Archive for April, 2007

Politely writing Sir K. K. Birla for a BITS Pilani campus in Orissa

Dear all:

BITS Pilani now has a campus in Pilani (North India), Goa (West India) and Dubai and is in the process of making a campus in Hyderabad (South India). There has been good progress with respect to the Hyderabad campus [Hindustan Times, Economic Times, New Kerala,Deccan Herald].

Artist's rendering of BITS Pilani's Hyderabad campus

There has been some word that they may be thinking about a campus in Eastern India. Perhaps we should politely request Sir KK Birla about creating the Eastern India campus in Orissa.

The CM of Orissa wrote to Sir KK Birla last November/December and they don’t want to write to him so soon again. So may be we can write very politely and request him to consider Orissa. (I plan to post a draft letter in these pages in a few days.) Note that one of the articles about the Hyderabad campus mentions how Sir KK Birla was impressed that so many people requested him about the Hyderabad campus. The address to send letters is:

Sir KK Birla

(i) Chandra Bhavan, Pilani (Rajasthan)-333031

(ii) Birla House, 7, Tees January Marg, New Delhi-110 011.

6 comments April 30th, 2007

Vedanta University: Anil Agarwal’s dream project

Following Vedanta’s purchase of a huge stake in Sesa Goa there have been a few profile articles on its Chairman Mr. Anil Agarwal (230 in Forbes list of 2007).

  1. Rediff: How a small trader became a metal king
  2. Daily News India: A long journey from Bihar’s badlands to London’s Mayfair

The second article has a brief paragraph on Vedanta University. Following is an excerpt.

Struck by the munificence that created Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, and Stanford, Agarwal wants to do something similar in India. So, he is making an endowment of up to $1 billion (Rs4,435 crore) to establish a “world-class, multi-disciplinary university”. His dream project is called Vedanta University and will be set up in the state of Orissa. AT Kearney is the consultant for the project. Agarwal had told DNA Money: “We (the family) have decided to give our wealth back to society,” he said.

Forbes profile of Anil Agarwal says the following about Vedanta University:

Plans to build Vedanta University, India’s answer to Stanford, in eastern India; has pledged $1 billion.”

In this regard one may read how Stanford University was founded and the history of Carnegie Mellon University(CMU). The rag-to-riches story of Andrew Carnegie, the founder of Carnegie Tech (that later merged with Mellon Institute to become CMU), has some similarity with that of Mr. Anil Agarwal’s life story so far.

April 29th, 2007

Training institutes by WIPRO and Aricent Technology are on the cards?

Update 1 (May 6 2007): Also reported in Business Standard.

Update 2 (May 6 2007): WIPRO’s proposed center is similar to the recently built Infosys’s center in Mysore.

There have been several news reports [Telegraph,EFYTimes,Kalinga Times, Samaja1, 2, Sambada] today that Govt. of Orissa has agreed to provide 100 acres to WIPRO and 30 acres to Aricent Technology in the Puri-Konark coast for the establishment of IT training centers for 3000 and 1500 professionals respectively. All the news items are from the Government of Orissa side. I.e., such an announcement has not come from WIPRO or Aricent Technology.

[If this really happens, it will be similar to the Mysore training center of Infosys which has been getting a lot of press.]

The above news items are part of a general release about a meeting of Orissa’s IT task force. Other decisions to have been taken in the meeting includes establishment of Infocity 2, establishment of a knowledge park near the proposed IIIT, Dhirubhai Ambani’s interst in opening an IT center near Khurdha, Development of a 25 acre residential complex near Infocity 1 and development of a 300 acre satellite city for IT professionals between Bhubaneswar and Khordha.

2 comments April 28th, 2007

Mostly Centrally Funded IIIT

The Government of India has decided to establish 20 IIITs (Indian Institute of Information Technology) which will be mostly centrally funded. One of them is proposed to be in Orissa. Initial reports [Telegraph,EFYTimes,Kalinga Times, Samaja1, 2, Sambada] mention that the central government will contribute 120 crores to this while the state government will contribute 10 crores and 100 acres to this. The location of this IIIT has not been decided yet.

April 28th, 2007

More NISER news

Today’s Sambada and Pragativadi have more detailed news on progress with respect to NISER. It reports that a firing range that currently exists in the area where NISER is to be located will be moved. Land will be soon handed over to NISER. etc.

April 28th, 2007

Sambalpur rally memorandum: Ashesh Kumar Padhy

Respected Sirs,

This appeal is being raised to you by the intellectuals, students, and professionals of Orissa with a sense of deep anguish and high hopes. Statistics alone speaks volumes about the continued injustice meted to Orissa – may it be allocation for railways, planned grants, and among many, the allocation of central university & IIT to Orissa.

Union minister of state for HRD Shri MAA Fatmi had announced at the inaugural ceremony of NIOS on August 28th 2006 that 2 IITs in Orissa and one in Bihar would be included in the 11th Five Year Plan.

Continue Reading 1 comment April 28th, 2007

Talking points and documents that make a case for an IIT in Orissa: point-counterpoint

Documents that make our case for an IIT in Orissa.

* A collection of points and counterpoints regarding making a case for an IIT in Orissa. (pdf,2MB)(word document, 500kb)
* Compilation of news items (9 MB): http://iitorissa.googlepages.com/Binder1.pdf
* Digambara Patra’s compilation of national labs distribution across India: http://iitorissa.googlepages.com/state_wise_national_lab.pdf

Now the article: “IIT in Orissa: talking points”

Following are some points that can be used to convince the other MPs, the PM, the planning commission etc. that the issue of an IIT in Orissa is an extremely important one; it has caused a lot of strife in Orissa; and appropriate amendments must be made at the earliest.

Continue Reading 3 comments April 27th, 2007

Booklet compiling the IIT Orissa issue in the media (9 MB)

The various news items on the IIT Orissa issue that has appeared in the various Orissa based and national media has been compiled to a single 9 MB pdf file and is made available at http://iitorissa.googlepages.com/Binder1.pdf

I think if this compilation is shown by our MPs to other MPs, the planning commission and PM then it will convince them that this is a big deal for Orissa and it has caused a lot of strife in Orissa and they should pay attention and do something urgently.

In this regard, Sambad reports that Orissa MPs are gearing up to raise the IIT issue in the current session of the parliament.

April 27th, 2007

OUAT to start three new colleges, including one in Chipilima in Sambalpur district

Pragativadi reports that OUAT will start three new colleges. It says:

A new college of horticulture would come up at Chipilima in Sambalpur district that would carry research activities in view of the government’s increased focus on the discipline. The varsity would also set up a college of dairy science and technology and upgrade the existing department of forestry to a full-fledged college of forestry during the 11th Five-Year Plan. Besides, it would also start the PG programmes in the College of Home Science.

1 comment April 27th, 2007

Ravenshaw University web page

Ravenshaw University now has a nice web page with a lot of details, including the list of faculty and their phone numbers, the various departments, and the various courses that are offered.

7 comments April 27th, 2007

Rally in Sambalpur on 28th April for an IIT in Orissa

After rallies in Bhubaneswar and Berhampur, there will be a rally in Sambalpur on the 28th April 2007. Please join it if you can. A rally in Delhi is planned for middle of May.

The rally in Bhubaneswar was widely covered in the media: Statesman, Hindustan Times, New Indian Express, Pragativadi, Tathya.in, Kalinga Times, Odisha.com, Santosh Tripathy, Lalit Patnaik, Orissadiary.

Watchout for updates at http://iitorissa.org.

April 26th, 2007

Why a movement for establishing an IIT?

Sambada has translated the article posted earlier and has published it in their Editorial page (pdf). (Thanks to Sambada editors and staff for the translation.) The original article in English is also available in word and pdf. Tathya.in also published it in English with some editorial changes. http://iitorissa.org

April 26th, 2007

Infocities and the engineering college clusters around them.

Pragativadi reports on Infocity 2 that is being planned between Bhubaneswar and Khurda close to NH 5. Close to that area are several exisiting and some upcoming engineering colleges. The existing ones include GITA, CV Raman and MIET. Among the upcoming ones is the Bhubaneswar Institute of Technology proposed to be established by a group of NRIs that includes reputed US based computer science professors Rabi Mahapatra, Laxmi Bhuyan and Prasant Mohapatra.

In 5-10 years or may be sooner the area around Infocity 2 could become like the hot area around Infocity 1 which has also many engineering colleges such as KIIT, KISD, CEB, Silicon,Trident and CIPET. However, the colleges around Infocity 1 are more close to each other than the ones around the proposed Infocity 2.

1 comment April 26th, 2007

25 acres of land handed over for a private medical college in Balangir

Samaja reports that the Orissa government has handed over 25 acres of land to Balaji Trust for establishing a private medical college in Balangir. Earlier the Orissa government had signed an mou with them.

April 26th, 2007

OUAT accomplishments

Today’s Samaja has an editorial page article on OUAT accomplishments.

April 26th, 2007

NISER has a new webpage; admission ad appears in papers etc.

NISER now has a new and more professional looking web page. Its ad for admission appears in Samaja. Its website also has the application form and information brochure.

3 comments April 26th, 2007

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