Existing Universities and institutions wanting to become universties in Odisha; Sri Sri Ravishankar to visit Odisha regarding Sri Sri University

The 30.5 lakh sq feet is equivalent to 2,83,355.4066 sq meters and is equivalent to 70.0158 acres. As a comparison:

November 20th, 2011

Govt. of Odisha has just sanctioned 96 new regular faculty positions (professors, readers and lecturers) for VSSUT Burla

Update on April 9th 2011: Here is the ad from today’s Samaja. The detailed ad is at http://www.vssut.ac.in/Faculty-2011.pdf. They list 23 Professor positions + 57 Reader positions and 50 lecturer positions. The minimum qualification for professors and readers is a Ph.D and among lecturers, at least in science and humanities, most that will be hired will have Ph.Ds. Once these positions are filled it will increase the number of Ph.D faculty in VSSUT by at least 90.

Following is from a mail sent by Prof. Rakesh Mohanty of VSSUT Burla. It also appears in the alumni site at http://vssut.org/uncategorized/history-created-by-honorable-vc-vssut-burla/.

You will be thrilled and suprised to know that under the dynamic leadership and painstaking effort of Honorable Vice-chancellor, VSSUT Burla, Govt of Orissa has sanctioned 96 New Regular faculty positions (Professors, Readers and Lecturers) for VSSUT Burla.

A great achievement for VSSUT Burla.

This is really wonderful news. If they are able to hire good people against these positions VSSUT will be one of the top technical university in the country and will be next in line for upgradation to an IIEST.

In 2006 the then UCE Burla had submitted a proposal for becoming an IIEST. At that time it had 97 positions sanctioned but with 62 faculty out of which 36 had Ph.D.

I am not sure of the current situation, but with 96 new positions, the sanctioned strength will at least become 193, which is a good number to make a claim for an IIEST.

As per a document prepared by the then UCE Burla in 2006, the then faculty strength of the colleges that were earlier shortlisted for becoming IIEST were as follows:

  • IT BHU: 229 faculty with 170 having PhD
  • UCET-Osmania U: 127 faculty with 57 having Ph.D
  • BESU: 212 faculty with 136 having Ph.D
  • UCE-Andhra U: 123 faculty with 68 having Ph.D
  • CUSAT: 206 faculty with 151 having Ph.D

So VSSUT’s claim for an IIEST will now depend on how quickly and how many Ph.D faculty they can hire. The sanctioned strength of 193 is pretty good.

Note that earlier in March 2011 VSSUT had advertised for 34 positions (23 lecturers+ 9 readers + 2 professors). See http://www.vssut.ac.in/adv_20111.pdf.

3 comments April 9th, 2011

10 more IITs? Bangalore University to push for upgradation of UVCE to IIT status.

Update: From a report in DNA.

Sources from the ministry of human resource development said that under the 12th plan, the Centre would announce 10 more IITs.

Following is an excerpt from a report in Deccan Herald.

The Bangalore University will submit a memorandum to the Union Law Minister on January 2 urging him to upgrade University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) to an Indian Institute of Technology.

"The HRD ministry has announced that it would set up ten more IITs soon. UVCE has the necessary infrastructure, expertise, faculty and students. This can be converted into an IIT with a campus at Muddenahalli," Vice-chancellor N Prabhu Dev told reporters on Friday. The memorandum will be submitted at the mega reunion event of UVCE alumni, which will be held from January 1 to 3 on the occasion of Sir Visvesvaraya’s 150th anniversary. "UVCE might remain a constituent college of BU. Even if we have to let go of the administration of UVCE, we will not mind," he added.

VSSUT Burla must be watchful and take appropriate steps at the right time.

3 comments January 1st, 2011

IGIT, CET, VSSUT, NIT RKL selected to proceed further on the TEQIP-II program

(Thanks to Biswa for the pointer.)

Update: It looks like IGIT Sarang was the only one in the 25 government colleges that are eligible (under sub component 1.1) to submit an Institutional Developmental Proposal (IDP). VSSUT and CET are in the list of Ineligible (under sub componnet 1.1) Govt. funded/aided institutions (for which the state is ready to co-sponsor) that can submit again for compliance of eligibility conditions & then submit IDPs. There are no private institutions from Odisha under sub component 1.1.

There are no eleigible institutions from Odisha under sub-component 1.2. NIT Rourkela is in the list of Non-Eligible Institutions (for which State is ready to co-sponsor) shortlisted for compliance of eligibility conditions for participation in the Project under Sub-Component 1.2.

The following table lists the institutions that applied from Oidsha, their over all scores and the problems they had (if any).

Institution Score (sub-component)
IGIT Sarang 66 (1.1) None (found eligible)
VSSUT Burla 73 (1.1) Faculty less than 50%; BOG not as per UGC
CET Bhubaneswar 63 (1.1) Faculty less than 50%; BOG not as per UGC
NIT Rourkela 57 (1.2) BOG not as per UGC
OSME Keonjhar 25 (1.1) Number of courses less than 4
Synergy, Dhenaknal 39 (1.1) BOG not as per UGC
NIST, Berhampur 35 (1.1) BOG not as per UGC
CEB, Bhubaneswar 34 (1.1) BOG not as per UGC
DRIEMS, Cuttack 36 (1.1) BOG not as per UGC
OEC, Bhubaneswar 33 (1.1) BOG not as per UGC
KISD, Bhubaneswar 37 (1.1) BOG not as per UGC
CV Raman, Bhubaneswar 46 (1.2) BOG not as per UGC

As per http://www.npiu.nic.in/faq.htm sub component 1.1 is about  Strengthening institutions to improve learning outcomes and employability of graduates and Sub-component 1.2 is about Scaling-up postgraduate education and demand driven R&D and innovation.

One  of the requirement for the BOG is that it be headed by an eminent industrialist/engineering academician with adequate representation from other stakeholders.

So it is not clear what the Telegraph article below is talking about.

As per the report in http://telegraphindia.com/1101207/jsp/orissa/story_13265662.jsp the five Colleges are:

  • DRIEMS, Tangi, Cuttack
  • NIST, Berhampur
  • CEB, Bhubaneswar
  • VSSUT, Burla
  • IGIT, Sarang

The details of the program is at http://www.npiu.nic.in/faqi.htm. From a quick reading it seems that the government institutions will get about 10 crores each and the private ones about 4 crores each.

1 comment December 7th, 2010

Cabinet has decided to establish IIESTs across the country: Union Minister for State for Science and Technology

Following is an excerpt from a report in Indian Express.

“To boost innovation in basic sciences, the government is keen on funding and establishing world class institutes. We have recently established more IITs, IISERs and institutes in pharmaceutical science. On the same lines, the Cabinet has decided to establish IIESTs across the country,” said Prithviraj Chavan, Union Minister for State for Science and Technology.

He was inaugurating a seminar on Nano Technology: Materials and Composites for Frontier Applications, organised by Bharati Vidyapeeth University. Chavan did not commit that CoEP would feature on the list of five colleges to be converted into IIESTs, but said there was a possibility because the college has been trying to get deemed university status.

Odisha should remind the central government regarding its earlier request to upgrade VSSUT, Burla to an IIEST.

8 comments November 2nd, 2010

Odisha government asks VSSUT Burla to submit a proposal to be one of the 20 universities in the country to have an innovation center and be seeded with innovation toolkits

Recall from http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/5524 where we reported the following:

… The NIC will also have innovation centres in universities and innovation clusters to create regional hubs….

“Those clusters will be selected where there is a minimum critical mass of industries of some kind and then we will give them an innovation toolkit. The toolkit will be a set of guidelines on how to innovate. Moreover, we are also selecting 20 universities, besides the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) where we can do seed innovation,” he said.

Prof Sanjay Dhande, IIT Kanpur director, who is a member of the Council, is in the process of identifying the universities which will then be given the innovation toolkit to be able to connect with industry.

We had contacted the Govt. of Odisha as well as the VCs of VSSUT and Sambalpur University about it. (I think some other people and groups may have done something similar too.)

The Government of Odisha has now asked VSSUT Burla to prepare a proposal in response to it. This is a good move. However, I think a joint proposal from VSSUT and Sambalpur University may be stronger and this is important if Prof. Dhande goes strictly by merit (without taking state representation – one from each major state — into account). Following is from Samaja. (The part in red is confusing. The reporter did not understand the difference between "Innovation University" and  "universities where GOI will seed innovation".)

2 comments September 18th, 2010

Besides IITs, 20 universities to be selected to seed innovation; VSSUT and SU should join hands and lobby for one of the 20 slots

Following is an excerpt from a report in Business Standard.


The newly constituted National Innovation Council (NIC) headed by Sam Pitroda, aims to have a $1-billion (around Rs 4,600 crore) fund to promote new ideas for inclusive development and innovation in the country.

“Our objective is to setup a $1-billion fund for the NIC but how big it will be depends on how the market reacts and how much money we are able to raise. We want to see if we can set up a large fund,” Pitroda, advisor to the PM, told Business Standard.

A week ago, the Council had announced the setting up of a fund with a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore to encourage innovation. The government will contribute 10-20 per cent to the fund with the rest coming from other sources like private funds, institutions and foundations.

Last month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had approved the establishment of the Council with a mandate to prepare a road map for the Decade of Innovation (2010-2020) by evolving an Indian model of innovation, focusing on inclusive growth and creating an appropriate ecosystem.

Going ahead, innovation councils will be set up at the state and sectoral levels and Pitroda said that five states, including Orissa and Karnataka, have already shown interest in setting up their own innovation councils. The NIC will also have innovation centres in universities and innovation clusters to create regional hubs.

It will delineate appropriate policy initiatives within the government to spur innovation. It will also promote setting up of Sectoral Innovation Councils and State Innovation Councils.

The NIC has also collaborated with industry chambers CII and Ficci to identify 20 industrial clusters in the country like Indore, Bhopal, Gandhinagar and Kanpur, among others, to provide guidelines for innovation.

“Those clusters will be selected where there is a minimum critical mass of industries of some kind and then we will give them an innovation toolkit. The toolkit will be a set of guidelines on how to innovate. Moreover, we are also selecting 20 universities, besides the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) where we can do seed innovation,” he said.

Prof Sanjay Dhande, IIT Kanpur director, who is a member of the Council, is in the process of identifying the universities which will then be given the innovation toolkit to be able to connect with industry.

Odisha should lobby to have at least one industrial cluster (perhaps Rourkela) in the list of 20 clusters and lobby to have at least one university in the list of 20 universities to which innovation toolkit will be given. I think VSSUT and Sambalpur University should join  hands to stake claim for one of the 20 university slots. Considering their proximity, it may work.


The setting up of the innovation council was approved a month month back. Following is an excerpt from another report in Business Standard.

Last month, the prime minister had approved the setting up of the council to prepare a road map for the Decade of Innovation 2010-2020. The council also launched its portal, where a compilation of scientific achievements that could be used to improve the quality of life would be available.

A similar council called National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship was formed by the Commerce Department in the USA in 2009. In July 2010 its membership was announced.

2 comments September 15th, 2010

Getting a national institute to the Sambalpur area; upgrading 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.

For some background on IIESTs see Following are screen capture of that page.

4 comments August 18th, 2010

VSSUT Burla (Sambalpur) benefits from being a unitary university: able to declare results in 17 days

Following is an excerpt from a report in Pioneer.

The Vir Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) declared the results of all its semesters for the year 2010 on Sunday, just 17 days after completion of the examinations, claimed to be the quickest time for any technical university across the country. The results are also available on www.vssut.ac.in, the university’s website.

Vice-Chancellor Deba Kumar Tripathy thanked all the teachers for their sincere efforts in making this feasible and said this would help the students, especially the final year students, continue their future plans and pursue higher studies.

It is a matter of pride for the teachers and the students of the VSSUT since the Vice-Chancellor, who also was the Odisha-JEE chairman for this year, proved the worth of the Unitary University status given to this college in the recent past and also stood up to its expectations of conducting the JEE as well its own exams as smoothly as it could have been, admitted the students. It is a fact that the VSSUT conducted its all end-semester exams and published its results before the BPUT exams.

13 comments May 31st, 2010

Andhra’s recruiting of IITians as faculty for its 3 recent IIITs

In 2008 Andhra created 3 new IIITs in rural areas of the state. These three IIITs at Basar, Nuzvid and RK Valley are the components of the newly established Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies. Following are excerpts from a report in Times of India that talks about hiring of faculty for these IIITs.

The institutes are going through a crisis at present due to inadequate faculty and lack of infrastructure because of which the state government has decided to reduce the intake of students by half — from 6,000 per year to 3,000 — from the coming academic year.

… “About 140 post-graduates from the five Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore have come forward to teach the rural students even though they have lucrative offers on hand from the corporate sector and international institutes,” said R V Raja Kumar, vice chancellor of the Rajiv Gandhi University for Knowledge Technologies under which the three institutes function.

At least half of the selected post-graduates and PhDs are Andhrites and have expressed their willingness to stay among the students and impart engineering education in the country, the VC said. Raja Kumar himself is an IITian from Kharagpur. “The hunt for talent will continue. We want to recruit post-graduates from the institutes of national and international repute in the country,” the VC said.

.. “This is for the first time in India that campus recruitment is being done by a university for the recruitment of the faculty. The response has been very encouraging and several post-graduates have volunteered to join the institutes located in remote areas,” said Raja Kumar.

In Odisha KIIT has been recruiting heavily from IITs. We reported on it in http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/2492. I hope the Odisha government engineering colleges, IIIT Bhubaneswar, SUIIT and VSSUT follow a similar approach and go for campus recruitment in the IITs.

The program at these IIITs in Andhra are different from programs anywhere else. See http://www.rgukt.in/program.html. They offer 6 year dual degree programs after the 10th class and take students mainly from the rural areas.

May 2nd, 2010

IIT act to be ammended to include medicine; Despite objections by the Health Ministry IIT Kharagpur to start medical school in collaboration with Indian Railways

Following is an excerpt from a report in Times of India.

In a written reply in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, minister of state for HRD D Purandeshwari said the ministry has decided to amend the IIT Act, the law that governs IITs, to include medical science. The health ministry had said that IITs should not be allowed to start conventional courses in medicine.

The amendment, Purandeshwari said, would help IITs to offer programmes bringing together the diverse disciplines of medicine and engineering. Referring to the health ministry’s objection, she said, "However, appreciating the fact that the modern trends in medical education and research in technology and medicine in all the developed and most of the developing countries are seen hand-in-hand, the government proposes to incorporate `medicine’ in the IIT Act."

Purandeswari said the programme would bring the two important disciplines of medicine and engineering together.

… IIT Kharagpur has come up with a concrete proposal in this regard and plans to start a medical college in collaboration with Indian Railways. At a meeting of experts in the health ministry in February this year, it was observed that IITs should start courses on health information technology, biomedical engineering and e-health rather than running a hospital or starting MBBS courses.

There are several lessons that Odisha can draw from this.

  • As Purna Mishra suggested in a comment, VSSUT and the VSS Medical College in Burla should combine to form a single university.
  • NIT Rourkela and IIT Bhubaneswar should consider adding a medical college as part of the institute; NIT could include the proposed ESI medical college and IIT could include the proposed Railways medical college.

April 22nd, 2010

New dynamic VCs lead the Sambalpur region towards a knowledge hub

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.
  • Demography: See http://www.orissalinks.com/orissagrowth/archives/2715
  • Infrastructure:

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.

March 14th, 2010

15 crores in the Union Budget for converting BESU to IIEST

Item 69 of the MHRD Department of Higher Education budget has 15 crores for IIEST. The explanation later says the following:

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.

11 comments February 26th, 2010

VSSUT Burla marching foward; campus to be known as Siddhi Vihar

Following is an excerpt from a report in Pioneer.

… Since both large and medium scale industries are coming in good numbers all over the State and particularly surrounding this technical university, more job-oriented courses will be opened soon to create employment avenues for the students. The new courses will be water resources management, industrial power control and electric drives, material technology, manufacturing system engineering etc, informed Tripathy.

He also informed that all the vacancies in teaching and non-teaching posts would be filled up soon to convert this age-old institution to a full-fledged university.

… Tripathy informed that efforts are being made to give the entire campus a total new look by naming the campus as ‘Siddhi Vihar’ and the hostels after the Saptarshi Mandal.

… students of the university have stood first in the Robotic event at IIT Kharagpur recently. At the same time, it had successfully organised Samavesh-2010 with 2500 engineering students belonging to different engineering colleges all over the State. “There is possibility of getting Rs.10-20 crore aid from the World Bank for research activities,” Swain informed.

2 comments February 19th, 2010

NIT Rourkela: Orissa’s top nationally ranked academic institution and Rourkela’s shining jewel

I was going through NIT Rourkela’s website. Although it has been always ranked pretty high (good research ranking, high ranking by India Today) among engineering colleges in India, over the last few years it is turning into a comprehensive university with new departments and programs. Prof. Sunil Sarangi has done wonders since he has arrived as the director of NIT Rourkela. Following are some of the highlights of the unique programs, new programs and new departments.

Note: Among the above departments, the Applied Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics departments are not new but I think the M.Sc programs are new; I could not find when exactly they were started.

As one can notice from the above, one can do degrees in Molecular Biology or Humanities at NIT Rourkela. Soon one can pursue an MBA. This is really wonderful and kudos to Prof. Sarangi for making this happen.

In August this year when I met Prof. Sarangi in Orissa I broached the topic of having a medical college at NIT Rourkela. He was not opposed to the idea, but was worried that with only 1-2 years left in his tenure at NIT Rourkela, he would not be able to make it happen in that short time. I hope a way is found so that Prof. Sarangi stays for another 5 year term at NIT Rourkela. I am told every one likes him and respects him at NIT Rourkela. We should  write him and thank him for all that he has done for NIT Rourkela, request him to stay longer in Rourkela and we should do something (perhaps write to CMO and MHRD) to give him another 5 year term. We should request Prof. Sarangi to start a medical college at NIT Rourkela. His parent institution, IIT Khragpur is starting one in Kharagpur, so if he is given time, he will be able to do it. Another program that NIT Rourkela should be encouraged  to establish is "Architecture and Town Planning".  (In this regard, NIT Warangal leads the pack of NITs in planning for a medical school and a law school.)

For our readers with Rourkela connection please spread the word about the availability of science, business and humanities programs at NIT Rourkela so that good students and faculty join these programs. Also, some of you students, go and pursue higher degrees (PhD) and come back and join NIT Rourkela and to the others become an entrepreneur and open companies in Rourkela. 

Another good thing about all of these is that with the new VC at VSSUT Burla, who is also from IIT Khragapur and a good friend of Prof. Sarangi , a similar transformation can be expected at VSSUT Burla. Already, a new department of Humanities is being made at VSSUT Burla. VSSUT Burla has advertised for new faculty positions and its VC has mentioned some of his new plans. In an interview to TOI he is reported to have said: 

Our priority will be to make the institution as one of the best of the country and for this we are planning to introduce few new branches of engineering courses. Textile engineering is one among them which will help to strengthen the development of the Sambalpuri fabric. We also plan to introduce Nano-science technology, Bio-medical engineering and surgical engineering soon”, the vice chancellor Dr Tripathy told.

6 comments December 19th, 2009

VSSUT Burla advertises for faculty positions

The ad is at http://www.uceburla.ac.in/downloads/docs/adv_qua.pdf. Following are images of the ad.

December 8th, 2009

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