Archive for September, 2009

Sundergarh MP and Labour Committee Chair Hemananda Biswal goes to Delhi to bat for ESIC Medical College in Rourkela

Update on Oct 1 2009: Pioneer has a nice article on the ESIC Medical College in Rourkela theme.


Following appeared in Sambada. Thanks to http://www.odiasamaja.org for the image.

See http://www.odiasamaja.org/esic-medical-college-rkl-press-conference-report/ for a press conference that happened yesterday. Some of us participated by phone.

2 comments September 30th, 2009

NIT Rourkela must follow NIT Warangal and go for a medical school and law school

Following is an excerpt from an IANS story by Prashant Nanda that we found in a report in thaiinidan.com.

… “We will retain our original name (NIT-Warangal) but it will become an integrated university with both medical and legal education among other programmes beyond engineering and technology.

“We will also provide postgraduate courses in humanities, business economics, biotechnology and many others. The focus will gradually shift to from under-graduation to post-graduation and research,” Rao explained.

NIT Warangal is the first among the NITs. It was dedicated to the nation by the first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru way back in 1959. Then it was known a regional engineering college. The institute is older than many IITs, including IIT-Delhi.

… The director said the institute, which started its journey with a little over 100 students from a temporary campus, now boasts of 4,200 students. In 2006, the institute had 2,000 students of which 1,600 were pursuing B.Tech courses and the rest M.Tech.

“While all the central government institutes are implementing the OBC (Other Backward Classes) quota in three years, we did it at one go. With an increase in the number of seats, we have shifted our focus to post-graduation and research. Out of 4,200 students, currently 1,400 are M.Tech students and 300 are PhD scholars,” Rao added.

Like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, NIT-Warangal will become an integrated university and provide all kinds of courses to students to help the country move forward in the field of higher education, he said.

“The process of becoming a university will start from the coming academic session but it may take a few years to become a full-fledged one. We are targeting 5,000 students by 2011 and 15,000 by 2015,” Rao said, elaborating on his mega plan.

“We are planning to have the school of medical science next year. We are going to give emphasis on biotechnology and microbiology and here the school of medical science will help us grow in both research and innovation.”

NIT Roukela has recently started a program in Biotechnology and is about to start MBA. But it must go beyond and pursue a medical school. 

3 comments September 29th, 2009

Sibal’s plan for the proposed national/innovation universities seems to be like the establishment of the first 5 IITs

Some of the first five IITs in Kharagpur, Mumbai, Chennai, Kanpur and Delhi were developed through mentorship by  various foreign countries and organizations such as UNESCO. For example, IIT Bombay was helped by UNESCO and Soviet Union, IIT Madras was helped by Germany and IIT Kanpur by a consortium of 9 US universities.

The Union HRD minister Mr. Kapil Sibal seems to be looking for similar help for establishing the 14 innovation universities. Following is an excerpt from a report in Economic Times.

The ministry for human resource development is keen to tie up with the world’s leading universities to ensure that its “innovation universities” are a class apart from the pack. During his visit to the US in late October, the minister for human resource development Kapil Sibal would like to firm up MoUs with leading US universities to collaborate with the proposed innovation universities.

Among the American Universities that are being approached are Yale, Standford and MIT. The government plans to set up 14 innovation universities over the next few years.

The government proposes to set up these universities as “global centres of innovation” and would like to draw on the talent and expertise of leading universities. “We are looking for a collaboration for two or three of the innovation universities,” a senior ministry official said. India has had a history of collaborating with leading international universities to set up her own world class institutions.

… Mr Sibal, who will be travelling to the US ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s state visit in November, will leading a delegation to put in place the India-US Education Council.

2 comments September 29th, 2009

The recently announced faculty salary at IISc, IITs, IIMs, IISERs, etc.

Following is an excerpt from a blog entry of Professor Giridhar Madras of IISc Bangalore.

… According to the table, for an assistant professor on contract i.e., with no postdoc experience, it would start at 37,000 + accommodation. A regular assistant professor will get 52,000 + accommodation and will move to 62,000 + accommodation after three years. In addition, they are other benefits. This includes telephone allowance, academic allowances, children education allowance, subsidy for single girl child, leave travel concession for the whole family every year,medical benefits to the family, travel money for attending conferences etc.

In addition, one can get fellowships that vary from Rs 60,000 to Rs 6 lakhs per year from DST/DBT, depending on the fellowships. Faculty can go abroad during the three month vacation every year and get paid in international currency. One can take sabbatical for one year every six years and get paid at both places. In addition, one can earn considerably from consultancy from industry (or even government labs) depending on the area they work in.

The blog has more details and pointers to more details on what the IIXs should do to get a clearer picture out to prospective faculty.

1 comment September 27th, 2009

Orissa CM proposes ‘National Research Institute for Management of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems’ at Chilika and a ‘National Mangrove Research Institute’ in Orissa

Following is an excerpt from a press release by Orissa’s Resident Commissioner in New Delhi.

He suggested to establish ‘National Research Institute for Management of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems’ at Chilika as there is no dedicated research centre in this environmentally important subject. Chief Minister pointed out that the infrastructure created at Chandraput and the expertise available with Chilika Development Authority (CDA) could be extremely useful in starting such a national institute. The Union Minister welcomed the proposal and asked the Ministry officials to jointly work with the State government officials to formulate the plan.

Chief Minister also highlighted the need for a National Mangrove Research Institute in Orissa and mangroves along the coast help in preventing the damage brought by tsunami, cyclones and super cyclones. The National Mangrove Research Center could also monitor the impact of the sea level rise, cyclone associated tidal surges and other anthropogenic pressures on mangroves, he suggested.

September 26th, 2009

IIM gets traded for an additional central university in J & K

The March 28th 2008 PIB mentioned a central university and an IIM for J & K. But the Jammu and Kashmir valley area both wanted a central university. The solution that MHRD came up with is as described in the following PIB release

In view of the special status of State of Jammu and Kashmir, which has separate regions with distinct geographical, social, cultural and ethnic characteristics, the Central Government has decided to establish, as a special dispensation, two appropriate Central Universities in the State – one in Jammu region and another in the Kashmir Valley. It is expected that this will meet the regional aspirations in the State. The Government proposes to undertake appropriate legislative measures in this regard shortly. 

The two Central Universities will have instructional and research facilities in emerging branches of learning like information technology, biotechnology, nanosciences, etc., setting exemplary standards of education for the other universities in the State to emulate. 

However, in view of the constraints of resources and greater demand for a second Central University in Jammu and Kashmir State, it has been decided to drop the proposal for the establishment of an Indian Institute of Management in Jammu and Kashmir and instead use the savings for the establishment of a second appropriate Central University in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Budgetwise a central university (at 300 crores) is about 40% more expensive than an IIM (at about 210 crores).

Since Goa university opted out of becoming a central university and a new IIM was added to Rajasthan, the total number of new IIMs and Central Universities remains the same as announced in the March 28th PIB. (Of course, for now, Goa will not have a central university. Rajasthan was a lucky gainer because of a typo in the finance minister’s announcement. But they are delaying things by not adhering to MHRD hints with respect to their IIT location.)

A similar action that MHRD took was to reduce its number of new NITs to 9 so as to accommodate the proposed ABA Ghani Khan Choudhury Institute of Engineering & Technology


It seems MHRD is taking great pains to keep its budget and number of institutions as decided during the 11th plan deliberations. Perhaps because of that Orissa CM did not pursue an IGNTU campus with MHRD and raised the issue of a tribal university with the Minister of Tribal affairs. I think one has to wait till the 12th plan for any new additions (beyond what is mentioned in the 11th plan) regarding central institutions through MHRD. (There may be more flexibility in other ministries. For example, the AIIMS-like institutions budgets have been increasing. But by the time they start running the 12th plan period will be on.)

This means if Orissa wants an IIM before the 12th plan, it has to go after an existing IIM and make a deal with them, similar to what Andhra Pradesh did with IIM Ahmedabad.

2 comments September 25th, 2009

Orissa CM asks for a tribal university in Kandhamal

Following is an excerpt from a press release of Orissa’s Resident Commissioner in Delhi.

New Delhi

September 24, 2009

Chief Minister meets Union Minister for Tribal Affairs

Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Orissa met Shri Kanti Lal Bhuria, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs at New Delhi today and discussed about issues relating to tribal welfare in Orissa.

The Chief Minister also asked for release of Rs.140 crores during 2009-2010 for construction of 400 new 100 bedded ST Girls Hostels in the State. The Chief Minister requested that a Tribal University be set up in the Kondhamal district in Orissa. The Chief Minister requested for grant of Rs 5 crores for modernisation of the existing small Tribal Museum at Bhubaneswar and separate fund for opening of Tribal Museums in all the 17 Micro Project Areas in the State. He highlighted the need for increase in the amount of Post Matric Scholarship for ST/SC Students.

Recalling his recent letter written to the Union Minister, the Chief Minister asked for sanction of more Ekalabya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) in the 4 uncovered KBK districts i.e., Nuapada, Malkangiri, Sonepur & Bolangir in the current academic session.

3 comments September 25th, 2009

Samaja op-ed by Kabi Mishra in support of Vedanta University

Finally someone comes out and openly writes in favour of Vedanta University in the local papers. Its high time someone did that.

Given below is the article by retired Utkal University Professor Nabakishore Mahalik on August 27th that the above writer mentions.

1 comment September 24th, 2009

Orissa department of higher education consolidates all scholarship information and application process

Thanks to tathya.in for the pointer. The Department of Higher Education web page is at http://www.dheorissa.in/DHE/Scholarship_Schemes.aspx. Following links are from that web page.

Scholarship Schemes of State & Central Government for 2009-10

Advertisement
Guidelines for State Schemes
CAFS with Appendixes
Instruction Manual to fill up CAFAS
Central Schemes for Award of Scholarship
 

The image of the advertisement is given below.

2 comments September 24th, 2009

Union Law Minister Moily plans 4 regional law institutes of excellence

Following is an excerpt from a report in Times of India.

… law minister Veerappa Moily has designed a grand plan to set up four regional institutes of excellence to equip lawyers and bring them on par with Indian IT professionals, who are known the world over for their competence.

Moily prefers to call these regional institutes of excellence simply "regional hubs" of legal education. "We have written to the Planning Commission for approval of the plan to set up these four institutes which will match standards of best law institutes anywhere in the world," he said, adding this move was spurred by one of the recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission.

September 24th, 2009

Orissa should push for a Central University in the Western part of Orissa to be included in the 12th plan

Pioneer reports on a letter written by Sanjib Karmee about establishing a central university in the Western part of Orissa. Following are some excerpts.

.. One such letter written to the Prime Minister, President and other top political leaders of the country including one to the Chief Minister of Orissa and members of Parliament, by Dr Sanjib Kumar Karmee of Bio-catalysis and Organic Chemistry group of the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, has made a fervent appeal to the powers that be to open a Central University in the Koshal region.

He has appreciated the efforts of Ministry of Human Resources and other Central Government ministries in the establishment of many centrally funded institutions in Orissa keeping the backwardness of the State in mind.

He has cited that the current Government of the State is adopting a capital centric approach, clustering Bhubaneswar with National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and Railway Medical College.

The State Government has chosen only two such centrally funded institutes outside Bhubaneswar-Cuttack-Puri region of having a Central University at Koraput in south Orissa and a proposal to set-up the Indian Institute of Information Technology in Berhampur which is also in south Orissa.

Koshal region he writes is one of the most backward regions in Orissa, and has demanded the establishment of centrally funded institutes in Koshal region. At the same time he writes about the connectivity and amenities of the region which has infrastructural readiness to have a Central University, besides he says the region has two universities – Sambalpur University and VSS University of Technology – a Government Medical College, and a few private engineering colleges. Rourkela city which is close to Burla-Sambalpur-Jharsuguda area has a National Institute of Technology at Rourkela. On connectivity he writes there is a proposal by the Government of India to have an airport at Jharsuguda and further that Jharsuguda is well connected by rail to the various States in India. Burla-Sambalpur-Jharsuguda area is emerging as a central location for on going industrial activities in the region.

Since MHRD is very serious about increasing the GER, I think the 12th plan would include some more central universities (or at the worst case universities that are funded 50-50 by center and state). Also, as I mentioned earlier, many states have regions which have been left out of the national university (mostly went to the state capital or the 1st or 2nd most populated metro area of the bigger states; but all went to metro areas with a population of greater than 1 million; the obvious reason seems to be the vision behind these universities as stated in the first announcement as well as in the concept papers) and first central university distributions (many went to smaller places of the states), and they would like to have a central university/institution. This includes Nagpur in Maharastra, Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh, Durgapur/Asansol/Siliguri in West Bengal, Bhawanipatna/Jharsuguda/Rourkela in Orissa etc.

In Orissa, after CUO Koraput and national university in Bhubaneswar, the government should strongly consider a location in its Western part (and far from Bhubaneswar) for that. Among the possible locations, a sentimental favorite would be Bhawanipatna, as it has been reported that at one point the CM had assured the representatives from Kalahandi regarding locating the first central university there. Other good locations could be Rourkela (a bit in the corner though; but is a metro and has a sizable population and does not have a regular university; it does have NIT) and Jharsuguda (lots of industrial development happening here, not too far from Rourkela, but close to Sambalpur which has two universities; But Jharsuguda itself has nothing and is going to have an airport soon).

3 comments September 24th, 2009

Concept notes on the proposed Innovation Universities and attracting talent to them

The documents are at:

* http://www.education.nic.in/uhe/Universitiesconceptnote.pdf
* http://www.education.nic.in/uhe/Concept-BGP.pdf

Following are some excerpts from the first document:

Continue Reading September 22nd, 2009

Land for ESI medical college has been alloted at Bharatpur near IMA in Bhubaneswar. What Next? How to go about getting an ESI medical college to Rourkela?

Following is from Samaja.

Sambada pinpoints the location as "near Institute of Mathematics & Applications."


Overall the only new part here is the exact location of the land as when we started our campaign for ESIC medical college in Rourkela (in the end of August) we already knew  that land had been allocated in Bhubaneswar

So what do we do now?

Following are my suggestions.

  1. We need to continue pushing our case through emails, faxes, letter writing campaigns, ground level actions etc.
  2. We need to get the MLAs from the Rourkela area involved. They need to meet the CM and make the demands. Alternatively or in addition some civil society group needs to get an appointment with the CM and convey the demand for an ESI medical college in Rourkela.
  3. The MLAs around Rourkela and email/phone of some of them that I could find are:
    1. Rourkela – Sarada Nayak (BJD) sarada59@rediffmail.com
    2. Biramitrapur – George Tirkey (Independent) 0674-403599; 0661-643282
    3. Raghunathpali – Subrat Tarai (BJD)
    4. Rajgangpur – Gregory Minz (Congress)
    5. Bonai – Bhimsen Choudhury (BJP)
    6. Sundergarh – Jogesh Singh (Congress)
    7. Talsara – Dr. Prafulla Majhi (Congress)
    8. Kuchinda – Rajendra Chhatria (Congress)

    The MP and ex-MP who can also meet the CM are:

    1. Hemanada Biswal – 09937350289
    2. Jual Oram – jualoram@rediffmail.com, jualoram@hotmail.com
  4. When these groups meet the CM they also need to have alternative proposals and an alternative set of demands. (This is in case the CM’s first response is that the land has been allotted and it can not be shifted at this stage.) Shifting of location once announced is extremely difficulty and a political hot potato. That is because if something is shifted from location A to B there will be people in A who will complain and no politician would want to do this. When A is Bhubaneswar it is even harder. (I also think that demanding shifting is not a good idea unless it is done by people of A. That is because it unnecessarily pits people of A against people of B.  We on purpose never did it in case of NISER or IIT and as a result received political support from MPs and journalists of other states.)
  5. However, asking for an ESI medical college in Rourkela does not necessarily mean shifting the one announced in Bhubaneswar. The people meeting the CM, and at some point in our campaign, we should more forcefully point out that in other states in addition to the undergraduate medical college of ESI, 1 or more other locations will have post-graduate courses and in Karnataka there will be two ESI medical colleges. If we are able to convince this to our CM and if he demands to the center that ESI establish another medical college in Rourkela or at least PG teaching at its hospital in and around Rourkela then the chances of success are much high. But this need not be done now. We may continue with our current approach (with less badmouthing of Bhubaneswar) for some time. In this I suggest the approach and tone in here rather than the tone in the petition.
  6. Whether it is demanding something from the center or getting something for a region in Orissa, getting the CM on our side is most important. From past experience the best approach for getting something for a region in Orissa has been for a delegation of MLAs to meet the CM. Hence the list of MLAs above.
  7. With respect to fighting for Rourkela this should be just a beginning. The MLA delegation when they meet the CM should also ask the CM for
    1. a general state university and
    2. to push SAIL to establish a medical college and a engineering college, as it is doing in Bokaro. There are some technical hurdles but effort is on to overcome them. SAIL is up for its mine renewal in Orissa. See here and here. So this is the right time to do it. If SAIL Bokaro can make a medical college in Bokaro why can not SAIL Rourkela in Rourkela.
    3. These could be the alternative proposals that the delegation can propose to the CM.

10 comments September 20th, 2009

From mineral resources to human resources: Constructive solutions to speed up mega projects in Orissa by taking care of the people

Following is from Dharitri:

Today Pioneer reports on MP Bhakta Das’s demand to Vedanta with respect to Lanjigarh. Following is an excerpt from that report.

Das said the package should include direct employment of 5,000 locals in technical fields and indirect employment of 10,000 locals in non-technical fields, establishment of five technical colleges like medical, engineering, polytechnic and ITI and five central schools in the district.

Asked whether he would consider supporting extraction of bauxite in the Niyamgiri hill if VAL declares such a package, Das replied that a decision in this regard would be taken with consent of all citizens at a meeting where the industry would sign an agreement before the public.

Development of healthcare, roads, education and irrigation, connection of electricity to all villages, social activities, plantation, peripheral development and permanent income source for displaced people and tribals with lifetime free education to their children are also part of the package, he said. The industry would ensure that the flow of waters of rivers and streams in the Niyamgiri hill would not be affected. Consent of the tribals would have to be taken before handing over the hill, he said.

This is a constructive approach. I hope Vedanta agrees to it. (Although Vedanta’s Chairman is establishing a Rs 15,000 crore Vedanta University near Puri, with Rs 5000 crore of his own money, Vedanta should also pay attention to the localities where its industries are coming up and where its mining operations are located; in particular Lanjigarh and Jharsuguda; as those areas will bear the burnt of the pollution and environmental side effects and also many people there will be losing their lands.)

Following the above table the companies behind the other mega-projects should do the same. We list them here.

  • Arcelor Mittal @ Keonjhar:
  • POSCO @ Paradeep
  • Jindal thermal @ Angul; Jindal Steel and Power @Kalinganagar
  • Tata Steel, Kalinganagar
  • Vedanta @ Jharsuguda and @ Lanjigarh; Sterlite Iron & Steel @Keonjhar
  • Bhusan @ Kalinganagar
  • Uttam Galva @Bistapal, Keonjhar
  • Wellspun @Bhadrakh
  • Aditya Aluminum @Rayagada @Sambalpur
  • Essar Steel @Paradeep
  • Essel Energy

To be continued …

 

2 comments September 19th, 2009

Prof. Deba K Tripathy joins as VC of VSSUT, lays out his vision and appeals to alumni

Following is from the VSSUT (formerly UCE Burla)’s alumni site http://www.alumniuce.com/messages.asp?id=264.

Dear Alumni,

After joining our alma-mater as its First Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Deb Kumar Tripathy has addressed the HODs, Deans, Faculty and Staff members of the University in the auditorium and shared his vision for the future. VSSUT Burla finally got a open minded and real visionary dynamic leader to excel in the field of technical education in the country. Here is a brief excerpts from his vision for VSSUT as delivered in his inaugural address.
***************************************************************************
(1) Make VSSUT Burla the No. 1 University in the state and a top ranked university in the country in future.

(2) Develop a new colourful big campus for the University with the support of Govt.

(3) Establish various centres of excellence to promote quality teaching and research in the university.

(4) Strengthen Industry-academia interaction and set up research laboratories at our university in collaboration with industries.

(5) Improve the residential life of students and develop more hostels with modern facilities.

(6) Recruit well qualified and potential talents as faculty of the university.

(7) Bring a dynamic change in the system so that every stackholder contributes and delivers their best for the betterment of the University.

******************************************************************************
Prof. Tripathy has a high aspiration from our 15,000 strong alumni to materialize his vision. He is soliciting high cooperation from our alumni association. He has requested the alumni to come forward with innovative ideas and constructive suggestions and join hands with him for the development of our alma-mater.

I request all the alumni members to congratulate our Vice-chancellor and put forward your valuable suggestions to help him build the VSSUT of our dream. His current e-mail id is as follows –
dkt@rtc.iitkgp.ernet.in

With best wishes and complements

Rakesh Mohanty
Secretary, VSSUT Alumni Association

1 comment September 18th, 2009

Cabinet approves 9 new NITs; Arunachal Pradesh left out

Following is from the PIB release at http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=52692.

The Union Cabinet today approved setting up of new National Institutes of Technology (NITs). These new NITs will be established in Manipur; Meghalaya; Mizoram; Nagaland; Goa (which will also cater to UTs of Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Lakshdweep); Pudducherry (which will also cater to Andaman & Nicobar Islands); Sikkim; Delhi (which will also cater to Chandigarh) and Uttrakhand.

The new approved NITs are categprized under two Schemes, as follows:

(a) Scheme “A” consisting of proposed NITs at Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Goa, which will also cater to UTs of Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep, Pudducherry, which will cater to Andaman & Nicobar Islands also and Sikkim; and

(b) Scheme “B” consisting of approved NITs at Delhi (which will also cater to Chandigarh) and Uttrakahand.

Each of the NIT under scheme A will be established at a cost of Rs.250 crore while each of the NIT in scheme B will be set up at a cost of Rs.300 crore. Total project cost is Rs.2600 crore. During 11th Plan the expenditure will be of the order of Rs.540 crore and for the year 2009-2010 expenditure will be of the order of Rs.50 crore.

Main beneficiaries will be the students from the States/UTs which at present do not have NITs as seats will be earmarked for such students in these NITs along with seats earmarked to be filled on all India merit basis.

Presently there are 20 National Institutes of Technology (NITs), located at Agartala, Allahabad, Bhopal, Calicut, Durgapur, Hamirpur, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Jamshedpur, Kurukshetra, Nagpur, Patna, Raipur, Rourkela, Silchar, Srinagar, Surat, Surathkal, Tiruchirapalli and Warangal.

Comparing with an earlier PIB release http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=41316&kwd=, it seems Arunachal Pradesh has been left out. One excuse may be that Arunachal Pradesh has NERIST, a nationally funded institute. I guess if people of Arunachal Pradesh complain, NERIST may get upgraded to an NIT.

Although initially it was mentioned that 10 new NITs will be established, the reason only 9 are now approved, is that the 10th slot perhaps went to the ABA Ghani Khan Choudhary Institute. This is mentioned in http://www.telegraphindia.com/1081217/jsp/nation/story_10263837.jsp.

1 comment September 17th, 2009

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