Prof. Gopabandhu Behera and Dr. A. K. Nanda, who are also the Governing Body member of Vedanta Science College were also present.
Mr.C Joseph, in-charge of the Vedanta Science College, Nabakrushna Panda, Principal, Government Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna, S P Nanda, Principal, Government, Women’s College, Bhawanipatna, Sudershan Rath, Principal, Bisamcuttack College and Bharat Rath, Principal Rayagada Government College also graced the conference.
The objective of the conference was to make the people conscious about the value of science education at degree level as well as to discuss about the proposed Vedanta Science College at Lanjigarh.
Dr. Kumar, President and COO, VAL, said, “Vedanta Science College was a long pending demand of the people of Western Ordisha.
He said that Vedanta is committed to create a state of art Science College that will promote quality science education in Western Odisha.
Quality Science education can help in developing technical manpower for industrialization in the state, he added.
The proposed Vedanta Science College will start its academic session from 2011.
The institution will provide education in subjects of Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Mathematics, Zoology, and Environmental Science.
It should be noted that there are very few (could be zero) fully private (i.e., without depending on state grants) science colleges in Odisha. Even the government ones and private ones that depend on state grants do not have good infrastructure and do not have adequate quality faculty. The more well known private higher education institutions of the state focus on trade oriented disciplines like engineering, management, medicine, pharmacy, biotechnology etc. so that they can charge adequate amount of student tuition. This includes deemed universities like KIIT and SOA and the private state university Centurion. None have science programs at the Bachelors level.
So if the Vedanta Science college in Lanjigarh becomes a good quality science college, then it would be a big boon to Kalahandi and Rayagada districts and hopefully it will also encourage other private groups to establish similar colleges.
Although this may not become part of Vedanta University, such feeder and/or associated colleges in Vedanta Company’s operational areas will hopefully bring more goodwill to Vedanta University. This is a good start. More is needed though. Colleges that can take in mostly local students and produce graduates that can find jobs, such as Nursing and B.Ed Colleges in Kalahandi and Jharsuguda, would be appreciated.
To make it easier to find various information regarding Vedanta University I have categorized various articles/reports on them. Hope this will be useful in seeing the real value of Vedanta University and convincing people of Odisha that we must thwart the BJP and Congress efforts to take Vedanta University to Karnataka and Andhra respectively.
Must see youtube video on the story of Vedanta University.
The Anil Agarwal Foundation, promoted by Agarwal, is setting up a multi-disciplinary world-class Vedanta University near the Konark-Puri marine drive with an investment of Rs.150 billion ($3.75 billion) in phases.
Vedanta Alumina, part of the Vedanta Resources (Sterlite) Group, is building an alumina refinery with an investment of $800 million in the state’s Kalahandi region.
It is also building an aluminium smelter project costing Rs.70 billion in Jharsuguda district.
“Our refinery project in Lanjigarh is one of the best projects in the world. We hope bauxite will be available for it,” Agarwal said.
He was hopeful of getting raw material and adequate water for the Lanjigarh project. “There is enough water in the Hirakud reservoir for industries and we will not touch a drop of water meant for farmers,” he said.
Regarding rehabilitation of the affected people, he said: “We will follow R&R (resettlement and rehabilitation) policy of the Orissa government for all our projects.” He described Orissa’s R&R policy as the best in the country.
Speaking of the progress of Vedanta University, Agarwal said in the first phase, the foundation stone for a medical college and a 600-bed hospital will be laid soon in the university campus.
“We will work towards giving 25 percent seats to the students from Orissa who will be taken on merit basis,” he remarked.
VEDANTA Resources,which has proposed a university at Puri, intends to establish a multi-disciplinary hospital of international standard in the first phase.
Work for the hospital will start during the first quarter of next year. The project is targeted to be complete by 2010.
"Health is a priority area so far as CSR is concerned," Chairman,Vedanta Resources Anil Agarwal said during a tete-e-tete with Editors of the newspapers here today.
Agarwal who met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik earlier in the day reiterated his company’s demand for ensuring 150 million tonne of bauxite for its alumina plant at Lanjigarh. Seventy million tonne out of the total, Agarwal suggested, was to come from Niyamgiri area as assured at the time of MoU and the rest to be made available from Sasubahumali in Koraput.
The other contentious issue for Vedanta is water for its power and smelter plant at Jharsuguda. Given the agitation by farmers over use of water from Hirakud for industrial purpose, Agarwal suggested that his company is prepared to pump in Rs 30 crore as an interim measure to source water from downstream of the reservoir to avoid any conflict with farmer’s interests.
He informed that the smelter plant at Jharsuguda is all set for commercial production and would go in phases. In the first phase, the company will go for 0.5 million tonne of smelter.
Vedanta Resources has already signed 100 MoUs with different companies for ancilliarisation at Jharsguda.
Asked,why Puri was selected as the site for the university,Agarwal said, his consultants had suggested seven proposals in different states but he selected Puri for its water frontage.
Stating that the university project is estimated at Rs 15000 crore, he informed that the Anil Agarwal Foundation will fund Rs 5000 crore to begin with.
Earlier, talking to mediapersons Agarwal parried a question on AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi opposing bauxite mining lease to refinery project.
He also informed that 25 percent of the students for the university will be given preference from the State of Orissa.