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

Ignorant attitude hurting Sambalpur

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

… the debate over Pujari’s brainchild SU Institute of Information Technology (SUIIT) has divided faculty in the varsity and educationists in the region.

While a section of them term the less than two-year old institute as the biggest success story for the varsity, others dismiss it as the culprit ruining traditional departments.

…Sadhu Charan Panda, former VC of Utkal University of Culture and a former faculty member of SU said SUIIT is the best thing that has happened to the university and to Sambalpur region to be relevant with the changing time and technology. "In less than two years of its existence, it has already attracted state-wide attention," he said.

Panda cautioned that an institutional mechanism should be put in place so that SUIIT continues to excel.

Established in 2010 as an autonomous constituent of SU, the institute imparting MCA, BTech, MTech and MSc in computer science, MSc (electronics) and MSc (bioinformatics) has proved to be a sought after institute in the region. Students from the institutes have got lucrative paid summer internships while several software companies have shown interest to come for campus recruitments, sources said. "Such a thing was an unheard of possibility for the varsity a year ago," pointed out a varsity teacher.

While the state government had given an initial budget of Rs 10 crore in 2009-10 for the institute, Rs 5 crore from Directorate of Distance and Continuing Education (DDCE) was given to it for construction of its buildings inside the varsity.

Not all are convinced with the "rare success story" eulogy for SUIIT. "Most of the courses being offered by the SUIIT were pulled out from different existing departments. It was not a new thing," said Prof B K Tripathy, senior-most professor in the university.

Electronics was taken out of physics department, computer science from mathematics while bioinformatics was pulled out from life sciences department.

These courses were already offered by the varsity, Prof Tripathy said, adding whether the consolidation has done wonders will be known after the first batch comes out of SUIIT next year.

With the varsity administration concentrating solely on SUIIT, other departments were suffering, said a teacher, adding "the varsity is getting reduced to an engineering college." Some teachers and the students’ union have questioned the logic of starting B Tech in SU.

"Most engineering colleges are not getting students for B Tech and are on the verge of closure. The VSS University of Technology, three km away from SU, is offering such a course. There was no need to start it here," reasoned Karunakar Supkar, chancellor’s nominee in the Syndicate.

The students’ union has objected to undergraduate courses being offered in the varsity where all other courses are at the post-graduate level. "The varsity was exclusively for PG students. Starting an undergraduate course was diluting its character, which is unacceptable," said student union general secretary Asis Chand.

The people with the view in blue should checkout the top universities in the world and whether they have undergraduate programs or not.

In regards to the view in yellow, Prof. Karunakar Supkar should check the statistics of what percentage of students in VSSUT are from the Sambalpur area and what percentage of students in SUIIT are from the Sambalpur area. My guess is that there are very few Sambalpur area students in VSSUT while a much larger percentage of the students in SUIIT will be from the Sambalpur area.

In previous articles we have highlighted many of the achievements of Prof. Arun Pujari.  If he is not allowed a second 3 year tenure at Sambalpur University, that would be a big loss for Sambalpur University and Sambalpur.

8 comments October 19th, 2011

Admission situation in Utkal and Sambalpur

Following is an excerpt from Shilpi Sampad’s report in Telegraph.

A university official said the sale of forms have soared this time as compared to previous years. Around 6,100 forms have already been sold at the two counters as against 7,000 last year. “We are expecting 2,000 more forms to come in. There has been an increase in sale of forms probably because more students are now opting for traditional and regular subjects,” the official said …

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

While there is just one applicant for statistics, which has 16 seats, there are very few aspirants for anthropology, food technology, bioinformatics electronics and home science.

Tripathy said there are very few colleges offering statistics at the graduation level. Hence, very few students want to pursue post-graduation in statistics. On the other hand, there are 66 applicants for 16 seats in MA or MSc mathematics.

The home science department this year has just four applicants for 16 seats. "This may be because the course had a new nomenclature this year. It was earlier called MA/MSc in home science. From this year, the varsity has changed it to MA/MSc home science (nutrition and human development) ," Tripathy said.

The varsity has got a record 250 applications for MSc Physics which has 24 seats. Some of these students will be given option to take admission in MSc electronics which has received around 10 applications for 20 seats.

The Sambalpur University Institute of Information Technology, which offers the bioinformatics and electronic courses, said students who have applied for MSc life sciences but failed to secure a seat will get a chance to take admission in MSc bioinformatics.

… Besides physics, departments of chemistry, English, sociology and political science also have received huge number of applications.

The varsity has got over 230 applications for 24 chemistry seats and 88 applications for 24 English seats. The varsity has got around 1800 applications this year for various PG courses compared to 1500 applications last session, varsity officials said.

3 comments June 29th, 2011

Several additional new programs introduced at Samablpur University

Earlier we mentioned the dynamism of the current Sambalpur University VC and some of the steps he has taken. This includes the establishment of SU-IIT (with B.Tech, M.Tech, MSc and MCA programs) and GOI funded Center for Food Science & Technology (offering an M.Tech). In addition to those, I got information regarding several additional new programs and centers. Those are:

  • A 5-year integrated BBA+LLB program starting this July.
  • Establishment of a School of Performing Arts with special thrust on Folk dance (Sambalpuri, Chhau, etc).
  • A program on Insurance and Risk Management

I also came across the following ad in today’s paper.

In general, Prof. Arun Pujari, the current VC of Sambalpur University (on-lien from University of Hyderabad, where he has been a Professor in Computer Science as well as a Dean), has made significant contributions to Sambalpur University in his short tenure; much more than any Odisha VC I know of in recent years. Unfortunately his 3-yr tenure is coming to an end in November and already this year none of the 3 VCs (Utkal U, Fakir Mohan U, and NOU) were reappointed.

I hope the Odisha Governor makes an exception and reappoints Prof. Pujari for another 3 year term so that he can stablize the various programs and centers that he initiated and established.

If that happens there is a high chance that the best two universities of Odisha will be in Sambalpur: VSSUT and Sambalpur University.

4 comments May 26th, 2011

SUIIT offers two B.Tech, two M.Tech, three M.Sc and an MCA program in its second year

It now has its own website at http://suiit.ac.in/. Following is the ad that appeared in various newspapers.

Following is a screen copy of the web page of SUIIT.

With the new B.Tech programs, Sambalpur University will become the first general university of Odisha to offer such a program. Kudos to its VC for his vision and this unique achievement.

May 13th, 2011

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

Sambalpur University on the path of progress: Samaja op-ed

3 comments July 14th, 2010

SUIIT admission announcement: Ad in Dharitri

2 comments May 3rd, 2010

Sambalpur University starts M.Tech in Food science & technology; ad for the other post graduate programs

Update:SUIIT now has a web page at http://suniv.ac.in/SUIIT.html. Thanks to kddf for the pointer.

1 comment April 30th, 2010

Faculty positions available at SUIIT (Sambalpur University Institute of Information Technology)

SUIIT (Sambalpur University Institute of Information Technology), a constituent autonomous institute of Sambalpur University is established in the same line as IIITs to offer courses in IT related areas and to have world-class research institute in IT at Sambalpur. SUIIT will offer BTech(CSE), BTech(ECE), MSc(CS), MTech(CS) and MSc(Electronics) from this academic year (2010-11). The institute will also be taking up several research projects in the area of societal applications of IT. SUIIT is looking for faculty in area of Computer Science, Electronics, Mathematics, Physics. Persons having PhD degree from reputed institutions, good publications and interested in research career in IT are requested to apply for the position. The qualification, salary, selection process and facilities are similar to that of similar nationally reputed institutions of IT such as IIITs.

Interested persons are requested to send their cvs to SUIIT c/o VC’s Secretariat, Sambalpur University, Jyoti Vihar, Sambalpur, 768019. www.suniv.ac.in phone 0663-2430158

13 comments April 10th, 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

DST funded Innovative Summer program in Science for +2 students at Sambalpur University

Kudos to the people at Sambalpur University (The VC and the others) for organizing this program. After this they should pursue the establishment of a UM-DAE CBS (Center for Excellence in Basic Sciences) type of institute associated with Sambalpur University. The current VC has the vision and ability to make it happen. Note that the VC has initiated and obtained approval and promise for funding for a IIIT type of institute at Sambalpur University and he is also pursuing a sports institute at Sambalpur University. Having these institutes will pave the way for Sambalpur University to become an elite university in the country. In this regard, there is a recent proposal to create an IVY-league type of elite league of central universities in India. Following is an excerpt from a report in Times of India on that.

An Ivy League similar to the ones in countries like US and Germany comprising topmost universities of the country will be formed within two years, announced Kapil Sibal, Union human resource development minister here on Saturday.

… Addressing the media after the VCs’ meet, Sibal said the universities in the Ivy League will be given complete autonomy without any government control in developing the staff, faculty, students and research and development.

… Sibal said that central universities will be allowed to decide on their faculty and staff strength from the coming academic year. “Based on their budgetary allocations, the universities will be allowed to decide the number of faculty positions they need,” he said.

He also said that credit transfer system will be in place from the coming academic year so that the students from one university will be allowed to attend the courses of other universities.

1 comment March 14th, 2010

Sambalpur University to have a IIIT like IT institute; State to give 10 crores.

Update: Following is from Samaja.

Following is from a report in Pioneer.

The State Government has decided to set up a technical university in Sambalpur. This university would be christened as Sambalpur University Institute of Information Technology. The State Government has provided Rs 10 crore for this institute.

The Pioneer news above is a bit inaccurate. As far as I know it will be a part of Sambalpur University. The idea was mooted by Sambalpur University VC (who was earlier a Computer Science professor at University of Hyderabad) Prof. Arun Pujari. I have seen part of the proposal. Prof. Pujari had a very good proposal. His proposal and persistent efforts to get it approved finally got enthusiastic support from the IT Secretary Mr. Pradipta Mahaptra, the RDC and the Additional Chief Secretary Mr. S. P. Nanda and higher education officials (HE Secretary Mr. M. Padhi and others) and ministry. Kudos to all of them.

With the establishment of this Odisha will soon have three IIIT type institutes in Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Sambalpur.

Special thanks to Prof. Arun Pujari. He has several other innovative plans for Sambalpur University. He has also made some very good hires in the Science disciplines at Sambalpur University.  If he continues at the current rate he will be remembered as one of the best VCs of Sambalpur University. Lets support his innovative initiatives with all our heart.

17 comments February 11th, 2010

Sambalpur University partners with Aarhaus University, a top world 100 university as per Times and SJT rankings

Following is an excerpt from an IANS report.:

Sambalpur University of Orissa has signed an MOU with Aarhus University of Denmark to foster higher education and research in different fields.

“It will help us in enhancing our knowledge base. We will certainly benefit from the exchange programmes. We will particularly be interested in sharing the knowledge where-in other universities are strong and we would also like to share the knowledge where we are strong,” said Vice Chancellor of Sambalpur University, Prof Arun K. Pujari, after the MoU was signed Saturday.

The university would get to choose a semester course from Denmark University and students from Aarhus University would also get to choose an elective course from the university.

The MoU would also facilitate faculty and student exchange programmes, restructuring educational programmes, improving language teaching through study tours.

1 comment January 10th, 2010

Prof. Arun Pujari is joining as the new vice chancellor of Sambalpur University

Following is from a report in Kalinga Times.

Odisha Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare on Tuesday appointed Arun Kumar Pujari as the new Vice-Chancellor of Sambalpur University. The post was lying vacant since the resignation of U.C. Biswal.

Pujari, who has wide experience as an academician and academic administration, is at present serving in L.N. Mittal IIT, Jaipur as Professor of Computer Science.

Born in 1954, Pujari completed his post-graduation in Mathematics in 1974 from Sambalpur University and got his PhD from IIT, Kanpur in 1980.

He had written two books such as `Data Mining Techniques’ and `Database Management System’. At least 20 scholars have already or their PhDs under his guidance.

2 comments November 5th, 2008

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