Archive for June, 2007

New Indian Express reports on AIIMS branch in Bhubaneswar

News Indian Express reports on some recent developments in regards to the AIIMS branch in Bhubaneswar. Following are some excerpts.

Construction work of All India Institute Medical Sciences (AIIMS) branch proposed to be set up at Sijua near here would start by the year-end, seven years after its foundation stone was laid by the then Prime Minister AB Vajpayee.

The Centre has informed the State that construction of housing and hostel blocks and medical college complex would be started by the year-end. The process of shortlisting the developers and consultants for the designdetailed project report (DPR) is at a final stage.

In a letter to the Secretary in the Health Department Chinmoy Basu, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Deepak Gupta has requested the State Government to initiate immediate action for transfer of title deed of the land in favour of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

1 comment June 30th, 2007

Analyzing the 2004 Orissa JEE student preferences

The following analysis of the Orissa JEE student preferences is done by Satyanarayan Pujapanda a fourth year student from ITER, Bhubaneswar.

Continue Reading 18 comments June 29th, 2007

Orissa Engineering Colleges in Dataquest Ranking

Dataquest magazine has published its 2007 ranking. The Orissa Colleges in their ranking are:

  • (16) NIT Rourkela : 24 in 2006, 17 in 2005
  • (90) UCE Burla: 55 in 2006
  • (108) CET Bhubaneswar: 47 in 2006
  • (110) Orissa Engineering college, Bhubaneswar: 82 in 2006, 61 in 2005

Only NIT Rourkela improved its ranking from 2006; ranking of others have dropped.

NIT Rourkela also features in the top five engineering colleges in the eastern region. They are:

  • (1) IIT Kharagpur
  • (6) IIT Guwahati
  • (14) Jadavpur University Engineering College
  • (16) NIT Rourkela
  • (19) BIT Ranchi

As always, these are just one ranking.

2 comments June 29th, 2007

Samaja ad: Sponsored courses at Utkal University


June 28th, 2007

NISER advtertises for teaching positions

NISER Bhubaneswar has advertised for teaching positions. Following is an excerpt from their advertisement.

National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) is expected to initiate its academic programme from September, 2007. NISER invites highly qualified scientists with good teaching experience to submit their CV and list of publications to participate in the Integrated M.Sc. teaching programme of NISER in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics. NISER will offer fixed term contract appointments to scientists in service or who are retired. Those professors who are interested in coming on sabbatical to teach at NISER up to two semesters, also are welcome to send their CV and list of publications.

All documents should be sent to…

Institute of Physics
Sachivalaya Marg
Bhubaneswar – 751 005

By 16th July 2007

(Thanks to Debendra babu for pointing this out.)

3 comments June 27th, 2007 PM promises IIT for Orissa (Is this for real? )

The Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh has once again came to support Orissa with an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Dr.Singh said that “there will be an IIT in Orissa”. The Prime Minister’s commitment came during a meeting with J B Patnaik, the Leader of Opposition (LOP) of Orissa. JB met Dr.Singh on June 23 at New Delhi. Speaking to JB disclosed the information. According to Mr.Patnaik , the PM was categorical about Orissa and said “I am aware of the demands for an IIT in the state and it will be set there”. PM’s assurance came in the face of the resistance of Arjun Singh, the Minister Human Resources Development (HRD) to support Orissa with institutions of higher learning. Dr.Singh said as per his promise, funding for National Institute Science Education and Research (NISER) is finalized. He said that Rs.800 crore is being funded to NISER, which is being approved by the Union Cabinet. The PM said that Orissa is included in all the Flag Ship Programs of the UPA Government at the Centre. On the demand to include Cuttack in the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Dr.Singh not only assured but has asked the Ministry of Urban Development (MUD) to prepare plan accordingly. Connecting the broad gauge railway line from Gunupur to Theruvali, Dr.Singh asked the railway authorities to include it in the expansion plan of the Ministry of Railways (MoR). The Naupada-Gunupur railline is being converted to broad gauge but the MoR dubbling Gunupur-Theruvali, a poor economic returns line has shelved the expansion project. Mr.Patnaik said that Dr.Singh has given assurance in this regard to take up the expansion work up to Theruvali.

3 comments June 26th, 2007

Pioneer and Statesman: Bhubaneswar in the shortlist for one of the 4 new NIDs in the 11th plan

(Update: See the PIB report where the cabinet approval of 4 new NIDs is mentioned.)

Pioneer reports that the CM met minister Kamal Nath about getting one of the four proposed National Institute of Design (that are to be established during the 11th plan and that are part of the recent National design policy) to Orissa. Following is an excerpt from that report.

Later, Patnaik met Union Minister of Commerce and Industries Kamal Nath. The discussions centred around the proposal of the State Government for setting up a new National Institute of Design (NID) in Bhubaneswar in light of the National Design Policy 2007, which envisages four new National Institute of Design in different regions of the country during the 11 th Plan period. Kamal Nath stated that Bhubaneswar has been short-listed as one of the possible locations for setting up of a new NID and the proposal of the Orissa Government would be considered seriously.

Following is an excerpt on the same topic from the Statesman:

Mr Patnaik met the Central minister in Delhi today and raised the matter saying Bhubaneswar ought to be one of the four new NID’s that were being proposed in the country. He assured Mr Nath that the state will provide necessary infrastructure and even identify institute of university to partner the NID. The Central minister informed the CM that Bhubaneswar figures in the short list drawn up for establishment of NID’s during the 11th Plan period.

The Orissa government press release on this is here. Following is the relevant excerpt:

          Later during the day, Shri Patnaik met the Union Minister for Commerce & Industries, Shri Kamal Nath.  The discussions centered around the proposal of the State Government for setting up of a new National Institute of Design (NID) at Bhubaneswar, in the light of the National Design Policy 2007, which envisages four new NIDs in different regions of country during the  11th Plan period.  The Chief Minister stated that the Orissa Government would provide all necessary infrastructure support like land etc. for the institute.  The State Government is also willing to identify an Institution / University which can partner NID for setting up the new institute.  Shri Kamal Nath stated that Bhubaneswar has been shortlisted as one of the possible locations for setting up a new NID and that they would consider the proposal of the State Government seriously.


2 comments June 26th, 2007

Some good news on national institutes front

Business Standard reports that central minister Chandrasekhar Sahu is pursuing with the central government regarding establishing three marquee institutions in South Orissa. Following is an excerpt of that:

While the first Central University is likely to be set up in Koraput, plans for an Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) and National Institute of Design (NID) in Berhampur are in the works. …

Sahu also said he has discussed the possibility of a National Institute of Design (NID) and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) being set up in Berhampur and Bhubaneswar. The recent discussions with the Union minister for commerce, Kamal Nath, and the minister for textiles, Shankarsingh Veghela, “were very positive and they assured us that they are willing to establish these institutes if the state government extended its cooperation,” said Sahu. …

While the Central University and IIIT are under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, the NID is under the Ministry of Commerce. NIFT and NIHT come under the Ministry of Textiles.

Lets analyze this. First of all if all these materializes then its great. However lets compare what Orissa will be getting vis-a-vis the other states.

  1. In the Central University front, the central university in Koraput should be a distributed kind like the proposed Indira Gandhi National Tribal University. It should be designed such that it has branches in all KBK+ districts from the start.
  2. The tribal population percentage of the KBK districts are as follows: 8 KBK districts total 38.72% (+ 16.63 % SC). Malkangiri 58.36% (+19.96% SC), Rayagada 56.04% (+14.28% SC), Nabarangpur 55.27% (+15.09% SC), Koraput 50.67% (+13.41% SC), Nuapada 35.95% (+13.09% SC), Kalahandi 28.88% (+17.01% SC), Sonepur 22.11% (+9.5% SC), Balangir 22.06% (+15.39% SC). Two adjacent districts also have high tribal population. They are Kandhamala 51.51% (+18.21% SC) and Gajapati 47.88% (+8.77% SC).
  3. The literacy rates in the KBK districts are as follows: Overall in 8 KBK districts 36.58% with the female literacy at 24.72%. Malkangiri 31.26%, Nabarangpur 34.26%, Rayagada 35.61%, Koraput 36.2%, Nuapada 42.29%, Kalahandi 46.2%, Balangir 54.93%, Sonepur 64.07%. Two adjacent districts also have low literacy: Gajapati 41.73% and Kandhamala 52.95%. The state average is 63.1%.
  4. India already has 20 central universities and if 30 more are going to be made then besides the central university in Koraput one of the other universities in Orissa should also be upgraded to a central university.
  5. There will be 19 new IIITs. Orissa will be getting one of them. This is good but does not take Orissa out of the bottom of MHRD spending
  6. NID is good. But it does not replace the IIT that was taken away from Orissa. The 2007-08 budget for the 7 IITs is a total of 1553.70 cores (i.e., an average of 221.96 crores) while the 2007-08 budget for NID is 20.25 crores.
  7. Hence, Orissa must: (a) continue to push for an IIT in Orissa; (b) push for the Central University in Koraput to have branches in the KBK+ districts from the very beginning; (c) this central university should have special quote for tribals and locals as is the case in many north eastern states and as will be the case in the Indira Gandhi national tribal university; (d) push for one of the other universities in Orissa to be upgraded to a central university; (e) Make sure branches of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University exist in the north western districts with high tribal population, in particular Mayurbhanj (tribal percentage 57.87%, literacy 52.43%), Sundergarh (50.74%, 65.22%), and Keonjhar (44.52%, 59.75%); and possibly in Sambalpur (35.08% , literacy 67.01%), Deogarh (33.31%, literacy 60.78%), and Jharsuguda (31.88% , literacy 71.47%).

9 comments June 25th, 2007

Letter to SAC-PM on science magnet schools

Update: IMSA website is a bit hard to navigate; following are some important links.


Dear esteemed SACPM:

Thank you for your role in the creation of the 6 IISc type institutes that the PM mentioned today in his address at Mumbai. I assume he meant the 5 IISERs and the NISER in Bhubaneswar.

I have been interacting with the NISER Bhubaneswar and getting some feedback on the IISERs. Its a bit worrisome that many students are going to IISERs because they could not get into IITs. I am told some IISER students gave the IIT JEE again and then moved. That is partly because the current 10+2 schools do not encourage students towards a career in science. The best science minded students get influenced by the big hype about IITs and engineering, and unless appropriate strategies are made they may not opt for science at IISERs.

I have read regrading plans for big scholarships for students pursuing 5 yr integrated M.Sc. That is a good step.

Regardless, I propose that the government of India establish at least one science magnet high school, perhaps boarding schools, in each state during the 11th plan. These schools could partly feed the IISERs. Its role would be similar to the role of Sainik Schools vis-a-vis NDA and the Indian military academy. The science magnet schools could be from class 8 or 9 to 12 with the goal of exposing the wonders of science and arousing the scientific creativity among the most talented youngsters of the country. It will also indirectly shield them from the hype of the IITs. (I am an IIT graduate so I can say that without being accused of being jealous of IITs.)

I currently live in the USA and there are many science magnet high schools in the USA. I do not know of any in India. (IIT Coaching high schools in Kota or other places don’t count. I am told at best certain schools have special science groupings and there are those junior science colleges at +2 level.) To understand what I mean by a science magnet school I would request you to explore the web page of the Illinois Math and Science Academy ( 40% of IMSA faculty have Ph.Ds and it has a Nobel laureate as a residential scholar.
There are many other such science magnet schools in the USA such as (School of Science and Engineering in Dallas), (The Louisiana School of Math, Science and Arts), (The Indiana Academy for Science Mathematics and Humanities, associated with a university), (Bronx high school of science ), (North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics), and (Texas Academy of Maths and Sciences, associated with a university). There is a list of such schools world wide at but none are in India.

If this interests you I would be happy to provide more pointers and may be able to put in touch with Indian origin students studying at IMSA, Illinois and/or their parents.

Thanks again for the revolutionary steps that you all have taken for India and I believe the proposed magnet schools will complement that. If you like the idea, please please consider having one of the initial/pilot schools in Orissa, my home state. We have already done some groundwork on that. Actually, the initial set of schools could be located near the IISER, NISER and IIsc campus. In this regard, please note that some of the science magnet schools in US are associated with universities. (IMSA is not.)

best regards
ps — Perhaps you have already thought about this.

2 comments June 24th, 2007

XIMB’s forway into satellite based management programs

Update: Business Standard also has a nice story on this.

The Hindu reports that XIM Bhubaneswar will be signing an MOU with NIS SPARTA, a Reliance Dihrubhai Anil Ambani company, on this. It says:

“Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar and NIS Sparta, a Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group Company, will sign a MoU to promote satellite based management programmes in Bhubaneswar on Monday.”

(Thanks to Deba Nayak for the pointer.)

1 comment June 24th, 2007

Orissa among the bottom in terms of its universities’ performance in civil service exams

Following is an article from Samaja. It shows that among all major states of India Orissa is last but one (Chhatisgarh is last; but it has less population than Orissa) in terms of its universities sending students to civil services. Its likely that many students from Orissa go to Delhi and UP (BHU and U of Allahabad particularly) and succeed in the civil service exam from there. Nevertheless, the data shows how bad the Orissa universities have become. Urgent interventions are necessary to arrest this decline.

2007 06 24 samaja civil services.jpg

June 24th, 2007

Update on IIIT Bhubaneswar

Behind the scene actions are going on to start M.Tech classes at IIIT Bhubaneswar in the coming year. A director has been identified and he should be getting the formal appointment in a couple of weeks. Formal AICTE approvael for the M.Tech classes is also expected soon. As soon as that is received the advertisement for admission to M.Tech (60 seats) will come out.

June 23rd, 2007

Samaja on vocational courses

Following are from the Saturday pages of Samaja. It talks about various vocational courses that are in demand.

2007 06 23 samaja vocational.jpg

2007 06 23 samaja vocational 2.jpg

June 23rd, 2007

Some excerpts from the PM’s address with comments and questions from me

In the last 100 years, we have had only one Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore. In past two years, we have sanctioned six more.

By six more he probably means: IISER Kolkata, IISER Pune, IISER Mohali, IISER Trivendram, IISER Bhopal, NISER Bhubaneswar.

We have opened new national institutes in medical sciences, engineering and management.

Here he means the 6 AIIMS branch campuses, the 3 new IITs, and new IIMs (so far only one IIM in Andhra has been announced.)

Today, I am happy to announce that we intend to establish 30 new Central Universities across the country. The work on the modalities for setting these up has begun and the Ministry of Human resource Development, the University Grants Commission and the Planning Commission are working to operationalize this in the next 2-3 months.

It is not clear if all these 30 new central universities will be brand new started from scratch or upgraded ones. Earlier he had said that the country currently has 20 central universities with 16 states not having any. Will these 30 new ones include the new ones announced for the north eastern states (Manipur, Tripura, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh). Will some favorite states, ruled by UPA allies or from where powerful UPA ministers come from get multiple new ones? Will states that already have multiple central universities get more?

I recognize that education is an important responsibility of State Governments and most educational activity is managed at the state level. That’s the reality. States and local Governments must also do more to expand access to remote areas and to the marginalized groups of society. As I had said earlier, 340 districts in our country have extremely low college enrolments. The Central Government would work with the states to support the expansion of colleges to these 340 districts. Each of these districts should strive to have at least one good college and the Central Government is considering ways of funding their establishment.

I wonder which are those 340 districts and how many are in Orissa. The Orissa government should immediate work on the list of districts and the colleges there in.

Access to higher education has two dimensions of which expansion of supply is only one. If the latent demand for higher education is to be converted to a real one, we need to consider ways of improving the financial resources of aspiring students as well. While our Government has taken several steps to expand the scholarships available to students, including students from SCs, STs and minorities, we need a much larger national programme so that no one who wants to pursue further education is denied the opportunity for lack of resources. … We are working on a national system of scholarships and easily available loans so that all needy and deserving students have access to the necessary finances to fund their higher education. We will realize this goal I hope in the coming year.

If the University system expands, it also needs a larger pool of school leavers. We are working on a plan to gradually universalize secondary schooling in our country. This programme will build on the success of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and will cover the entire country in 2-3 years. Further, in order to promote excellence, we are working on a programme for having one high quality school in every block of our country. These publicly funded nearly 6000 schools all over India will establish benchmarks for excellence in public schooling which can then be the role models for the rest of the public educational system.

These are all great initiatives.

June 23rd, 2007

PM’s address at the 150th anniversary of University of Mumbai: 30 new Central universities to be established




Continue Reading 1 comment June 23rd, 2007

2004 data on Orissa JEE and Orissa engineering colleges: can’t understand it completely

Many of the readers have been asking about what field and what college they can get with their rank. I have maintained that I really do not know the answer. Today while digging around I came across a repository (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) that shows the various students and their ranks that got admitted to various colleges in Orissa in 2004 and only CET data for 2005. So this data is three years old. Nevertheless, it may give some guidance. Note that Since 2004 many new colleges have been made, KIIT has become a deemed university and many colleges have more seats now.

Moreover the data reflects the students in these college months after the counseling. So it is not the data after the first counseling. Normally after the first counseling many students may not join the institute and go to NIT, IIT or some other out of state college.

Continue Reading 35 comments June 23rd, 2007

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