Progress up Tribal University (IGNTU) at Amarkantak; Odisha has requested a branch campus

Following is from

Tribal University Set Up in Amarkantak

The Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU), Amarkantak became functional recently. In this regard the State Government of Madhya Pradesh handed over possession of 370 acres of land to the University. The University has since embarked upon construction of prefabricated Portal Frame Structure, with 87,000 square feet plinth area. The University is presently running 22 courses and programmes at undergraduate level. As on date the total number of students studying in the undergraduate courses at Amarkantak is 769, out of which 392 are Scheduled Tribe, 80 Scheduled Caste and 255 girl students.

The University has already established its Regional Campus at Manipur with a couple of programmes and the State Government has recently handed over possession of about 300 acres of land for establishment of a permanent campus. The IGNTU has also been approached by the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Kerala and Gujarat to open its Regional Campuses in their respective States.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Smt. D. Purandeswari, in written reply to a question, in the Rajya Sabha today.


1 comment December 4th, 2010

Rajasthan uses a balanced approach in choosing locations for its national institutions

Update on 27th April 2011: The Central University location has been changed to Bander Sindri near Ajmer and only 80 kms from Jaipur. The Innovation University (previsouly referred to as National University) aiming for world class is now pushed for Jaipur. [Times of India]

The panel set up by the CM of Rajsthan has picked the following places to recommend to the central government for the various national institutes and universities coming up in Rajasthan. (From a Times of India report and another Times of India report)

  • IIT : Jodhpur
  • IIM: Udaipur
  • National University aiming for world-class: Ajmer 
  • Central university: Bikaner.

The committee also recommended:

  • a "futuristic" heritage conservation and museology centre in Jaipur
  • an institute of Food Technology in Hadoti region of Kota

Currently the following national institutions exisit or are being made in the following places in Rajasthan:

  • NIT: Jaipur
  • LNMIT (private but top-notch): Jaipur
  • National law School: Jodhpur
  • AIIMS-like institution (being made): Jodhpur

The institutions are nicely distributed between various cities of Rajsthan, although people of Jaipur and Kota are not happy. The population of these locations are:

  • Jaipur (World Gazetteer 2009): 3.1 million (has inetrnational air connectivity)
  • Jodhpur (World Gazetteer 2009): 988K  – (332 kms from Jaipur; has air connectivity)
  • Udaipur (World Gazetteer 2009): 457K – (400 kms from Jaipur; has air connectivity)
  • Ajmer (World Gazetteer 2009):  604.7K – (131 kms from Jaipur)
  • Bikaner (World Gazetteer 2009): 624.6K – (321 kms from Jaipur)
  • Kota (World Gazetteer 2009): 823 K (242 kms from Jaipur)

In contrast in Orissa the distribution of national institutions are more Bhubaneswar centric. Following is the status:

  • IIT: Bhubaneswar
  • NISER: Bhubaneswar
  • AIIMS-like (being made) : Bhubaneswar
  • National Law University: Cuttack (part of Bhubaneswar metroplex)
  • IIIT (state-funded) : Bhubaneswar
  • National University aiming to be world class: Bhubaneswar
  • Vedanta University (private): Puri
  • NIT: Rourkela
  • Central University: Koraput
  • IIIT (centrally funded): state wants it in Berhampur; center has identified as Bhubaneswar

Unfortunately, one of the reason given behind the above selection is the lack of connectivity and the size of places. Following is some information on that.

  • Bhubaneswar (World Gazetteer 2009): 1.67 million  (has airport but no inetrnational connectivity)
  • Rourkela (World Gazetteer 2009): 551 K  (no air connections) – 334 kms from Bhubaneswar
  • Berhampur (World Gazetteer 2009): 403 K (no air connections) – 160 kms from Bhubaneswar
  • Koraput-Jeypore-Sunabeda: 200K+ (no air connections) – 499 kms from bhubaneswar
  • Puri (World Gazetteer 2009): 185K – 60 kms from Bhubaneswar 
  • Sambalpur (World Gazetteer 2009): 258 K (no air connections)  – 321 kms from Bhubaneswar
  • Jharsuguda-Belpahar-Brajarajnagar: 200 K (no air connections) – 374 kms from Bhubaneswar; 50 kms from Sambalpur

For the future, following are some of the steps that Orissa government needs to urgently take regarding developing more larger urban areas and having the national institutions more evenly distributed:

  • Make sure the centrally funded IIIT is established in Berhampur
  • Establish functioing airports in Jharsuguda, Rourkela and Koraput at the earliest
  • Push for international flights to Bhubaneswar
  • Push for upgradation of UCE Burla (Sambalpur area) to an IIEST (Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology)
  • Push for the establishment of a branch of IGNTU (Indira Gandhi National Tribal University) in Phulbani
  • Push for the establishment of IIM outside of the Bhubaneswar area
  • Push for the establishment of a centrally funded KBK Inst of Engineering and Technology (along the lines of SLIET and ABAGKIET) in Kalahandi or Balangir.
  • Push for upgrading another medical college (Berhampur or Sambalpur) to AIIMS level.
  • Push for establishing NID in a location outside of Bhubaneswar
  • Push for establishing NIPER in a location outside of Bhubaneswar
  • Push for a BITS Pilani campus in a location outside of Bhubaneswar

9 comments June 12th, 2009

IGNTU branch in Manipur gets formal approval

Following is excerpted from a report in Telegraph.

The Centre has approved a request by the Manipur government to set up a campus of the new Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in the state and asked the chief minister to allocate land for it.

The human resource development ministry has authorised the IGNTU, India’s first university dedicated to tribal studies, to open a campus in the hills of Manipur, The Telegraph has learnt.

… Manipur, sources said, was told of the approval just before the announcement of elections. But the formal sanction from the IGNTU governing body — critical for setting up a new campus — came only earlier this week.

The IGNTU was started last year at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh but its planned campus there is tangled in controversy with forest officials and some religious leaders opposed to chopping of trees to build the university.

Manipur is the first state whose request for an IGNTU campus has been accepted. Several other states with a significant tribal population had also asked for a campus.

The Congress rules both at the Centre and in Manipur.

With the Centre’s approval, the state may now actually develop the first fully operational campus of the IGNTU unless the dispute over Amarkantak is resolved, sources said. The headquarters of the IGNTU will however remain in MP, the sources said.

The government, through the IGNTU vice-chancellor, has written to chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh asking him to allocate 300 acres of land in the state for the campus, officials said. The state government is likely to offer land for the campus in Senapati, it is learnt.

…The tribal university is expected to offer, in the coming years, the country’s best academic opportunities in tribal literature, culture, language, music, arts and scriptures.

The idea behind the university is to provide students from a tribal background an education that they can identify with and which can train them in helping safeguard and develop their culture.

Classes in select subjects started last year from a temporary campus at Amarkantak.

March 20th, 2009

Naveen asks for a regional center of IGNTU in Kandhamal and more

Update: Pioneer reported on this; reported on this; Zee news reported on this.

Following is an excerpt from a PTI report in Hindu:

Orissa government has asked the Centre to adopt a long term plan for Kandhamal, prone to ethno-communal violence instead of seeking any quick solution, official sources said on Tuesday.

Orissa’s suggestion came after the high-level central team headed by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, which visited Kandhamal today, sought to know what assistance was needed in mitigating the problems there.

"The Centre wants to support Orissa in building confidence among all sections of the people in Kandhamal," Pawar told reporters after the team arrived here yesterday.

Identifying backwardness in education, lack of connectivity and poor livelihood means as the cause behind the ethno-communal violence in Kandhamal, Orissa government asked the Centre to set up a campus of the National Tribal University, Amarkantak at Phulbani, the district headquarter town.

"As scheduled tribes constitute 52 per cent of Kandhamal’s population, it is proposed to have one Ekalavya model residential school (EMRS) in each block to cater to the needs of tribal children," …

This apart, the state government also asked for at least six schedule caste hostels to cater the children of SCs who comprise 17 per cent of the total population in the district . ..

Following is from a report in

Naveen Patnaik has demanded for a Regional Centre of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) in Kandhamal. 

Presenting the memorandum to the Central Ministerial Team headed by Sharad Pawar, the Chief Minister pleaded for the Centre of Higher Learning in the riot –hit tribal zone.

… He said it will go a long way to provide education to the tribal youth, who are in difficult situation.

Following is from Sambada. It mentions the demand for an ICAR lab.

November 18th, 2008

Two third of IGNTU students are tribals

Following is from a PTI report.

Tue-Sep 16, 2008

New Delhi / Press Trust of India

The first tribal university of the country, which aims at promoting higher education among the Scheduled Tribes, has started functioning from this session in Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh but sans teachers and a campus of its own.

Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU), the first of its kind dedicated for education and research on tribals, has given admission to 150 students this year. It will offer courses in humanities and commerce.

"We have given admission to about 150 students, including 100 belonging to tribal communities. We are offering Bachelor Degree programmes in anthropology, tourism, political science, geography, history and commerce," IGNTU Vice-Chancellor C D Singh told PTI.

The university, which is yet to have its own Academic Council, has adopted the syllabus of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) for the courses.

HRD Minister Arjun Singh had laid the foundation of the university at Amarkantak on April 19 this year. However, the land is yet to be acquired for its campus.

"We have hired a building of an Ashram in Amarkantak where we will conduct classes. Hope we will get the land soon from the state government," the Vice-Chancellor said.

A major portion of the land earmarked for the campus comes under forest area. It has not been transferred to the university till date.

The university has started the process of recruiting its registrar and teaching faculty.

The courses on anthropology and tourism will touch upon the tribals’ tradition and culture, he said.

"We will start research on tribal art, culture, tradition, language, custom, medicinal system, forest-based economic activities including special studies in flora and fauna and advancement in technologies relating to natural resources of tribal areas. All these will start after we get the campus and adequate staff," the Vice-Chancellor said.

The university, set up under a Central law enacted last year, will have jurisdiction all over the country and will be funded by the University Grants Commission.

The education of the tribal people has been a matter of concern in view of low gross enrolment ratio (GER), the percentage of people of the relevant age group in the realm of higher education. While the national GER is 11.6 percent, the GER of the tribals is a meagre 6.6 percent.

The university, which will be broadly on the pattern of existing Central universities, will cater particularly to the tribal people in Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat, he said.

Besides headquarters at Amarkantak, the university will have regional centres and campuses in other tribal concentrated areas, the Vice-Chancellor said.

Authorities of the university like executive council, academic council, college development council, boards of studies, academic boards, management boards and finance committees will have adequate number of members from among the Scheduled Tribes, he said.

Amarkantak has been selected as the site for the university because it is a central point in the tribal areas stretching between Madhya Pradesh, Chhattishgarh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.


2 comments November 16th, 2008

Manipur campus of IGNTU approved

Following is an excerpt from a report in

New Delhi, November 11 2008:

STATE CHIEF Minister Okram Ibobi along with the Education Minister L Jayantakumar and the Tribal Development Minister DD Thaisii met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh at the Prime Minister’s Office here this afternoon in connection with the reservation policy for recruitment of scheduled tribes in Manipur University and opening of a regional centre of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Manipur.

During the half an hour meeting, Chief Minister Ibobi told the Prime Minister that the Manipur University, which was a State University , became a Central University in the year 2005.The All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur (ATSUM) and Manipur University Tribal Students’ Union (MUTSU) had been requesting the Central Government as well as the State Government seeking adoption of the State Government’s reservation policy in matters of recruitment in the Manipur University.

The Chief Minister further stated that based on the population composition of Manipur, the reservation policy of the State Government stipulated 31 pc reservation for Scheduled Tribes and 2 pc for the Scheduled Castes, as against 7.5 pc for Scheduled Tribes and 15 pc for Scheduled Castes in the Central Reservation Policy.

As such, the State Government had recommended to the Central Government the adoption of the State Reservation Policy by the Manipur University as a special dispensation keeping in view of the ethnic composition of Manipur.

O Ibobi also referred to the establishment of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh by a Central Act namely the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Act 2007.This Act empowered the University to make special provisions for the employment or admission of women, persons with disabilities or of persons belonging to the weaker sections of the society and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and scheduled Tribes.

The Chief Minister further expressed that Manipur had nine districts; out of which five districts were predominantly inhabited by the tribal communities.

The facilities for imparting education in hill districts were inadequate.

It would help a great deal in promoting education among the tribal communities of the State, if a Regional Centre of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University had been established in one of the hill districts of Manipur.

He demanded for setting up a Centre of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in one of the hill districts of Manipur.

After patient hearing, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh expressed that the rectification of the Central Reservation Policy required an amendment of the policy and it would take time.

But the Centre would see the possible way to rectify it.

In regards to the opening of a Regional Centre of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Manipur, the Prime Minister nodded enthusiastically at the proposal.

He advised the Union Secretary of Higher Education Shri Rameshwar Pal Agrawal who was also in the meeting asked to sit with the Ministers from Manipur tomorrow at 4 pm for working out the modality for opening of the Centre in Manipur.

Tomorrow, the Manipur Education minister Shri L.Jayantakumar Singh and the Tribal Development Minister Shri D.D.Thaisii will sit with the Union Secretary (Higher Education) Shri R.P.Agrawal at Shastri Bhavan here to chalk out the modality for opening of the Regional Centre of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in one of the hill districts of Manipur.

Following is an excerpt from the report in on the follow-up meeting.


November 13 2008: STATE CHIEF Minister Okram Ibobi and the Education Minister L Jayantakumar on Wednesday met the Union Minister for Human Resources Development Arjun Singh at Shastri Bhawan here to relay the assurance of the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh made on the previous day for opening of the Manipur campus of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University.

The meeting lasted for about 10 minutes.

In the afternoon at 4 pm on Wednesday at Shastri Bhawan here; the Manipur Education Minister L Jayantakumar, Tribal Development Minister DD Thaisii and students leaders had an hour long discussion with the Union Secretary (Higher Education) RP Agrawal assisted by two Joint Secretaries for formulation of the proposed Manipur campus of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh.

The Union Secretary (Higher Education) informed the Manipur Ministers that the matter regarding the opening of a Regional Centre of the University in Manipur had been communicated to the Vice Chancellor of the University.

An expert group consisting of the representatives of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi had been formed for preparation of Detailed Project Reports of the proposed Centre in Manipur.

RP Agrawal also communicated to them for sending a high level team comprising of representatives from the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University to Manipur very soon to see the suitable location of the Centre.

The Secretary asked the Manipur representatives to find out a suitable location of the area of 500 to 700 acres.

He informed them that the appointment of faculty staff of the Centre would be done on the basis of the all-India norm and as for the admission of the students; it would be based on the ethnic composition of the State.

… The Manipur Tribal Development Minister DD Thaisii said here today that the opening of the regional centre of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University would have a good opportunity not only for the tribal people of the region but also for the general people in learning different subjects in the University.

The Minister further stated that the proposed regional centre in Manipur would be the first campus of the University.

The Union Secretary told them that the Ministry received many proposals from different States for opening of the branches of the University in their respective States, he added.

Why is not Orissa proposing one such regional center in one of its tribal districts? At the current moment Kandhamala would be an easy sell.

4 comments November 14th, 2008


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