The Union Cabinet today approved the proposal for taking over of Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU), Shibpur and converting it to Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), with a total five years’ project cost of Rs.592.20 crore (Rs. 300.30 Crore as non-recurring cost towards capital expenditure and Rs.291.90 Crore as recurring expenditure).
BESU will be converted to IIEST by suitably amending the NIT Act, with special clauses, which should reflect its exclusive character. IIEST will be an ‘Institute of National Importance’ covered under NIT Act and its organizational and governing structure will be on the lines of National Institutes of Technology (NITs).
IIEST will integrate under-graduate education, post graduate education and research in engineering and science under the same umbrella. IIEST will be an Institution of international standard and will produce quality manpower for the strategic sector of the country, research laboratories and quality teachers for the institutions of engineering and science education.
The Government had constituted an Expert Committee in 2005 to evaluate and suggest a plan of action for upgrading seven Institutes, including BESU, which had earlier been identified by Prof. S K Joshi Committee. The Expert Committee recommended the establishment of a new system of ‘Indian Institutes of Engineering Science and Technology (IIESTs) as Institutes of National Importance through an Act of Parliament. The Committee recommended upgradation of five Institutes including BESU, to become an IIEST.
The admissions to IIEST will be through national level entrance exam namely, All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE).
The Odisha government should push for the upgradation of VSSUT to an IIEST.
I think the best possibility is to work on upgrading VSSUT, Burla (formerly, UCE Burla) to an IIEST. UCE Burla alumni is fully supportive of this. In general, such a proposal has and will continue to have support from all circles of Odisha. Also, the CM has in the past written to Delhi about upgrading this.
To do this first the state government needs to be pushed to give a one time allocation of a significant amount (say 100 crores) to improve the infrastructure. In addition the faculty size needs to be increased to be at the level of the colleges mentioned below. Simultaneously there should be a campaign to convince the central government to upgrade it to an IIEST.
The Congress MP from Sambalpur should do all he can for this.
UCE Burla becoming VSSUT and the hiring of dynamic vice Chancellors at VSSUT (Prof. D K Tripathy from IIT Kharagpur) as well as at Sambalpur University (Prof. Arun Pujari from the University of Hyderabad) has given a huge momentum in making the Sambalpur area a knowledge hub and together with similar progress at Rourkela a western knowledge corridor is now in the making. In this write-up we will focus on the greater Sambalpur area ranging from Bargarh in the west of Sambalpur to Jharsuguda and Sundergarh in the north and north east.
Universities: Two exists; 2 more in the making
There are two universities with dynamic leadership at their helm: VSSUT and Sambalpur University
Sambalpur University has received approval and funding for a SU-IIT (Sambalpur University Institute of Information Technology) and is pursuing a sports institute.
VSSUT has significant expansion plans.
There is a proposal to upgrade GM college to a unitary university.
The health minister had announced to upgrade VSS Medical College to a university.
Branch of OUAT in Chipilima.
Engineering Colleges: Besides VSSUT, there are five more engineering colleges in the area. 2 in Baragarh, 1 in Jharsuguda, 1 in Sundergarh and 1 in Sason (Silicon West).
Management Institute: XIMB plans a campus in this area.
Centrally funded Institutes: IIHT (Indian Institute of Handloom Technology) in Baragarh.
Research Institute: CIFT Burla.
Other Colleges: Panchayat College Baragarh, NSCB College Sambalpur, Govt. Womens College Sambalpur, Govt. College Sundergarh and Govt. Womens College Sundergarh.
Airport: Jharsuguda airport is under construction.
The above gives the current status of this area. In addition to the efforts mentioned above, following should also be pursued.
The VSSUT must be upgraded to a national level institute such as an IIEST (Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology)
An STP must be established in Sambalpur.
Operationalization of Jharsuguda airport must be expedited.
One of the central government departments such as CSIR, DAE, Sc & Tech, etc. needs to open a research center here.
The Orissa government should push to upgrade the VSS Medical College to the AIIMS level.
Establishment of private medical colleges in this area must be encouraged.
The OUAT college in Chipilima needs to upgraded and expanded
A regional university (similar to the old regional engineering colleges, with 50-50 partnership between the state and the central govt.) should be established in Jharsuguda. (This could be part of the 12th five year plan starting from 2012.)
A state university should be established in Jharsuguda during the 13th plan. (by 2020)
A state university should be established in Baragarh during the 13th plan. (by 2020)
Considering the rapid industrialization of the area, the Govt. Engineering School in Jharsuguda should be upgraded to an engineering college, perhaps as a constituent college of VSSUT.
NOTE on Comments: Only constructive comments will be allowed. Please do not submit comments that advocate separatism, conspiracy theories, shifting, badmouthing, etc.
69. Setting up of Indian institute of Engineering, Science & Technology (IIEST): A State University, namely, Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur is proposed to be converted into a Central Government Institute, namely, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST).
Odisha must continue to push the conversion of VSSUT Burla to an IIEST.
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]
Following is a report from someone who attended the meeting.
Yesterday we (students + alumni + faculty) had a satisfying meeting with CM. salient points –
(1) Ordinance shall be moved to amend BPUT Act to delist UCE as Constituent College of BPUT
(2) CM agreed to move an Act to convert UCE as an Unitary State University subjected to condition given below
(3) CM asked his officials to examine how much acres can be given to UCE
(4) CM said he will look into our claim for Rs 300 crore infrastructure fund which includes Central Funding of 1/3rd.
CM asked what are the benefits of State University. We talked about 12(B) grant from UGC. We talked about an independent Governing Body who can augment the courses/students/faculty/research. We gave examples of BESU & CUSAT.
This was contested by VC and Industry Secretary Mr Aditya Padhy. They said that –
(a) UGC fund is very small – may be to the tune of Rs 1 to 2 crore a year.
(b) Guindy College is affiliated to Anna University, Pune Engg College is affiliated to Pune University and yet they are quality college. Why UCE wants University status, and resisting affilitaion to BPUT.
(c) Deemed University status is no inferior to State University as both get UGC grant against 12 (B) and get nearly same grant.
(d) Indian Institute of Science is Deemed University and yet the best institution.
(e) After Revensaw became University, the situation has not improved. They are still struggling for faculty & fund. VC said he is Revensaw’s Seante Member and knows the conditions better than all of us.
Though CM agreed our demand for State University, he asked us (as well Industry Secretary) to prepare a note with examples of other institutions as to how State University will help UCE to grow. Report should contain references to the growth of some Unitary State Universities (in addition to BESU & CUSAT) including Revensaw University. Report has to be submitted within a week.
Students of University College of Engineering (UCE), Burla, launched their three day hunger strike from today staging silent sit-on dharna in front of the administrative building of the college.
The students are demanding Unitary University Status for the oldest engineering college of the State, on the lines of Ravenshaw University, transfer of 400 acres of government land adjacent to UCE campus, hike in annual grant to UCE to Rs 15 crore and special infrastructure development grant of Rs 100 crore spread over three years. The students had launched a stir in October demanding upgradation of UCE to IIT with support from the Alumni Association of the college and locals.
But with the State Government deciding to house the IIT at Jatni, they are now demanding declaring the college as an Unitary University.
The students had apprised the Chief Minister of their demand vide a petition on August 2 and set August 21 as deadline to fulfill the demand.
But with no communication from the office of the Chief Minister for a dialogue over the issue, they resorted to hunger strike. … A delegation of students will be leaving for Bhubaneswar and will try to get an audience with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Governor MC Bhandare.
Following is the copy of the letter that was sent to me:
Sri Naveen Patanaik ji
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Orissa
Sub: State Govt’s response to our demand for “Unitary University” status to our college.
In our letter dated 2nd August, 2008, we had requested you to consider the followings:
1) Pass an Act in State Assembly to declare UCE as a “Unitary University” (like Revensaw Univ.)
2) Transfer the free Government land of 400 acers adjacent to UCE campus to UCE.
3) Hike the annual grant to UCE to Rs 15 crore.
4) Give a special “Infrastructure Development Grant” of Rs 100 crore to UCE spread over three years.
We painfully recall that in 2004, our college was the choice of State Government for becoming “IIT”. But, when center agreed to give “IIT”, it was shifted to Jatni. You have written MHRD for making UCE an “NIT”, but we see least possibility of this as the new NITs will go to the states which don’t have NIT now. Therefore, “Unitary University” is the only feasible route for upgrading UCE. We have sought an appointment with Hon’ble Chief Minister, but unfortunately we are not heard.
The students of UCE have never fought for their self. We never come out in support of any such strike by other BPUT students demanding withdrawal of year-back system or so. Our fight is for the prestige and ‘swabhimaan’ of our college. If we are not assured of fulfillment of our legitimate demand by 21st of Aug,08. we will be constrained to take any step that may be required to fulfill it. We will be forced to come out to street and paralyze entire Sambalpur region including the Railways & National Highways. The people across the civic society, student unions of other institutes & political parties have already come forward to participate in our agitation. If this does not attract to notice , we will march to Bhubaneswar and ‘gherao’ the State Assembly and seek explanation from the representatives of people who will assemble there. Yet, we believe, such moments will not come; you will definitely fulfill our legitimate aspiration.
Students, UCE, Burla
Copy to: Sri Jayanarayan Mishra, Hon’ble Minister of commerce & Transport
Sri Prasanna Acharaya, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Sambalpur Constituency
Sri Kishore Mohanty, Hon’ble Speaker, Orissa Assembly
Sri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Deogarh Constituency
Smt Pramila Bohidar,MP Rajya Sabha
Sri Sanatan Bishi,Hon’ble Health Minister
Sri Surender Lath, MP Rajya Sabha
The Revenue Divisional Commissioner, Northen Division, Sambalpur
The Collector & District Magistrate, Sambalpur
The Incharge, Police Station, Burla
Superintendent of Police, Sambalpur
Industry Minister, Govt. of Orissa
Industry Secretary, Govt. Of Orissa
Principal, UCE Burla
This is a just demand. When and if the students get a chance to meet the CM and/or the govt.officials they must request that UCE Burla must be molded in the model of CUSAT, BESU (both are state universities) and the plan in Maharastra and UP to have state funded universities at the level of an IIT. Besides the demand mentioned in the above letter, to make UCE Burla really a top institution some additional steps need to be taken. For example:
It should be allowed to hire faculty from all over India (not just from Orissa or Oriyas); and have the payscale of NITs and IITs.
Its seats should be doubled but a significant percent (say 30% or perhaps 50%) should be open to all India admission either through AIEEE or IIT JEE. Because of the doubling of the seats students of Orissa will not lose out.
In other words, mold it like an NIT or IIT and it will one day be picked to get that level. (This is the same strategey that was done with, say, Institute of Physics, which was made like a central institute, and after some years, it was picked up by the central govt. Similarly, CUSAT takes students from all over India.)
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday wrote a letter to the Union Ministry of Human Resources, demanding that Burla Engineering College be accorded National Institute of Technology (NIT) status. In his letter to Union Minister of HRD Arjun Singh, the CM said the institution which was established in 1956 in an area of 200 acres, is one of the premier engineering institutes of the State. The institute provides facilities for nearly 500 students.
Following is from Dharitri.
Following are excerpts from a report in Pragativadi.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday urged the Union Human Resources Development ministry to accord National Institute of Technology (NIT) status to the Burla Engineering College.
… It may be mentioned here that there was a vociferous demand for converting the Burla Engineering College to Indian Institute of Technology soon after the Centre’s announcement to set up an IIT in Orissa.
Later, a delegation of the Old Students’ Forum, led by Sambalpur MLA and commerce and transport minister Jayanarayan Mishra had met the chief minister and submitted a memorandum to this effect.
But the state government later expressed its reluctance in this regard as it wanted the IIT location near Bhubaneswar.
The chief minister, however, urged the Centre to accord the NIT status to the premiere engineering college.
Justifying his contention, Patnaik said that the college has been providing education in nine subjects including the BTech while it has got the necessary infrastructure facility for MCA, IT and other IT related courses.
Considering the fact that the college has the reputation of imparting quality education, the chief minister said that there should be no difficulty to accord NIT status to this college.
It may be mentioned here that the former Regional Engineering College at Rourkela has already been accorded with the NIT status.
This is a good step as there are plans to have 10 more NITs during the 11th plan.
The Bengal Engineering and Science University (Besu) in Shibpur plans to invest Rs 450 crore to fine tune its syllabus and to improve infrastructure and accommodation facilities.
This is part of an attempt to nearly double its student and faculty intake. The money is a grant from the centre for the Eleventh Five Year Plan.
The institute has received the status of an Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (IIEST) from the central government. The university has also been conferred the status of Institute of National Importance (INI).
… Bhaswati Mitra, Besu, registrar said: “We will not only increase the student and faculty intake, but also completely transform the campus with introduction of e-governance and wi-fi systems. We are also looking at setting up new campuses around our existing campus in Shibpur in West Bengal and the next one in Salt Lake in Kolkata.”
Currently, the institute has about 2,500 students and 250 teachers. It has about 60 classrooms and 14 hostels for students. The institute plans to increase the number of undergraduate students by 50 per cent and award 30 more research scholarships by the end of the Eleventh Five Year Plan. The institute also plans to change its syllabus to accommodate papers in more specialisations.
The syllabus was last revised in 2004. In July 2007, it introduced three new courses � MSc in food and nutrition, postgraduation in megatronics and postgraduation in safety and occupational health.
With the grant, the institute is looking at introducing several new courses and verticals under technology, management and engineering for students over five years.
The institute is also planning a new digital library building. The number of hostels will also be increased from the 14, currently. At present, the campus has two eight-storey buildings and more such projects have been lined up.
The University plans to invest in setting up its second campus in Salt Lake in Kolkata. It has been able to locate 40 acres in Salt Lake where the University plans to offer courses in Information Technology (IT) and Management. At present, its 125-acre campus in Shibpur in West Bengal accommodates 250 and 240 students for IT and management courses respectively. …
From the academic session 2008-09, the oldest engineering college in the state will be upgraded to Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) — and conferred the status of Institute of National Importance — becoming a fully-funded central government institution.
With the shift in power, the West Bengal government will lose control — from day-to-day administration to admission of students — of the Shibpur campus.
The formalisation of the upgrade, a contentious issue over the past three years, comes weeks after the 150-year-old institution was closed sine die following violence on campus.
“We are very happy… Besu will now be part of an elite group of institutions and will excel in postgraduate studies and research,” said vice-chancellor N.R. Banerjea.
The state government was informed about the upgrade in a letter dated December 27 from Ravi Mathur, the joint secretary of the ministry of human resource development. It will be executed by amending the National Institute of Technology Act, 2007.
… Not just resource endowment and academic standard, the upgrade of Besu will bring in changes in the admission procedure and administrative structure.
Admissions to the institute will be through the All India Engineering Entrance Examination, instead of the state joint entrance examination.
As is the case with the National institutes of technology (NITs), 50 per cent of the seats will be reserved for students from Bengal.
The Uttar Pradesh government has started the process for setting up Manyawar Sri Kanshiram Uttar Pradesh Institute of Technology on the lines of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and an Indian Institute of Science (IISc) on the pattern of the prestigious Bangalore institute.
The Kanshiram institute is proposed to be set up in Lucknow while the IISc will be set up in Greater Noida. An eleven-member committee has been set up under the chairmanship of the chief secretary for the projects.
For the Kanshiram institute, the Lucknow Development Authority would provide 200 acres, while the Greater Noida Authority would give 200 acres for IISc. Both these institutes would be set up by the Rajkiya Nirman Nigam.
In a recent meeting presided over by Principal Secretary to the chief minister Shailesh Krishna, it was decided that the proposed institutes would be centres of excellence and set up under the Acts passed by the state legislatures.
With the help of TCS, Maharashtra has made a plan (3 MB file) to upgrade couple of its state engineering colleges to "IIT level." (See this 3 MB presentation for what is meant by "IIT level.") The initial colleges they have shortlisted for this are VJTI Mumbai, College of Engineering, Pune and Guru Govind Singh College of Engineering, Nanded.
Orissa should follow Maharashtra’s example and take a PPP approach to upgrade UCE Burla and CET Bhubaneswar to IIT level. (Orissa did initiate a plan to upgrade the Keonjhar School of Mines to the ISM level; but that plan has not progressed much.)
This article is mostly well argued and has a lot of information regarding recent announcements. My only issue is that it is a bit short-sighted at the end: If Andhra Pradesh can upgrade two of its existing colleges to IIESTs and still get a greenfield IIT, why should Orissa just ask for one upgradation; Orissa should ask for upgradation of UCE Burla to an IIEST and the establishment of a greenfield IIT. Also, just asking for UCE Burla to an upgradation to an IIT is a bit dangerous as the central govt. may say that they are not upgrading any institution to an IIT. If that happens we become double losers. So, Orissa govt should ask that UCE Burla be upgraded to an IIEST and Orissa should get one of the proposed 5 new IITs. Furthermore, as we have argued earlier Orissa govt, should immediately make UCE Burla a state university.