprit ruining traditional departments.

…Sadhu Charan Panda, former VC of Utkal University of Culture and a former faculty member of SU said SUIIT is the best thing that has happened to the university and to Sambalpur region to be relevant with the changing time and technology. "In less than two years of its existence, it has already attracted state-wide attention," he said.

Panda cautioned that an institutional mechanism should be put in place so that SUIIT continues to excel.

Established in 2010 as an autonomous constituent of SU, the institute imparting MCA, BTech, MTech and MSc in computer science, MSc (electronics) and MSc (bioinformatics) has proved to be a sought after institute in the region. Students from the institutes have got lucrative paid summer internships while several software companies have shown interest to come for campus recruitments, sources said. "Such a thing was an unheard of possibility for the varsity a year ago," pointed out a varsity teacher.

While the state government had given an initial budget of Rs 10 crore in 2009-10 for the institute, Rs 5 crore from Directorate of Distance and Continuing Education (DDCE) was given to it for construction of its buildings inside the varsity.

Not all are convinced with the "rare success story" eulogy for SUIIT. "Most of the courses being offered by the SUIIT were pulled out from different existing departments. It was not a new thing," said Prof B K Tripathy, senior-most professor in the university.

Electronics was taken out of physics department, computer science from mathematics while bioinformatics was pulled out from life sciences department.

These courses were already offered by the varsity, Prof Tripathy said, adding whether the consolidation has done wonders will be known after the first batch comes out of SUIIT next year.

With the varsity administration concentrating solely on SUIIT, other departments were suffering, said a teacher, adding "the varsity is getting reduced to an engineering college." Some teachers and the students’ union have questioned the logic of starting B Tech in SU.

"Most engineering colleges are not getting students for B Tech and are on the verge of closure. The VSS University of Technology, three km away from SU, is offering such a course. There was no need to start it here," reasoned Karunakar Supkar, chancellor’s nominee in the Syndicate.

The students’ union has objected to undergraduate courses being offered in the varsity where all other courses are at the post-graduate level. "The varsity was exclusively for PG students. Starting an undergraduate course was diluting its character, which is unacceptable," said student union general secretary Asis Chand.

The people with the view in blue should checkout the top universities in the world and whether they have undergraduate programs or not.

In regards to the view in yellow, Prof. Karunakar Supkar should check the statistics of what percentage of students in VSSUT are from the Sambalpur area and what percentage of students in SUIIT are from the Sambalpur area. My guess is that there are very few Sambalpur area students in VSSUT while a much larger percentage of the students in SUIIT will be from the Sambalpur area.

In previous articles we have highlighted many of the achievements of Prof. Arun Pujari.  If he is not allowed a second 3 year tenure at Sambalpur University, that would be a big loss for Sambalpur University and Sambalpur.

8 comments October 19th, 2011

OUAT plans a College of Veterinary Science in Chipilima, Sambalpur: Dharitri; Update: A new College of Horticulture in Khurda is also planned

Currently there is a College of Agriculture and a College of Horticulture in Chipilima.This will be the third OUAT College in Chipilima.

Following is an excerpt from a report inibnlive.com.

The State Government has decided to open another College of Horticulture at Khurda on OUAT’s existing School of Horticulture premises for development of manpower in the sector.

Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy announced this while speaking at the 50th foundation day of the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology here on Wednesday.

Currently OUAT has only one College of Horticulture in Chipilima. This will be its second college of Horticulture. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orissa_University_of_Agriculture_and_Technology for the list of Colleges of OUAT.

1 comment August 25th, 2011

Hope the Xavier University bill is finally tabled and passed in the Odisha assembly

Following is an excerpt from a report in Business Standard.

After giving its nod to four privately promoted universities in the state, the Orissa government is set to table the Xavier University Bill in the ensuing monsoon session of the assembly.

Earlier, the state assembly had passed bills for setting up of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar University, Vedanta University, Icfai University and Centurion University of Technology & Management.

"We are making efforts to introduce the Xavier University Bill in the monsoon session of the assembly. All problems relating to the establishment of the university will be sorted out,” said state Chief Secretary B K Patnaik.

P T Joseph, director, Xavier Institute of Management-Bhubaneswar (XIMB) said, “We want the status of a unitary university. Our proposed second university is coming up on 35 acres of land at Jatani in Khurda district. Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Orissa (Idco) is in the process of building a compound wall which will be completed soon. Then, we will start construction work on this campus in August.”

Joseph said, initially, XIMB will invest Rs 10-12 crore in the current financial year on the second campus.

While the university will function from XIMB’s existing campus in the city, the rural management course will be shifted to the new campus. Besides the flagship Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM), the new campus will offer courses like healthcare management, education management, human resource management and a doctoral programme in management for working executives.

… XIMB also has plans to set up a campus at Bolangir for the rural management course and a B-school at Sambalpur but details are yet to be finalized.

If this happens this will be the first Xavier University in India.

1 comment July 25th, 2011

Admission situation in Utkal and Sambalpur

Following is an excerpt from Shilpi Sampad’s report in Telegraph.

A university official said the sale of forms have soared this time as compared to previous years. Around 6,100 forms have already been sold at the two counters as against 7,000 last year. “We are expecting 2,000 more forms to come in. There has been an increase in sale of forms probably because more students are now opting for traditional and regular subjects,” the official said …

Following is an excerpt from a report in Times of India.

While there is just one applicant for statistics, which has 16 seats, there are very few aspirants for anthropology, food technology, bioinformatics electronics and home science.

Tripathy said there are very few colleges offering statistics at the graduation level. Hence, very few students want to pursue post-graduation in statistics. On the other hand, there are 66 applicants for 16 seats in MA or MSc mathematics.

The home science department this year has just four applicants for 16 seats. "This may be because the course had a new nomenclature this year. It was earlier called MA/MSc in home science. From this year, the varsity has changed it to MA/MSc home science (nutrition and human development) ," Tripathy said.

The varsity has got a record 250 applications for MSc Physics which has 24 seats. Some of these students will be given option to take admission in MSc electronics which has received around 10 applications for 20 seats.

The Sambalpur University Institute of Information Technology, which offers the bioinformatics and electronic courses, said students who have applied for MSc life sciences but failed to secure a seat will get a chance to take admission in MSc bioinformatics.

… Besides physics, departments of chemistry, English, sociology and political science also have received huge number of applications.

The varsity has got over 230 applications for 24 chemistry seats and 88 applications for 24 English seats. The varsity has got around 1800 applications this year for various PG courses compared to 1500 applications last session, varsity officials said.

3 comments June 29th, 2011

First cut-offs for the B.Sc/B.A/B.Com admissions in degree colleges via e-counselling

This year 162 degree colleges are participating in e-admission to their B.Sc/B.A/B.Com programs. Following are some numbers on this process from a Telegraph report.

After the announcement of Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE) or Plus Two results on May 30, students had applied to colleges of their choice online. Higher education officials said they had received a total of 74,968 application forms.

Around 48,019 candidates have been shortlisted according to the first selection merit list. …

In Bhubaneswar, BJB (Autonomous) College has increased the qualifying marks by one to five per cent in separate subjects for general students. In the arts stream, the cut-off mark for the general category was announced as 63.5 per cent as against 58.67 per cent last year. In commerce, it is 77.58 – an increase of over one per cent from the previous year. The science subjects, too, have seen a substantial rise. For physics-chemistry-mathematics (PCM) combination, it is 84.33 per cent, against last year’s 84.20 per cent, and in chemistry-botany-zoology (CBZ) combination, the cut-off is 80.33 per cent as against 78.5 per cent last year.

… Srilekha Ray, principal of Ramadevi Women’s (Autonomous) College here.

“We have raised the qualifying marks by over 10 ten er cent in PCM, around nine per cent in CBZ, seven per cent in arts and two per cent in commerce for the general category,” she said.

June 25th, 2011

ATDC-IGNOU Community Colleges at Bhubaneswar and Rourkela; other ATDC centers at Cuttack, Berhampur, Baripada and Sambalpur (two of them)

June 15th, 2011

Several additional new programs introduced at Samablpur University

Earlier we mentioned the dynamism of the current Sambalpur University VC and some of the steps he has taken. This includes the establishment of SU-IIT (with B.Tech, M.Tech, MSc and MCA programs) and GOI funded Center for Food Science & Technology (offering an M.Tech). In addition to those, I got information regarding several additional new programs and centers. Those are:

  • A 5-year integrated BBA+LLB program starting this July.
  • Establishment of a School of Performing Arts with special thrust on Folk dance (Sambalpuri, Chhau, etc).
  • A program on Insurance and Risk Management

I also came across the following ad in today’s paper.

In general, Prof. Arun Pujari, the current VC of Sambalpur University (on-lien from University of Hyderabad, where he has been a Professor in Computer Science as well as a Dean), has made significant contributions to Sambalpur University in his short tenure; much more than any Odisha VC I know of in recent years. Unfortunately his 3-yr tenure is coming to an end in November and already this year none of the 3 VCs (Utkal U, Fakir Mohan U, and NOU) were reappointed.

I hope the Odisha Governor makes an exception and reappoints Prof. Pujari for another 3 year term so that he can stablize the various programs and centers that he initiated and established.

If that happens there is a high chance that the best two universities of Odisha will be in Sambalpur: VSSUT and Sambalpur University.

4 comments May 26th, 2011

SUIIT offers two B.Tech, two M.Tech, three M.Sc and an MCA program in its second year

It now has its own website at http://suiit.ac.in/. Following is the ad that appeared in various newspapers.

Following is a screen copy of the web page of SUIIT.

With the new B.Tech programs, Sambalpur University will become the first general university of Odisha to offer such a program. Kudos to its VC for his vision and this unique achievement.

May 13th, 2011

Govt. of Odisha has just sanctioned 96 new regular faculty positions (professors, readers and lecturers) for VSSUT Burla

Update on April 9th 2011: Here is the ad from today’s Samaja. The detailed ad is at http://www.vssut.ac.in/Faculty-2011.pdf. They list 23 Professor positions + 57 Reader positions and 50 lecturer positions. The minimum qualification for professors and readers is a Ph.D and among lecturers, at least in science and humanities, most that will be hired will have Ph.Ds. Once these positions are filled it will increase the number of Ph.D faculty in VSSUT by at least 90.


Following is from a mail sent by Prof. Rakesh Mohanty of VSSUT Burla. It also appears in the alumni site at http://vssut.org/uncategorized/history-created-by-honorable-vc-vssut-burla/.

You will be thrilled and suprised to know that under the dynamic leadership and painstaking effort of Honorable Vice-chancellor, VSSUT Burla, Govt of Orissa has sanctioned 96 New Regular faculty positions (Professors, Readers and Lecturers) for VSSUT Burla.

A great achievement for VSSUT Burla.

This is really wonderful news. If they are able to hire good people against these positions VSSUT will be one of the top technical university in the country and will be next in line for upgradation to an IIEST.


In 2006 the then UCE Burla had submitted a proposal for becoming an IIEST. At that time it had 97 positions sanctioned but with 62 faculty out of which 36 had Ph.D.

I am not sure of the current situation, but with 96 new positions, the sanctioned strength will at least become 193, which is a good number to make a claim for an IIEST.

As per a document prepared by the then UCE Burla in 2006, the then faculty strength of the colleges that were earlier shortlisted for becoming IIEST were as follows:

  • IT BHU: 229 faculty with 170 having PhD
  • UCET-Osmania U: 127 faculty with 57 having Ph.D
  • BESU: 212 faculty with 136 having Ph.D
  • UCE-Andhra U: 123 faculty with 68 having Ph.D
  • CUSAT: 206 faculty with 151 having Ph.D

So VSSUT’s claim for an IIEST will now depend on how quickly and how many Ph.D faculty they can hire. The sanctioned strength of 193 is pretty good.

Note that earlier in March 2011 VSSUT had advertised for 34 positions (23 lecturers+ 9 readers + 2 professors). See http://www.vssut.ac.in/adv_20111.pdf.

3 comments April 9th, 2011

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