DVC to set up R & D center at Rajrahat with the help of IIT Kharagpur

Following is an excerpt from a report in http://www.domain-b.com/economy/general/20080419_expansion.html.

As the country marches ahead on the path of progress its energy needs are continuously growing, the state-owned Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) is all geared up to rise to this challenge. The entity is even mulling going public to raise funds for its aggressive expansion plans. All such details were unveiled at Kolkata yesterday by the union minister of state for power Jairam Ramesh. …

He added that DVC would set up a world-class research and development centre at Rajarhat Township near Kolkata, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, at an investment of Rs.100 crore, for which land has already been acquired.

Now we have some idea on what is happening with IIT Kharagpur’s branch campus plan in Kolkata. Orissa should rope in companies like NALCO and OMC for enhancing the  Bhubaneswar center of IIT Kharagpur.

April 19th, 2008

IIT and politics: Editorial in Samaja

1 comment February 6th, 2008

Arjun Singh has different rules for Orissa and Madhya Pradesh: ISM Dhanbad can have an extension center in MP that offers regular courses but IIT Kharagpur can not do so in Orissa

Following is an excerpt from a recent report in Telegraph.

The Jharkhand-based Indian School of Mines University — premier Union government institute on par with IIMs and IIT — is looking beyond the state.

The mines school started in 1926 on the lines of Royal School of Mines in England claimed that an indifferent attitude of the government apparently forced it to open an extension centre at Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh.

The Union human resource department has given its nod for the project.

“The MP government is ready to provide us about 50 acres. ISM would be opening a mining centre and clean coal technology centre there. It would take a few more years before the extension centre starts regular engineering, management and other courses,” said P.S. Gupta, ISM dean, students’ welfare.

Now consider this earlier news.

The HRD ministry has snowballed the plan of IITs to open new campuses. The first to be hit are the top three IITs of the country at – Delhi, Mumbai and Kharagpur.

In a policy directive, the HRD ministry has rejected the idea of opening satellite campuses in places far off from the main campus, citing huge costs involved. The decision was taken after number of IITs approached the HRD ministry seeking its views on opening new campuses.

While IIT Delhi was formulating a plan for Gurgaon, the proposal of IIT Mumbai for Gujarat and IIT Kharagpur for Bhubaneswar have already been rejected by the HRD ministry. "We are against the concept of opening satellite campuses as it may dilute the standard of education in premier institutes like IITs," a senior ministry official told HT.

IIT Kharagpur, which has a small campus functioning in Bhubaneswar, offering post-graduate diplomas, wanted the ministry’s permission to expand the existing campus and convert it into satellite campus offering undergraduate courses. Even Orissa Chief Minister Navin Pathnaik had written to the HRD minister Arjun Singh requesting a IIT in Orissa or providing full-fledged IIT like facilities in the existing campus to improve higher education in the state.

15 comments January 9th, 2008

Pioneer: Center yet to decide on IIT in Orissa

Following is an excerpt from a report in Pioneer.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh is yet to decide the fate of the proposed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Orissa. Repeated reminders by the State Government and demands continuously raised by the intelligentsia seem to have no effect on the Centre.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his address to the nation on the Independence Day this year, had, inter-alia, announced the setting up of eight new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the country during the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

On December 3, after five months of the Prime Minister’s announcement, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development D Purandeswari told Rajya Sabha that no decision has been taken on Orissa and Uttar Pradesh in this matter. She said the Central Government has received requests from various State Governments, including Governments of Uttar Pradesh and Orissa, to set up new IITs in their States.

Based on the recommendation of the Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) to the Prime Minister, the Union Government has already decided to establish three new IITs, one each in Bihar in the East, Rajasthan in the West and Andhra Pradesh in the South, during the 11th Plan period, she said.

The SAC to the PM was set up under the chairmanship of Prof CNR Rao. The decision on the locations of the remaining institutes has not yet been taken, Purandeswari said.

Recently, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also written a letter along with a Vision Document asking for an IIT, IIM and IIIT for the State.

December 5th, 2007

PIBs on new IITs: Orissa has sent a request

Update: Tathya.in wrote an article on this. Pioneer also wrote about this.

Following is from the PIB http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=33600.

Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh in his address delivered to the Nation on the occasion of the 60th Independence Day had, inter-alia, announced the setting up of eight new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the country during the Eleventh Five Year Plan. The Central Government have received requests from various State Governments including Governments of Uttar Pradesh & Orissa to set up new IITs in their States. Based on the recommendation of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, under the Chairmanship of Prof. C.N.R. Rao, the Government have already decided to establish three new IITs, one each in Bihar in the East, Rajasthan in the West and Andhra Pradesh in the South, during the 11th Plan period. Decision on the location of the remaining Institutes has not yet been taken.

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

Following is from another PIB http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=33599.

Madhya Pradesh is already having various centrally funded technical educational institutions viz. Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), Bhopal; Atal Bihari Vajpayee Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (ABV-IITM), Gwalior; Pt. Dwarka Prasad Mishra Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing (PDPM-IITDM), Jabalpur and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Indore. Further, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) has been approved to be established in Bhopal. Planning Commission has given its ‘in-principle’ approval for setting up a School of Planning and Architecture in Bhopal. At present there is no proposal to upgrade Atal Bihari Vajpayee Indian Institute of Information Technology & Management, Gwalior (ABVIIITMG) as an IIT.

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

1 comment December 3rd, 2007

IIT extension centers ok; branch campuses NOT.

Following is from the PIB http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=32762.

Requests have been received from the State Governments of Kerala and Gujarat for setting up of satellite campuses of IIT-Madras and IIT-Bombay respectively in their States. However, the Government has taken a decision that establishment of large satellite campuses with regular Bachelor and Master Programmes amount to setting up of new IITs should be avoided. The Government, however, has no objection to the setting up of small extension centres of existing IITs outside their main campuses, devoted to continuing education, diploma courses, finishing schools, incubation programmes, etc.

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

In this regard, one may note that, IIT Kharagpur has an extension center in Bhubaneswar and had earlier signed an MOU with Govt. of Orissa to make a branch campus in Bhubaneswar. It had submitted a proposal to MHRD on this. But with the above clarification, IIT Kharagpur’s branch campus proposal in Bhubaneswar goes to cold storage for now.

1 comment November 19th, 2007

Arjun Singh at odds with the PM, Planning Commission and the Knowledge Commission?

Our earlier report http://www.orissalinks.com/?p=746 supports this to some extent. Following is  from an article in merinews.com written by Ashok K. Jha.

This government, …, had constituted a knowledge commission under Sam Pitroda who, encouraged by Rajiv Gandhi, had set up Centre for Developments of Telematics and C-Dot in the early eighties, which proved a catalyst for the Telecommunication Revolution that we are witnessing today. Many prominent personalities are also the members of this commission. After months of brainstorming and research the commission recommended its suggestions to the government.
But there are some politicians in our country who accord their personal ego and interests above country’s welfare and progress. Many analysts feel that there are some ministers in this government who embody that description.
Human Resource Minister, Arjun Singh kept ignoring the recommendations of the commission for reasons best known to him only. But recently, the minister hesitatingly met the Knowledge Commission Chairman, Sam Pitroda for a few minutes and heard him out. It is speculated that the minister might have been asked to mend his ways and cooperate with the Commission.
Arjun Singh was not impressed by the recommendatation of the commission and deliberately chose to ignore the suggestions of the commission until the Prime Minister himself took up the matter and declared the road map that his government intended to follow in accordance with the recommendations. Prime Minister had announced from the ramparts of the Red Fort that very soon every state would have a central university and the number of premier engineering and management institutes would be increased. He also said that in order to impart technical training at the grassroot level, thousands of technical institutes would be opened and the private sector will also be encouraged to participate.
But the fact is that there is a shortage of technical professionals and the situation will continue to look grim unless some drastic measures are implemented speedily. Manpower has become an asset for India and this will play a greater role in the future as the world population is ageing whereas the youth constitute greater percentage of India’s population.
The world has become a global village now and if India is not able to match its pace with the rest of the world, then, very soon it will be another story of opportunity missed.
Arjun Singh does not seem to care a bit and is not willing to act unless it results in some kind of a political dividend for him.
It might sound amusing as he might himself not remember when he won any election last. In fact, in spite of being beaten in elections repeatedly, he became a minister only for his consistent loyalty to the Gandhi family. He should have realised his limitations and spent his energy in keeping his benefactors in good humour. Strangly, he became ambitious and started tinkering in everything like his predecessor, Murli Manohar Joshi used to do.

Whatever developmental strides India is making now is due to its ‘knowledge workforce’ and to gain the much aspired momentum, our education system needs to be drastically changed. But what would be the result if the minister himself starts obstructing all such initiatives on the ground that any such move would not yield any political dividends for him? The Prime Minister should act firmly now otherwise there are many politicians who can’t foresee beyond personal interests. They must be made to realise and mend their follies in the larger interest of the public they are elected to serve.

Many people in Orissa have similar feelings about Arjun Singh for:

  1. Hijacking the idea of a tribal central university that was originally proposed by the Chief Minister of Orissa.(See http://www.orissalinks.com/?p=259 and www.orissalinks.com/)
  2. For changing the name of NIS to IISER and shifting it out of Orissa. (See http://iiser.blogspot.com) This was later corrected by the PM announcing the establishment of NISER through DAE.
  3. For taking away an announced for IIT in Orissa. (See http://iitorissa.org)
  4. For denying IIT Kharagpur’s proposal to set up a branch campus in Bhubaneswar, even after he had agree to it verbally when talking to Orissa’s CM. (See http://iitorissa.org)

1 comment October 20th, 2007

Briefs on the IIT in Orissa issue at the Resident Commissioner’s website

The following is from http://rc.orissa.gov.in/index3.asp?linkid=53&sublinkid=209. It was prepared by the industries department in late February 2007.


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.


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.

October 19th, 2007

Some news on the locations of new IITs and IIMs

Following are excerpts from a Business Standard report.

The eight new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and seven new Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced, are likely to come up in the states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.

An official source said the government was working on ways to give these institutes an even, regional spread.

The states will be selected on the basis of their economic and social status. A count is being done on the number of engineering and management colleges that these states have currently and their student population.

For instance, Jammu and Kashmir has a high chance of getting either an IIT or an IIM as it has only five engineering colleges and four management colleges affiliated to the University of Jammu and University Kashmir.

Among the states in the West, Rajasthan could also be considered as Gujarat and Maharashtra already have an IIM and an IIT, respectively. In the East, with Shillong having an IIM now and Guwahati having an IIT, Mizoram and Nagaland could stand a chance, said a source close to the development.

Among the southern states, Andhra Pradesh could get an IIM or an IIT as Bangalore and Kozhikode have an IIM each and Chennai boasts of an IIT.

The idea of choosing these states to establish these centres of excellence is to maintain a regional balance in the country. This will be done keeping in mind the government?s inclusive growth agenda, the source added.

This is a very speculative news and the writer is unaware that IITs for Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan have already been announced, and IIMs for Bihar and Andhra Pradesh have also been announced earlier.

In regards to Orissa, if it comes down to be a choice between an IIT and an IIM, it is definitely preferable to get an IIT, as Orissa already has a top notch business school in XIM, an IIT can have its own business school, and the investment in an IIT is more than 10 times than that of an IIM.

Business Standard also has another article. Following are some excerpts from it.

Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced the setting up of   eight new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), seven Indian Institutes of  Management (IIMs) and 30 central universities in his Independence day  speech, the government is shortlisting states where the institutes will be located.

Economic Times also has a report which talks about the difficulty and impact of having so many new IITs and IIMs.

2 comments August 21st, 2007

India produces 40 PhDs in Computer Science/yr to US’s 1400/yr and China’s 3000/yr

Dr. R. K. Ghosh pointed us to a Forbes article by the Editor in Chief of JACM. Following is an excerpt from it.

The U.S. produces about 1,400 Ph.D.s in computer science annually and China about 3,000. By stark comparison, India’s annual computer science Ph.D. production languishes at roughly 40. That number is about the same as that for Israel, a nation with roughly 5% of India’s population size.

While India needs all the new IITs, IIITs and Central Universities that the PM announced during his Aug 15 speech, one wonders where from these institutions will get Ph.Ds for their faculty. The government and the IT industry must brainstorm together and come up with a strategy to tackle this. Following are some initial un-coordinated half-baked thoughts.

  • Start motivating good students from an early age about the value of research. This can be done through science magnet schools.
  • In IITs and IISc and may be a few other selected institutions have a track similar to MD/PH.D tracks in US medical schools. Students in this track would pursue a B.Tech-P.hD program (no need for MS) and would be given a generous stipends.
  • To allow more time for IIT/IISc faculty to pursue research and guide Ph.D students these institutions (especially their CS depts.) should take in more M.Tech students and let them do most of the teaching.
  • Government should open special graduate centers in IT/Computer Science (may be as branches of exisiting IITs) that only focus on research. For example, the IIT Kharagpur center in Bhubaneswar may house a faculty of 5-10 CS  professors and offer *only* a Ph.D program in computer science. Such centers may have affiliated faculty (who have Ph.Ds) from nearby engineering colleges. Such centers should be slowly opened in every metropolitan area with 15+ engineering colleges.  (The IIITs could have served this purpose but it seems most IIITs are focusing on undergraduate education. Exceptions are IIIT Hyderabad, which has a good research program; IIIT Bangalore which only offers M.Tech and Ph.D and the nascent IIIT Bhubaneswar which will also only have M.Tech and Ph.D program, at least in the beginning. )
  • Government needs to offer better salary and perks to professors so that more students are attracted to a career in academia.

82 comments August 17th, 2007

Analyzing the educational aspect of the PM’s independence day speech and its implication to Orissa

The PM’s independence day speech will be remembered for a long time for its groundbreaking educational steps. Here, we analyze them vis-a-vis Orissa.

  • K-12
    • "We will support 6,000 new high quality schools — one in every block of the country"   [Orissa has 314 blocks. Currently the central govt has three kinds of schools: Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas and Ekalabya Vidyalayas. My guess is these will be Navodaya Vidyalayas. Until now, Navodaya Vidyalayas were being made one per district. Extending it to one per block will do wonders.]
  • Higher education
    • "We will also ensure that adequate numbers of colleges are set up across the country, especially in districts where enrollment levels are low. We will help States set up colleges in 370 such districts."  [Orissa has 30 districts. As per the NSSO study of 2004-2005, Table 3.14.1 shows that in the 15-19 age group 29% people in Orissa are attending school/college and in the 20-24 age group this number for Orissa is 6.1%. (Both numbers are lowest among all but the small states/UTs of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep.) For the Scheduled Tribe population these numbers are 17.1% for the 15-19 age group and 4.1% for the 20-24 age group.]
    • "We will set up thirty new Central Universities. Every state that does not have a central university will now have one." [Orissa does not have one so it should get one. But considering that there are 23 other existing central universities, making it a total of 53 central universities, Orissa should get two.]
    • "we are setting up five new Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research" [The five IISERs are at Pune, Kolkata, Mohali, Bhopal, and Trivendrum. A NISER is being set up in Bhubaneswar.]
    • "eight new Indian Institutes of Technology" [Three of these IITs are announced to be in Bihar, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. Orissa should get one of the other five IITs.]
    • "seven new Indian Institutes of Management" [Announcements have been made with respect to Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Shillong. If Orissa gets a new IIT then its chance of getting a new IIM this round is much less. Orissa should try though.]
    • "twenty new Indian Institutes of Information Technology." [There will be one in each main states, including Orissa, which does not have one. Existing ones are at Allahabad, Amethi, Jabalpur, and Gwalior and a new one is being established at Kanchipuram. ]
  • Vocational Education
    • "We will soon launch a Mission on Vocational Education and Skill Development, through which we will open 1600 new industrial training institutes (ITIs) and polytechnics, 10,000 new vocational schools and 50,000 new Skill Development Centres."
    • "We will ensure that annually, over 100 lakh students get vocational training – which is a four-fold increase from today’s level."
  • More scholarships
    • "We should seek not just functional literacy, but good quality education – education that is affordable, accessible, equitable – and available to every boy and girl who seeks to study. For the needy we will provide more scholarships."

5 comments August 16th, 2007

PM’s Independence day speech: 30 new central universities, 8 new IITs, 7 new IIMs

Following are the relevant excerpts from the Prime Minister’s independence day speech(TOI) (Hindu)(PIB)

Towards this end, our Government has decided to invest in setting up good quality schools across the country. We will support 6,000 new high quality schools — one in every block of the country. Each such school will set standards of excellence for other schools in the area.

As our primary education programmes achieve a degree of success, there is growing demand for secondary schools and colleges. We are committed to universalizing secondary education. An extensive programme for this is being finalized.

We will also ensure that adequate numbers of colleges are set up across the country, especially in districts where enrolment levels are low. We will help States set up colleges in 370 such districts.

The University system, which has been relatively neglected in recent years, is now the focus of our reform and development agenda. We will set up thirty new Central Universities. Every state that does not have a central university will now have one.

In order to promote science and professional education, we are setting up five new Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, eight new Indian Institutes of Technology, seven new Indian Institutes of Management, and twenty new Indian Institutes of Information Technology. These will generate new educational opportunities for our youth. I am sure that, working together, we can ensure that at least a fifth of our children go to college as compared to one-tenth now.

The vast majority of our youth seek skilled employment after schooling. Last year I spoke the need for a Vocational Education Mission. Such a Mission is ready to be launched. We will soon launch a Mission on Vocational Education and Skill Development, through which we will open 1600 new industrial training institutes (ITIs) and polytechnics, 10,000 new vocational schools and 50,000 new Skill Development Centres.

We will ensure that annually, over 100 lakh students get vocational training – which is a four-fold increase from today’s level. We will seek the active help of the private sector in this initiative so that they not only assist in the training but also lend a hand in providing employment opportunities.

We should seek not just functional literacy, but good quality education – education that is affordable, accessible, equitable – and available to every boy and girl who seeks to study. For the needy we will provide more scholarships.

I wish to see a revolution in the field of modern education in the next few years. It is my fervent desire that India becomes a fully educated, modern, progressive nation. From this historic Red Fort, I would like this message to go to every corner of India – we will make India a nation of educated people, of skilled people, of creative people.

This is the first time eight new IITs have been formally and officially mentioned. Three of these were previously announced to be in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar. So it would be a shame if Orissa does not get one of the remaining five.

1 comment August 15th, 2007

Orissa’s dismal performance in IIT entrance examinations; no one cares

The Telegraph has an article titled "IIT wake-up bell for backbencher Bengal" where it rues the low performance of students from Bengal in the IIT entrance exams. It concludes with: "Fewer students from Bengal in the IITs and IIMs mean fewer decision makers of tomorrow from Bengal." Orissa has been doing much worse than Bengal, but hardly anyone in Orissa is worried about it. Its time decision makers in Orissa, start worrying about it and taking corrective actions.

5 comments July 16th, 2007

Tathya.in: PM promises IIT for Orissa (Is this for real? )

The Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh has once again came to support Orissa with an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Dr.Singh said that “there will be an IIT in Orissa”. The Prime Minister’s commitment came during a meeting with J B Patnaik, the Leader of Opposition (LOP) of Orissa. JB met Dr.Singh on June 23 at New Delhi. Speaking to tathya.in JB disclosed the information. According to Mr.Patnaik , the PM was categorical about Orissa and said “I am aware of the demands for an IIT in the state and it will be set there”. PM’s assurance came in the face of the resistance of Arjun Singh, the Minister Human Resources Development (HRD) to support Orissa with institutions of higher learning. Dr.Singh said as per his promise, funding for National Institute Science Education and Research (NISER) is finalized. He said that Rs.800 crore is being funded to NISER, which is being approved by the Union Cabinet. The PM said that Orissa is included in all the Flag Ship Programs of the UPA Government at the Centre. On the demand to include Cuttack in the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Dr.Singh not only assured but has asked the Ministry of Urban Development (MUD) to prepare plan accordingly. Connecting the broad gauge railway line from Gunupur to Theruvali, Dr.Singh asked the railway authorities to include it in the expansion plan of the Ministry of Railways (MoR). The Naupada-Gunupur railline is being converted to broad gauge but the MoR dubbling Gunupur-Theruvali, a poor economic returns line has shelved the expansion project. Mr.Patnaik said that Dr.Singh has given assurance in this regard to take up the expansion work up to Theruvali.

3 comments June 26th, 2007

Rejoinder to Mr. Jairam Ramesh’s comments in Bhubaneswar on the IIT Orissa issue

Dear Mr. Ramesh:

I read about your visit to Bhubaneswar and some news reports and quotes of yours in Statesman. (See article below.)

1. One of them says:

“I do not want to score political points but what if I ask what were these people doing in all the six years that the NDA was in power. The IIT could have come up in six years time , what were you (the BJD) doing when all that you needed was to take up the file to Mr Vajpayee and he would have signed it,” shot back Mr Ramesh.

2. Another paragraph of that report says:

Repeatedly emphasising that he was one with the demand of the state for institutes of higher education, Mr Ramesh said at the same time, one should realise that an IIT will solve the problem of unemployment. Has Kanpur IIT contributed in any way to Kanpur? In fact, IITs have contributed more to the US economy than Indian economy, he remarked.


Mr. Ramesh: I don’t know if your intent was to score political points or if this is your thinking. You are quoted as saying that “you do not want to score political points”, so these must be your real views.
(1′) Your comment (1) implies that a state can get an IIT (or similar institute) only when its coalition is in power in Delhi. Do you really mean that? So is the UPA government in Delhi only for states with UPA friendly governments and the rest should go to hell in regards to higher education institutions? Not only that you seem to be implying that it is not right (timing) for Orissa to ask for an IIT now because the ruling party of the state is not aligned with the center.

Continue Reading June 21st, 2007

Ex and founding VC of BPUT Prof. Damodar Acharya will be IIT Kharagpur director from July 2007

UNI reports that Prof. Damodar Acharya, currently the Chairman of AICTE will become the director of IIT Kharagpur. Prior to being the AICTE Chairman he was the founding vice Chancellor of BPUT. At that time he had discussed with the Orissa government the importance of getting an IIT to Orissa and had led the development of Orissa government’s proposal for an IIT. Last year, while he was at AICTE, again with his help, the IIT Kharagpur branch campus in Bhubaneswar idea was made to a formal proposal. Now that he will be the director of IIT Kharagpur, lets hope that he takes some additional steps towards the fruition of a IIT Kharagpur branch in Bhubaneswar. Following is a biography from the AICTE pages.

Continue Reading 1 comment June 16th, 2007

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