Archive for January, 2008

Reaction to “No IIT for Orissa because of NISER” comment by an MHRD official

A news report in Samaja (30th January 2008, Page 7) mentions that Special Secretary in the higher education department Mr. Acharya said that, "Orissa and many other states have vigorously demanded IITs; But since a IIT quality higher education institution – NISER – has been established in Orissa, it is not possible to establish an IIT in that state."  He continues on to say that, " NISER and IIT have the same admission process that happens at the same time. Since NISER will fulfill the need for an IIT one should not put much weight on the demand for an IIT."

The above logic is absolutely ridiculous and filled with falsehoods and contradicts with MHRD actions with respect to other states.

1. NISER and IITs have different admission process and they have no connection with each other. NISER uses the NEST test  (http://www.iopb.res.in/niser/admission.php ) conducted by DAE while IITs have their own JEE. The secretary may be confusing NISER with IISER which do take some students from the IIT JEE merit list.

2. NISER will not fulfill the need for an IIT. Currently, NISER only offers M.Sc degrees in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Some day in the future it may offer a few technology degrees. However, it will not be soon, as having full-fledged engineering degrees will defeat the purpose of NISER, as
students when given a choice between Science and Engineering disciplines in the same institute will prefer engineering, and as a result the NISER science departments, the reason de etre for the establishment of NISER, will not get good students. In this regard it may be noted that Science is second class in the
IITs where students prefer engineering over Science courses. Most students who get into sciences into IITs are the ones who can not get into any engineering disciplines.

Note that IISc, where both engineering and science are flourishing is different because it does not offer undergraduate degrees in science so there is no competition between student choosing between science and engineering after +2.

3. Even if NISER abandons its reason-de-etre and decides to expand into engineering aggressively, the infrastructure, especially the 300 acres allocated to NISER will not allow that. Note that the IITs in Patna and Hyderabad will have 500 acres land.

4. The engineering and technology disciplines will not be established in NISER that quickly, and because of the break-neck industrial progress happening in Orissa, it needs a top notch engineering and technological institute like an IIT "yesterday."

5. Finally the following actions contradict the assertion that Orissa will not get an IIT because it has a NISER

   (a) Maharastra was given a IISER even though it has an IIT. (Both are funded by MHRD.)

   (b) West Bengal was given an IISER and an IIT like institute (IIEST) eventhough it has an IIT. (All are funded by    MHRD and the IISER and the IIEST will be in the Kolkata area.)

   (c) Andhra Pradesh was given an IIT and two IIESTs. (All are funded by MHRD.)

   (d) Kerala was given an IISER, an IIEST and an IIST (Indian Institute of Space Technology); the first two funded by    MHRD, while the last one is funded by Ministry of Science and Technology.

So why is that when it comes to Orissa, when Orissa is now at the bottom of per-capita MHRD funding on higher education institutions, NISER counts against Orissa. This is despite that Orissa needs to bridge the largest gap in higher education enrollment, from 6.1% to the targeted 15%.

Is it because the above four have UPA allied governments while Orissa does not?

Also, earlier it has been remarked in the Parliament by an UPA minister that Orissa has this and that institute (such as Inst of Physics etc.). Yes, but other states have more of such institutes. See the list we compiled at http://iit.orissalinks.com/vol1/state_wise_national_lab.pdf.

So why does it count against Orissa getting an IIT, and does not count against the other states.

Is not this blatant discrimination against Orissa?

Is not such discrimination in the past a main reason why Orissa is now at the bottom of higher education enrollment and many other parameters?

Is that what the government of India wants? And in this information age of news media and Internet will the people of Orissa stand-by and just meekly accept this blatant discrimination?

1 comment January 31st, 2008

NISER will fulfill Orissa’s IIT demand: Samaja

(Acknowledgment: The Samaja article was brought to my notice by Prof. R. Nayak. My greatest appreciation to him for his concerns.)

This is really crazy and ridiculous. Only for Orissa, all these arguments are made; West Bengal can have an IIT, an IIESR and an IIT like institution (IIEST) all funded by MHRD; the later two in the same city Kolkata; Maharastra can have both IITs and IISERs funded by MHRD; Andhra Pradesh can have an IIT and two IIESTs (one IIT and one IIEST in the same city) funded by MHRD, Kerala can be given an MHRD funded IISER and a Ministry of Sc & Tech funded IIST (Indian Inst of Space Technology); but when it comes to Orissa it can not have an IIT because it is having NISER. (The later is funded by DAE while IITs are funded by MHRD. )

People and representatives of Orissa should not take this lying down. They must take this opportunity to explain GOI how such arguments are used against Orissa to harm Orissa and stunt its progress.

Watch out for further reactions to this apparent trial balloon floated by MHRD.  They floated many such trial balloons when we were demanding NIS and they were countered by the people and representatives of Orissa. The same needs to be done urgently.

January 31st, 2008

IIIT-Bh Announces Admission Results

IIIT Bhubneswar has announced the admission results for its M. Tech. program. Twenty five candidates have been selected for admission and five have been wait-listed. The list of the successful candidates can be found here.

January 31st, 2008

Current IIT and IISc non-plan funding levels

The following is from a report in the Telegraph. Note that non-plan funding is used for maintaining infrastructure.

January 30th, 2008

Middle school education in Orissa is neglected: Samaja

January 30th, 2008

Education Abroad: New IMS Center at Bhubaneswar to Help Students

Following is an excerpt from a New Indian Express report.

BHUBANESWAR: Having secured a place for itself in the minds of management aspirants, leading coaching institute IMS is set to add another promising chapter to its expanding portfolio.

The first IMS ‘centre for international education’ is coming up in the city next month.

The centre will engage itself in assisting students, going abroad, gain enrollment in international universities.

Besides, it would offer quality coaching to students taking GRE and GMAT.

1 comment January 29th, 2008

Why should kids study science? an op-ed from Samaja

January 28th, 2008

Partial list of “in progress (under consideration at AICTE)” MBA/MCA/etc. Colleges in Orissa

The following is from http://www.aicte.ernet.in/download/NewCollege/list.doc downloaded on January 26th 2008. These are colleges that have applied to AICTE for an LOI and AICTE has listed them for some clarifications. There may be other colleges which are also in progress and AICTE has already issued LOI to them.

Continue Reading 5 comments January 27th, 2008

Partial list of “in progress (under consideration at AICTE)” Engineering Colleges in Orissa

The following is from http://www.aicte.ernet.in/download/NewCollege/list.doc downloaded on January 26th 2008.

Continue Reading 3 comments January 27th, 2008

The current list of engineering/MBA/MCA colleges in Orissa.

The following list is from http://www.aicte.ernet.in/app_inst_new.htm downloaded on January 26th 2008.

Continue Reading January 27th, 2008

Bihar and Andhra Pradesh IITs to start classes in temporary locations in 2008?

Following are excerpts from a report in Hindustan Times.

Bihar and Andhra Pradesh have got an edge over Rajasthan. Both states will get IITs of their own from the next academic year.

The HRD Ministry has informed Bihar and Andhra Pradesh that admissions to the two new IITs will start in temporary campuses, while the ministry sets up new campuses.

The new campus will be built around 100 kilometres from Patna in Bihar and Isnapur in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh. The campuses will be built in an area of 500-600 acres at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore.

In a letter to the chief secretaries of the two state governments, the HRD ministry has asked for makeshift campuses so that enrolment of students can start.

“Only a few students for limited disciplines will be admitted in the first year and temporary campuses will be linked to an existing IIT,” a ministry official said.

1 comment January 27th, 2008

BJB College to Offer Four Professional Courses

Following is an excerpt from a New Indian Express report.

BHUBANESWAR: The golden jubilee celebration of BJB College could not have come at a better time. It has received the State Government’s nod to start as many as four self finance courses from the coming academic session.

The new courses would include a five year integrated MBA programme and a two year post graduate programme in journalism and mass communication.

The other two courses would be a five year integrated MSc programme in Bioinformatics and a five year integrated MSc programme in electronic and telecommunications. All the courses are high in demand in the present job market.

They would be offered in collaboration with Heritage Vision, an educational trust, said college principal B.N.Patnaik. While the MBA programme will have 60 seats, rest of the programmes would have 48 seats each.

Placement would be the last thing one should worry about as the institute has emerged as a sought-after hunting ground for multinationals looking for bright minds.

According to placement officer Prof Swetansu Sekhar Rath, Infosys, Vedanta, ICICI Prudential and energy and environment solution firm Phermax are next in line. They are slated to the visit the campus soon.

5 comments January 26th, 2008

Arjun Singh on Devious mode: Tathya.in

Following is  from http://tathya.in/.

It has been proved time and again that Arjun Singh has no love for Orissa.

The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister has always been unkind to the state, which is lagging behind on education front among other states.

And he is nicely talking to Naveen Patnaik and made him feel that the Centre is all out for Orissa to dole out largesse.

Chief Minister Mr.Patnaik and HRD Minister Mr.Singh had a meeting on 24 January at New Delhi.

Mark the words of Mr.Singh:

Orissa had a very good case for setting up a Central University in the KBK region.

There are strong possibilities of setting up of an IIT or IIM in Orissa in view of industrial growth.

Chief Minister returned happy and took no time to issue the Press Release.

But insiders in the MHRD and educationists are reading between the lines.

There are two types of Central Universities (CU).

One is regular CU of which 16 are to be set up in 11th plan with an investment of Rs.300 crore each.

Another World Class Central University (WCCU) of which 14 are to be established during next 5 years with an investment of Rs.1000 crore each.

Mr.Singh is hinting towards the regular CU in KBK with an investment of Rs.300 crore.

But Orissa deserves a WCCU in coastal Orissa and CU in KBK or vice versa as the level of investment in higher education in Orissa is much below than the other major states like Maharastra and Madhya Pradesh.

Similarly Mr.Singh said Orissa deserves an IIT or IIM.

But the state is demanding IIT, IIM and IIIT for last so many years and the Minister HRD is playing hide and sick game over the establishment of these institutions.

In order to establish an IIT, MHRD spends Rs.1000 crore and for an IIM it provides Rs.150-200 crore.

To be very frank, Mr.Singh is fooling the state so far setting up the higher institutions of learning in the state, alleged a senior mandarin.

And the pathetic part of the story is we believe him, which will end up in receiving pea nuts in the name of largesse of Centre, cautioned … Professor Chitta Baral of Arizona State University.

So the State Government must come out with Vision Document for the Centres of Higher Learning including a WCCU, Cu-KBK, IIT, IIM and IIIT in the state, said Dhirendra Kar, a leading NRO.

These demands to be harped time and again with the UPA Government till it is achieved, said he.

January 25th, 2008

Computer Education in 1,500 more High Schools

Following is an excerpt from a New Indian Express report.

BHUBANESWAR: Computer education will be imparted in 1,500 more high schools and 300 upper primary schools from the current academic session.

While 900 of the total 14,233 upper primary schools are already provided with computers under Sarva Sikshya Abhijan (SSA), 300 more schools will be extended the facility under buy, own and transfer (BOT) mode, School and Mass Education Secretary S.C. Patnaik said.

The department has also made a budgetary provision of Rs 20 crore for supply of computers to 1,500 high schools.

A centrally sponsored scheme, the Centre has given a financial assistance of Rs 15 crore while the balance is the State’s share.

 

January 25th, 2008

Engineering Lectures from IITs and IISc in YouTube.

The link is http://www.youtube.com/profile_play_list?user=nptelhrd.

(Thanks to Abi for the pointer.)

January 25th, 2008

Orissa govt’s press release on the CM meeting the HRD minister; CM’s earlier letter to the PM

Following is from http://rc.orissa.gov.in/index3.asp?linkid=30&sublinkid=320.

Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Orissa met the Union Minister, Human Resource Development Shri Arjun Singh today and requested for setting up of a Greenfield IIT in Orissa during the 11th Five Year Plan period. Since Orissa is on the verge of rapid industrial upsurge not only in the industrial sector but also in technical education sector, the state provides enormous potential for research and development activities. Establishment of an IIT in Orissa will greatly facilitate in intensifying this process, which is of critical importance to make the industry globally competitive. Further, the Chief Minister urged the Union Minister, Human Resource Development for establishment of a Greenfield Indian Institute of Management in Orissa. Given the current industrial boom in Orissa, it is necessary to bring in professional culture and management. The IIT shall be the incubation centre for quality managerial professionals required for the various sectors of the economy.

The Chief Minister also demanded for setting up of a Central University in the KBK region which could educate the youth in traditional and modern disciplines. Since the quality of human resource holds the key to the development of any region, there is an urgent need to set up a top class multi-disciplinary Central University in the KBK Region covering disciplines such as basic sciences, humanities, law, medicine, agriculture, horticulture etc. Besides, the Central University in KBK would also indirectly help in combating left wing extremism in the region.

The Union Minister, HRD indicated that Orissa has a very good case for setting up of a Central University in the KBK region. He added that there is a strong possibility of setting up of an IIT / IIM at Orissa because of the unprecedented industrial growth witnessed by the State. He indicated that decision in this regard will be taken by the Union Government soon.

Comments: There is a big difference between an IIT and an IIM in terms of investment and budgets.

The 7 IITs had a budget of 683.5 crores in 2006-07 and a budget of 1553.70 crores (taking into account the expansion plan) for 2007-08 while the 6 IIMs had a budget of 74 crores in 2006-07 and a budget of 144 crores for 2007-08.

The new IITs are to be made at a cost of 1000 crores each (over a period of 5-7 years) while each IIM will cost 100-150 crore. ( http://www.livemint.com/Articles/2007/09/03002345/IIMK8217s-past-still-point.html)

So we must watch out and make sure that Mr. Arjun Singh and the UPA govt. at the center does not try to cheat Orissa by giving only an IIM.

The state’s first demand is an IIT and only then an IIM. The CM has categorically stated that in his last letter to the PM. (See below)

If Orissa is given only one of them then it is an IIT that has to be given. Otherwise, it will be the UPA govt. and Arjun Singh cheating Orissa.

(Prior to this the CM also wrote to PM in May 2007 and January 31st 2007. The CM also met Arjun Singh on October 24 2005 (press release) on KBK Central University, on September 29 2006 on IIT Kharagpur branch campus and around May 16th 2007 on a greenfield IIT. So this was hist 4th meeting with Arjun Singh on IIT and KBK Central University issues.)

January 24th, 2008

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