Foundation stone laid for National Tribal University in Madhya Pradesh: Original idea most likely came from Orissa CM

The idea  for a central tribal university was suggested by Orissa CM, on 24th October 2005, which the HRD minister had appreciated. Following is an excerpt from the press release issued by Orissa government at that time:

… In addition to this, Shri Patnaik also requested for establishment of a Central University for the KBK Region, which is one of the most backward regions in the country. He pointed out that there was a heavy concentration of the scheduled tribe and scheduled caste population in this region, which has a literacy rate below 50%. Shri Patnaik stated that setting up a Central University in the KBK region would go a long way in encouraging higher education among tribal population. He added that the university could also set up specialized centres for tribal development related studies, as tribal development was one of the biggest challenges facing the country today. Shri. Arjun Singh appreciated the rationale of having a Central University in the KBK region and sought a formal proposal in this regard from the State Government. He assured that this would receive high priority whenever the Central Government considers setting up of new central universities.

Orissa MPs also pursued it and we had sent detail proposal on it to the planning commission and HRD ministry and the PM. The similarity between the above goals and the goals of the tribal university in MP (given below) suggests that the HRD minister Mr. Arjun Singh might have stolen the idea of a central tribal university to his home state. We wrote to the Swaminadhan committee that recommended the setting up of a tribal university and also to MHRD regarding the timeline, but no response was given.  If the idea was indeed stolen, then it is a pity as such opportunistic behavior by the HRD ministry would discourage states from suggesting ideas.

Even though Orissa has been given a central university (other than the world class university), Orissa should continue pursuing its goal for a separate tribal central university for two reasons:

  • The tribal university that Orissa wants in its KBK+ region was supposed to have multiple campuses like the one in Amar Kantak.
  • It should have a significant percentage of seats reserved for tribals.

In any case, following is the PIB from http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=37584 about the foundation stone laying.

SHRI ARJUN SINGH LAYS FOUNDATION STONE OF INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL TRIBAL UNIVERSITY AT AMARKANTAK IN MADHYA PRADESH

A LANDMARK INITIATIVE OF THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT FOR FACILITATING HIGHER EDUCATION AND RESEARCH FOR TRIBALS

THE TRIBAL UNIVERSITY WILL BE DEVELOPED INTO WORLD-CLASS INSTITUION: ARJUN SINGH


19:2 IST

      A new chapter was added today in the field of higher education and research facilities for the tribal population in the country when Union Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Arjun Singh laid the foundation stone of a new Central University namely Indira Gandhi National Tribal University at Amarkantak in Anupur district, Madhya Pradesh.  The objects of the University shall include, inter-alia, promoting studies and research in tribal art, culture, tradition, language, custom, medicinal systems, forest based economic activities, including special studies in the flora and fauna, and advancements in technologies relating to natural resources of the tribal areas. It shall make special provisions for the promotion of educational, economic interests and welfare of the members belonging to the Scheduled Tribes.

Speaking on this occasion, Shri Arjun Singh said that this is an historical occasion and a moment of pride for the entire nation.  He said that this University will go a long way in providing new direction to the youth in tribal areas in meeting the challenges of the future through education and learning. This University will have live contact and coordination with other Central universities, tribal research institutions and other higher learning and research organisations and will make use of the available knowledge from every part of the country and the world to meet its solemn objectives. He said that it is necessary to have scientific temperament, aptitude for research and respect for human values and a true faith in science and knowledge.

 Shri Singh pointed out that the University will be developed into world-class institution of learning.  The jurisdiction of this University will extend to the whole country. The Minister said that University will be fully funded by the Central Government through the University Grants Commission like other Central Universities. The Minister said that it is necessary to have special attachment towards the local community and special focus on the development of the local tribal areas with full dedication and commitment so as to fully meet the objectives of this University. 

Referring to the inadequate participation of tribal community in higher education, the Minister said that it is a matter of serious concern as the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) is only 6.61 compared to the national GER of  11.6. The GER of girls from the tribal population is even lower which is 4.69. He said that low access to higher education for the tribal youth puts them at disadvantage in higher studies. The Minister said that there is high concentration of tribal population in North Eastern states and in the area comprising parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat. While North Eastern States have at least one Central University in each State, there is no Central University especially catering to the population in the other tribal concentrated areas.

The Minister said that the University has been named after late Smt. Indira Gandhi in recognition of her deep contribution and commitment for the welfare of tribals.  He said that present University will meet this requirement and will have the right to open regional centre and campus in desired areas. The Minister said that the Regional Campuses to be opened will be named after the great personalities of the concerned area like Veer Narain Singh, Goondadhur, Birsa Munda etc. so as to pay nation’s tribute to them.

He said that universities are generally established in big metros or urban areas and there are advantages of locating the universities in such areas. But the true flavour of the tribal University will come only if it is located in the midst of tribal areas. The very purpose of the establishment of this University is to make it a prime mover for development in the tribal areas hitherto neglected. He said that the seat of the University has been chosen to be a Central point in the tribal areas stretching between Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.  He said that Amarkantak is a great pilgrim centre as well as source of the two important rivers of the country namely Narmada and Sone.

Shri Arjun Singh thanked the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, for ensuring adequate land and proper facilities of electricity and water for this prestigious project.  

The Minister hoped that the University will soon select all its managing authorities. He pointed out that the Act of this University has a special provision to ensure adequate representation of Scheduled Tribes in various bodies of the University. The Minister said that though in 11th Five Year Plan, the Central Government is opening several institutions in the field of higher education like IITs, NITs and Management Institutions, but this tribal University will have a pivotal role among them in higher education. The Minister called upon everybody to contribute for the development of this great institution of learning.

The messages of Her Excellency Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, and Smt. Sonia Gandhi, UPA Chairperson were also read out on this occasion. Dr. S.N. Subbarao, noted Gandhian and founder of National Service Scheme presided over the programme.  Shri Vijay Shah, Minister for Forest and Scheduled Tribe Welfare, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Smt. Jamuna Devi, Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Shri Suresh Pachauri, former Union Minister, Shri Charan Das Mahant, former Minister in Government of Madhya Pradesh, , Shri Dalpat Singh Parastay, Member of Parliament (Shadol Constituency), Shri R.P. Agrawal, Secretary, Dept. of Higher Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India were among those present on this occasion.

AKS/HB/VL/GK 

3 comments April 20th, 2008

MP Rudra Pany asks for IIT in Orissa in the Rajya sabha on 14th March 2008

The following is from http://164.100.47.5/newdebate/213/14032008/19.00pmTo20.00pm.pdf.

1 comment March 18th, 2008

Both Orissa govt. as well as Orissa Congress minister in Orissa neglect in pursuing NIFT

In http://www.orissalinks.com/?p=304 and http://www.orissalinks.com/?p=178 we mentioned reports regarding Orissa Congress central minister Mr. Chandrasekhar Sahu pursuing NIFT and getting assurance to get one for Orissa. However, today’s PIB below tells us that Orissa might miss the bus with respect to NIFT. See http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=33181.

The Union Government proposes to open new Fashion and Textile Technology Institutes during the Eleventh Plan period. New Centres of National Institute of Fashion Technology are being set up subject to the conditions that the State Government is willing to provide land and financial support and fulfillment of feasibility conditions. Decisions about the new centres are taken by NIFT Board, a Statutory body under Ministry of Textiles, as and when the proposals from State governments are received. This information was given by the Minister of State for Textiles, Shri E.V.K.S. Elangovan, in the Lok Sabha today, in a written reply to a question by Shri N.N. Krishnadas and Shri Tathagata Satpathy.

The Minister further informed that proposals have been received from Government of Bihar and Government of Kerala for setting up NIFT Centre in their states. No formal proposal has been received from Government of Orissa.
He further stated that proposal for setting up of NIFT Centre in Bihar has been approved by NIFT Board and the matter has been taken up with State Government for allotment of land and funding support. Proposal for setting up of NIFT Centre in Kannur, Kerala will be placed for consideration of the Board in its next meeting. 

2 comments November 26th, 2007

Another PIB: Central university in each state

Following is yet another PIB report on this.

Subject to the Plan being finalized, it is proposed to establish 30 new Central Universities during the XIth Plan and the first two years of the XIIth Plan period, and to provide assistance for establishing one college in each district with low Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education.

Action for establishment, in the first phase, of one Central University, in each of the 16 States which do not have a Central University, so far, namely Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujrat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kasmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerela, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand, has already been initiated.

The targeted GER, as against the present level of approximately 10%, is at least 15% by the end of the XIth Plan and 21% by the end of the XIIth Plan.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shri M.A.A.Fatmi in a reply to a question raised by Smt. N.P.Durga in Rajya Sabha today.

2 comments August 29th, 2007

NISER in Rajya Sabha

Following is from a PIB report about NISER, Bhubaneswar.

In a Writ Petition (C) No. 10836 of 2005, the Government has submitted before the High Court of Orissa that the Government is taking follow up action for implementation of the announcement made by the Prime Minister on 28.8.2006 regarding setting up of a National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) at Bhubaneswar under the Department of Atomic Energy and that it is proposed to start the academic session from August, 2007. Taking cognizance of this, the Orissa High Court has disposed of the Writ Petition with a direction to the Government to ensure that the NISER is established at Bhubaneswar pursuant to the decision of the Government of India.

The Department of Atomic Energy has informed that 300 acres of land has been allotted by the government of Orissa for setting up of NISER. NISER has been registered under the Societies Registration Act and infrastructural facilities are being put in place. In addition, for admission to NISER, an NISER Entrance Screening Test (NEST) followed by interview has been conducted and admission will commence on 10th September, 2007.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shri M.A.A.Fatmi in a written reply to a question raised by Ms. Pramila Bohidar and Shri B.J. Panda in Rajya Sabha today.  

August 29th, 2007

Several PIB releases on new central universities

First PIB on the Central University in KBK is titled: CENTRAL TRIBAL UNIVERSITY IN KBK REGION.

A proposal for setting up of 16 Central Universities – one each in such States as have no Central University – is in the process of being finalized. Orissa being one of such States, its request for establishment of a Central University in the tribal dominated KBK region shall receive due consideration. Further, a Bill for setting up a Central Tribal University is in the process of being introduced in the current session of the Parliament. The proposed University shall have power to establish its Regional Centres in the areas inhabited by tribal population, which could include KBK region of Orissa.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Smt. D. Purandeswari in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.

The second PIB titled: NEW CENTRAL UNIVERSITIES IN THE COUNTRY

It is proposed to establish 30 Central Universities during the XIth Plan and the first two years of the XIIth Plan period, subject to the Plan being finalized.

While a common entrance test would be desirable, in keeping with the NCMP commitment of the autonomy, any such decision would be taken by the concerned Universities after they come into existence.

An estimated 20% of the budgeted expenditure on higher education is met currently by the Central Government.

Action for establishment, in the first phase, of one Central University in each of the 16 States which do not have a Central University so far has already been initiated. The financial requirement of these Universities is estimated at Rs.4,800 crore during the 11th Plan period at an average of Rs.300 crore per University. This was stated by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Smt. D. Purandeswari in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.

The third PIB titled: CENTRAL UNIVERSITIES IN STATES

It is proposed to establish during the XIth Plan, one Central University in each State with no such University and provide assistance for establishing one college in each district with low Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education.

As at present, 23 Central Universities in 14 States/Union Territories have been functioning under the purview of Ministry of Human Resource Development. Action for establishment of a Central University in each of the remaining 16 States, namely Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand, has already been initiated.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Smt. D. Purandeswari in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.

The fourth PIB titled: UNIVERSITIES OF INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

Subject to availability of resources, it is proposed to establish new Central Universities and to develop existing Universities to world standards. The XIth Plan is yet to be finalized.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Smt. D. Purandeswari in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.

One of the above PIB mentions that there are 23 existing central universities. From our list it seems the 23 are in the following 14 states: Andhra Pradesh (2),  Arunachal Pradesh (1),  Assam (2), Delhi (4), Maharastra (1), Manipur (2), Meghalaya (1), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Pondicherry (1), Sikkim (1), Tripura (1),  Uttar Pradesh (4), and West Bengal (1).

August 13th, 2007

Rajya Sabha answer on central university in KBK

Newspost India reports on it. Following are some excerpts:

Thousands of tribals in Orissa’s poverty ridden Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput (KBK) districts may soon have access to better higher education with a central university being planned there.

The human resource development (HRD) ministry Monday said it was weighing a state government proposal to set up such a university in the region.

‘Orissa being one of such states (without a central university), its request for establishment of a central university in the tribal-dominated KBK region shall receive due consideration,’ Minister of State for HRD D. Purandeswari said.

‘Further, a bill for setting up a central tribal university is in the process of being introduced in the current session of parliament,’ Purandeswari informed the Rajya Sabha.

The proposed university shall have power to establish its regional centres in areas inhabited by tribals.

The HRD ministry had earlier said there was a proposal for setting up 16 central universities in states where there was no such university.

August 13th, 2007

Sambada: BJD MP Braja Tripathy writes to PM on KBK Central University

2007 06 22 sambada kbk central braja_Page_1.jpg

June 22nd, 2007

Fax campaign against repeated injustice by MHRD

Dear Readers:

I hope many of you are enraged and disgusted by this repeated injustice meted out to Orissa by the MHRD; especially now it seems that the MHRD has orchestrated hijacking of a good, sensible and extremely relevant idea proposed by our chief minister: the idea of tribal central university in the KBK region with the goal of catering to the 50% tribal population in that area and 38% tribal population across Orissa.

Often many have blamed the Orissa government for not taking timely initiatives or not coming up with innovative ideas, but this time it took the initiative, it suggested a great idea, followed up on it regularly, but the end result is same; the idea gets implemented in the home state of the minister of HRD Mr. Arjun Singh.

We must convey our displeasure, disgust, deep disappointment and anger to the central government. Please fax a letter to the PMO (fax numbers: 011-2301-8668, 2301-5470, 2301-5603, 2301-8939 ) and also fax a copy of that letter to the CMO (0674-2400100 ) and Mr. Chandrasekhar Sahu (011-23061695), the sole central minister from Orissa. After that we must follow-up with the CMO (cmo@ori.nic.in) by email and Mr. Sahu by phone (Personal Secy: 09868501233 off: 011-23792469, 23792470) and tell them to take our faxes and meet the PM and the national press with all our faxes and do a dharana until the two immediate injustices of moving an IIT in Orissa after it was announced and stealing the idea of a tribal university proposed for the KBK area are corrected. Following are some pointers and points which may help in writing your letter. I am making it short so that its easier for you to draft the letter.

Continue Reading 2 comments June 18th, 2007

Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Madhya Pradesh – Orissa had proposed a similar university in KBK

The PIB says the following:

The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for establishment of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh with Central Government funding. It also approved introduction of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Bill, 2007 in the Parliament.

This would ensure establishment of a teaching and affiliating University for facilitating and promoting avenues of higher education and research facilities for the tribal population of the country.

The objects of the University include inter-alia, promoting studies and research in tribal art, culture, tradition, language, custom, medicinal systems, forest based economic activities, including special studies in the flora and fauna, and advancements in technologies relating to natural resources of the tribal areas.

Apart from affiliating the colleges, the University has the power to establish such number of its own regional centers in tribal areas as the University may deem fit.

There will be at least one school in every regional Centre, to serve as a model school for the schools of the region, where from the tribal students would be expected to join the local colleges, the off-campuses or the University.

Another news item mentions the financial parameters and objectives of this university. It says:

The initial financial requirement of the proposed varsity is estimated at Rs.600 million and a recurring expenditure of Rs.120 million annually.

‘The objects of the university include inter-alia, promoting studies and research in tribal art, culture, tradition, language, custom, medicinal systems, forest based economic activities, including special studies in the flora and fauna, and advancements in technologies relating to natural resources of the tribal areas,’ Information and Broadcasting Minister P.R. Dashmunsi said after a cabinet meeting.

The Rs 600 million number sounds too low. My guess is that it is a typo and the unit should be crores instead of millions.

**

A tribal central university, or central universities in tribal areas is a good idea about which I earlier wrote in Indian Express. However, a similar idea was suggested by Orissa, couple of years back, which the HRD minister had appreciated. Following is an excerpt from the press release issued by Orissa government at that time:

… In addition to this, Shri Patnaik also requested for establishment of a Central University for the KBK Region, which is one of the most backward regions in the country. He pointed out that there was a heavy concentration of the scheduled tribe and scheduled caste population in this region, which has a literacy rate below 50%. Shri Patnaik stated that setting up a Central University in the KBK region would go a long way in encouraging higher education among tribal population. He added that the university could also set up specialized centres for tribal development related studies, as tribal development was one of the biggest challenges facing the country today. Shri. Arjun Singh appreciated the rationale of having a Central University in the KBK region and sought a formal proposal in this regard from the State Government. He assured that this would receive high priority whenever the Central Government considers setting up of new central universities.

Orissa MPs also pursued it and we had sent detail proposal on it to the planning commission and HRD ministry and the PM. I hope the HRD minister did not just steal the idea to his home state. Such opportunistic behavior by the HRD ministry would discourage states with suggesting ideas.

However, a silver line is that the PM has mentioned recently that each state will have a central university. The question is when will that happen.

Moreover, regardless of that happening, central ministers should not steal ideas proposed by states to their own state. They are supposed to look out for the whole country not steal things to their states. To do things for their state they have the MPLAD.

7 comments June 15th, 2007

Dharitri: The minister had spoken the truth

Dharitri reports that the minister answering the no call motion had said that upon the advice of the scientific advisory committee an IIT is to be established in “Orissa”, but then she corrected herself and said “Bihar”. More interstingly, she also said that Minister Fatmi never said that an IIT will be established in Orissa. However, Minister Mr. Fatmi was in the Lok Sabha at that time and he was silent even when the Orissa MPs were looking at him for an answer.

3 comments May 10th, 2007

IIT issue raised in the Q & A session of the parliament

Newsreports [Times of India, Hindustan Times, Tathya.in, Kalinga Times, Statesman, Indian Express, Sambada, Samaja 1,2,3, Dharitri 1,2,3,4 ,India-e-news, Pragativadi] and emails are coming in regarding the IIT issue being raised in the parliament. At first glance the news is negative, especially the headline in Times of India which says “Govt says No to an IIT in Orissa.”

However, this is a starting point in Delhi. Now the MPs can set up an appointment with the PM and make a case. Another good aspect of this is that the walkout by the Orissa BJD+BJP MPs is reported to have been supported by the NDA partners. We need to find out by how many and if there were any BJP stalwarts. In any case, this provides a fallback option. If the MPs fail to convince the PM, then having the NDA partners on board now, makes it easier if and when the NDA comes to power next.

If one is depressed after reading the news items, they may checkout what happened when the NIS issue was brought up in the parliament Q & A sessions in December 2005.

May 8th, 2007

IIT issue raised by Orissa MPs in the 1st phase of the budget session of the parliament

Dharitri (page1, page 2, page 3, page4, page5, page6, page7) has a nice summary of the various issues raised by Orissa’s MPs in the just concluded first phase of the budget session of the parliament. It shows that various MPs raised the IIT in Orissa issue and MHRD’s discrimination against Orissa. In particular:

* BJD and BJP MPs gave a notice in the Lok Sabha on this issue, and received acknowledgement from the speaker, but it did not get a chance to be included in the Lok Sabha proceedings. (page1) We hope that they insist that it gets included in the second phase of the parliament session.

Continue Reading March 25th, 2007

Updates on the IIT Orissa issue

Pragativadi on 3/9/2007 reports that HRD minister Mr. Arjun Singh has said that the proposal for an IIT in Orissa is still under consideration and the state government has received a letter to that effect from Mr. Arjun Singh.

However, the headline of the Pragativadi news item “Arjun Singh assures Orissa will have an IIT” does not match with the text of the news item.

Continue Reading 2 comments March 14th, 2007

IISERs and NISER in the 2007-08 budget

In the 2007-08 budget there is no line item budget for NISER. Thats probably because NISER is yet to be approved by the cabinet. However, there is a significant increase in the budget of Institute of Physics and in page 5 item 9.04 it is mentioned that “the responsibility of setting up NISER at Bhubaneswar is entrusted to IOP.”

IOP’s budget (item 9.04, page 1) in 2006-07 was 4.96+9 = 13.6 crores. Its budget in 2007-08 is 32.75 + 7 = 39.5 crores. It can be safely assumed that a major chunk of the additional 25.9 crores is towards the NISER expenses. (Note that there are huge increases in the budget of couple of other institutes too. This includes Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad and Institute of Plasma research, Gandhinagar.)
In the 2006-07 budget for IISERs in Pune and Kolkata (item 70) there was a total of 50 crores which was revised to 20 crores. This line item does not have numbers for 2007-08. There is another line item (item 76) on IISER with 125 crores for the 5 IISERs: the established ones in Pune and Kolkata and the 3 proposed IISERs in Bhopal, Trivendrum and Mohali, Punjab.

Thus the budget meant for NISER compares favourably with the IISER budgets.

February 28th, 2007

Orissa HRD related questions in the parliament

Dharitri reports on three HRD related questions raised by the Orissa MPs in the Parliament. The questions were about an HRD funded IIIT, Novodaya Vidyalayas and Kendriya Vidyalayas.

December 6th, 2006


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