Archive for January, 2007

Orissa at the receiving end of MHRD again: Announced for new IIT for Orissa shifted?

Update2: I am told by people from Bhubaneswar that New indian Express and Dharitri also published this news. (I have not yet found those news items in the Internet editions.)
Update1: Sambada also has a news item on this.

Pioneer, Tathya and have news items regarding how Orissa was in the original list of locations for the new IITs; so much so that TOI reported that Union minister of state for HRD MAA Fatmi on 28-8-06 said, “The proposal for one IIT for Bihar and two for Orissa and one Western Indian state besides one IIIT to Bihar will be included in 11th Five Year Plan.” With respect to Orissa he probably referred to one of the 3 new IITs proposed to be in the 11th plan and a branch campus of IIT KGP in BBSR. However, later news reports say that the 3 new IITs will be in Bihar, Rajasthan and AP. Yet again, Orissa has been sidelined by MHRD.

This is explosive news. Yet again Orissa has been sidelined by the HRD ministry. Like the NIS case, all Orissans should protest this (non-violently and without disruptive methods such as Rasta Roko etc.) by writing letters to the PM, Sonia Gandhi, Planning Commission, various newspapers etc. and contacting the MPs, MLAs and political leaders of all parties of Orissa and urging them to bring this up in the Orissa assembly, in Indian Parliament, with the Planning Commission, with Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and with the PM. Orissa should not tolerate such repeated slights by the MHRD.

We will be assembling documents and pointers with respect to this injustice towards Orissa and collecting all relevant information in a blog specifically made for this.

2 comments January 29th, 2007

OPEPA: Orissa Primary Education Programme Authority

OPEPA, Orissa Primary Education Programme Authority has a very extensive website that has won the National e-governance award for best government website. The website is a treasure trove of information. It lists all the schools in Orissa and for some schools it has pictures. The "Track your Child" link in the right side of the home page allows one to see what blocks are in a districts, what GP/wards are in a block and what villages are in a GP/ward. I was able to figure out that my village school (which my grandmother used to take me when I was 3, before I moved to Bhubaneswar) has the following attributes: District – Jajpur, Block – Korai, GP/Ward – Taharpur and Village – Tentulikhunta. In general, the nomination of OPEPA for the award summarizes why OPEPA deserved this award. I hope the information in this site will enable various NROs to track down schools in their native places and find a way to contribute to the development of those schools. Some of the people who deserve kudos for this initiative are Mr. Madhusudan Padhi, the Director of OPEPA, and the people at OCAC and OPEPA. OCAC is the implementation department of the IT department of Govt. of Orissa and is currently headed by Mr. Vishal Dev. OCAC lists the e-sishu project as one of the already implemented e-governance projects.

81 comments January 28th, 2007

Sambada reports that T. N. Sheshan will be meeting the CM in regards to the Ravishankar University

Update: Sambada’s second report on Sheshan’s visit.

Sambada reports that T. N. Sheshan will be meeting the CM in regards to the proposed Ravishankar University. The meeting could be about the land issue. The proposed Ravishankar University is supposed to cater 15,000 students and be of international standard. The land identified for this university is in Naraj and there is a speculation that the same land is also the top choice of DAE for NISER. Lets hope that a way out is found so that both DAE/NISER and Shri Shri Ravishankar are happy.

January 25th, 2007

Will the HRD ministry and planning commission take steps to correct the existing regional imbalance in higher education opportunities?

Education in general and higher education in particular seems to be one of the focus items, and rightly so, for the 11th five year plan. The approach paper to the 11th plan says: “Only about 8% of the relevant age group (of Indians) go to university whereas in many developing countries, the figure is between 20 and 25%. There is a clear need to undertake major expansion. … New colleges and universities must be set up, to provide easier access to students in educationally backward districts.” Similar sentiment was recently expressed by the planning commission deputy Chairman Mr. Ahluwalia when he agreed with Shekhar Gupta that higher education is a problem and went on to say, “What has happened is we suddenly realized that if the economy is now growing at 8 per cent, and could grow at 9 per cent, the skills the economy needs will become a constraint.” The Finance minister in his recent convocation address at Symbiosis International University also echoed similar sentiments.

Continue Reading 6 comments January 21st, 2007

Mathematics Education in Orissa: Dr. SriGopal Mohanty

I was taking leave from Dr. Swadhin Pattanaik, Director, Institute
of Mathematics and Applications (IMA) after finishing checking my
e-mail, when we met a lady. She came to get comfort from Swadhin
Babu who persuaded her daughter to join IISER, Kolkata this year,
rather than going after usual craze of joining IIT.

Continue Reading 4 comments January 20th, 2007

Looking for the lost keys under the street lamp: Why central universities in backward/tribal district clusters make sense?

For close to 60 years to help schedule castes and schedule tribes who are severely underrepresented among Indians with higher education degrees, India has had reservations for them in various institutions across the country, usually in places far away from where the target population lives. So far, like Mullah Nasruddin, outside of northeast, India has not strategically established central institutions in places where the target population actually lives.

Continue Reading 1 comment January 20th, 2007

Progress in regards to NISER

I was in India during December 12th-Jan 13th. Hence the long hiatus. Part of this time I was not able to access this site. I will slowly start positing on various things that happened since my last posting.

There has been very good progress in the NISER front. A web page for it has been created.

Continue Reading January 20th, 2007


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