BACKGROUND OF IIT PROPOSED IN ORISSA
1 Central Government was earlier considering upgradation of a few selected existing institutions to Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) level. On the proposal of the State Government, it was agreed to consider upgradation of one institution in Orissa.
2 It is learnt that the Government of India has now proposed to establish three greenfield IITs under the 11th Five-Year Plan. Originally, Orissa was included in this proposal, which was also announced by Honourable Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development (HRD) Shri M.A.A. Fatmi on 28th August at Patna. However, recent new reports state that the greenfield IITs will be set up in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan, while Orissa has been excluded.
3 The original choice of Orissa was one that had received State wide support and created enthusiasm. The recent news of it being shifted elsewhere has caused widespread disappointment.
4 Separately, the Governing Body of IIT Kharagpur has approved a full fledged campus in Bhubaneswar by upgrading its existing extension centre, entailing an investment of Rs. 800 – 900 crores. The proposal is awaiting the clearance of Ministry of Human Resources Development (MoHRD), Government of India (GoI). The State Government has offered 300 acres of land free of cost for this project.
5 Honourable Chief Minister of Orissa Shri Naveen Patnaik has written to Honourable Prime Minister of India for considering Orissa as the location of one of the greenfield IITs and for expediting the MoHRD sanction to branch campus of IIT Kharagpur.
RATIONALE FOR TOP PRIORITY OF ESTABLISHING AN IIT’S IN ORISSA
1 Orissa is today poised to emerge as the mining, metals, manufacturing and power generation hub of the country with investment proposals amounting to over Rs. 400, 000 crore. Out of this, over Rs. 30,000 crore investment has already materialised, creating employment opportunities, direct and indirect, for about 30,000 persons.
2 The State has also made considerable headway in promoting technical institutions at ITI, diploma and degree levels, which provides the required critical mass to support institutions of higher learning of the level of an IIT.
3 Orissa has the highest concentration of engineering colleges in eastern India and with the current rate of growth, it is expected to be amongst the top States in the country in the very near future.
4 In recent years Orissa has developed a large number of new (mostly private) engineering and MCA colleges and an IIT that grants M.Tech and Ph.D degrees will significantly help in improving the faculty quality of the Orissa engineering colleges, as their faculty can more easily pursue a higher degree at the IIT and can collaborate with IIT faculty. If India were to maintain its growth, India’s engineering colleges have to improve their faculty quality drastically and the new IITs should contribute to that. As one of the emerging hubs for technical education in the country, Orissa greatly deserves an IIT.
5 The vibrant growth in the industrial sector and the technical education sector in the State provides enormous potential for industry and institution linkages, which includes research development activities. Establishment of an IIT in Orissa will greatly facilitate in intensifying this process, which is of critical importance to make the industry globally competitive.
6 Today, Orissa is playing host to the biggest ever FDI projects in the country such as POSCO and Arcelor Mittal steel projects. The presence of such strong industrial players will definitely provide required synergy for an IIT level institution to realize its full potential. Many of the existing & upcoming industries would be able to leverage the presence of an IIT to boost Research & Development (R&D) activities, and they are also very keen to forge varied forms of partnerships with the IIT.
7 Government of India is requested for establishment of a greenfield IIT in Orissa, which would go a long way in supporting the rapid industrial growth in the State by producing highly qualified technical and managerial personnel as well as the much needed R&D support.
8 State Government while recommending the proposal has also conveyed its willingness to provide 300 acres of land free of cost for the prestigious project of IIT Kharagpur to have a full campus in Bhubaneswar with a final intake capacity of 5000 students. MoHRD, GoI is requested to expedite the approval of the same as well.
9 Orissa finds itself at the bottom of per capita funding through MOHRD, which is not at all justified. The establishment of a greenfield IIT in Orissa along with full branch of IIT Kharagpur shall help in improving this unbalanced and skewed position.