Archive for December, 2010

Construction site pictures of IMI Bhubaneswar campus on 29th December 2010; suggests good progress towards 2011 opening

The following picture is taken near the main construction entrance looking to the left.

The following picture shows the main construction entrance and a distant look on the buildings on the left.

The following picture is taken from the construction entrance looking to the right.

The following picture is taken from the construction entrance looking to the far right.

The folloiwng picture is a close-up view to the right.

The following picture is taken from the inside of IIIT Bhubaneswar. The building on the left are the IIIT hostels. The faraway buildings in the center and the right are the IMI buildings. This picture shows that IIIT and IMI are adjacent to each other.

3 comments December 30th, 2010

A Compendium on Vedanta University in Facebook : bit.ly/vedantau

Following is the content from http://on.fb.me/vedantau.


 

In less than three months we have created a sizable compendium on Vedanta University, mostly based on information collected from the web. They are available in the page http://www.facebook.com/vedantau . Given below are the links to important parts of that collection.

Please share this with your friends in FB or otherwise and urge them to explore it. We need to spread this information so that more and more people (especially from Odisha and India) are aware of the benefits of this university and its importance to Odisha and India and are not swayed by misinformation spread by some vested interests. This is an opportunity of a millennium for Odisha and we must not miss this.

1. http://bit.ly/vedantau-radio : A radio interview of the main architect of Vedanta University. It was done by a radio station in the US in 2007. It will tell you everything about the university and the motivation behind it.

2. http://bit.ly/vedantau-video2 : A video interview of Anil Agarwal by Charlie Rose of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) of USA. He talks about the Vedanta University and how it came about. 

3. http://bit.ly/vedantau1 : A 43 page pdf document by me titled "Vedanta University: Its importance to Odisha and India." This document address the significance and importance of Vedanta University for Odisha and India through the following points.

In addition it addresses the following frequently asked questions (FAQs):

4. http://on.fb.me/vedantau-s1 : Why Vedanta University is important for Odisha? A statement by Dr. Dhanada Mishra, Bhubaneswar.

5. http://on.fb.me/vedantau-s2 : Vedanta University – Will You Gain? A slide presentation by Devasis Sarangi, Bhubaneswar

6. http://on.fb.me/vedantau-s4 : Vedanta University is an academic question. An appeal to Odisha academics by Professor S P Misra, Bhubaneswar.

7. http://on.fb.me/vedantau-s5  : Why we need Vedanta University in Odisha? A statement by Manmohan Dash, currently at Bhubaneswar.

8. http://on.fb.me/vedantau-s6 : Why Vedanta University is important for Odisha? A statement by Sujeet Jena, originally from Puri, Currently in Sydney, Australia. 

9. http://on.fb.me/vedantau-s7 :  I am propagating the project. What will I get? Umashankar Das (currently at Bangalore) answers questions posed to him on his support for Vedanta University.

 

 

1 comment December 23rd, 2010

Save Vedanta University in Puri Campaign in Facebook and beyond

Dear all:

By now most of you must be aware that the Odisha government as well as the Vedanta University authorities have gone to Supreme Court. One can draw two inferences from that.

(i) The Odisha government is standing behind its decision. [Some may consider that it did not have a choice. Perhaps. On the other hand, in the past, the CM had disassociated himself from people (ministers and officers) linked to controversies so that he does not get tainted. He could have done that here. But he seems to be standing behind the project and believe in it and its importance to Odisha. He seems to have taken a personal risk to his reputation by standing behind the project.]

(ii) The fact that the Vedanta University people also went to the supreme court means that they are still interested in having it in Odisha.

Now Supreme Court will take its time in giving a verdict. I am not sure if we can write to the supreme court or not. I am trying to find out as we do not want to take any missteps.

While hoping that the Supreme Court gives a favorable (towards Vedanta Univ) verdict, we should not just wait and do nothing. From past experience we know that the opponents will still try to create problems even after a favorable (towards Vedanta Univ) supreme court verdict.

So we must continue our efforts to spread the positives and virtues of Vedanta University and its impact on Odisha and India. We are doing that in facebook. Please help us there as well as through other channels of your choice.

The point is that the parameters of this project is unprecedented in India. Thus there is misunderstanding and opposition. The government is not doing that good a job in countering the misinformation. Nevertheless, the people who understand the project and its unprecedented implications to Odisha (that is we) must do our part. In the west when there is a controversial project, people from both sides speak. In Odisha the opponents are often small but make a lot of noise and drama while the supporters mostly keep quiet. With that happening repeatedly no wonder Odisha despite being resource rich it is at the bottom of most human development parameters. We need to break that pattern starting from this project.

We need to come out in the open and speak up.

To help in that we have consolidated various information on the issue at http://on.fb.me/vedantau . I am giving them below. Please read some of the statements in that list. It is very encouraging. If you have not done so, please write your statement and send them to me. I would still like to make a collection of those statements and give it to various people in Odisha.

Links to some of the statements:

4. http://on.fb.me/vedantau-s1 : Why Vedanta University is important for Odisha? A statement by Dr. Dhanada Mishra, Bhubaneswar.

5. http://on.fb.me/vedantau-s2 : Vedanta University – Will You Gain? A slide presentation by Devasis Sarangi, Bhubaneswar

6. http://on.fb.me/vedantau-s4 : Vedanta University is an academic question. An appeal to Odisha academics by Professor S P Misra, Bhubaneswar.

7. http://on.fb.me/vedantau-s5  : Why we need Vedanta University in Odisha? A statement by Manmohan Dash, currently at Bhubaneswar.

8. http://on.fb.me/vedantau-s6 : Why Vedanta University is important for Odisha? A statement by Sujeet Jena, originally from Puri, Currently in Sydney, Australia.

9. http://on.fb.me/vedantau-s7 :  I am propagating the project. What will I get? Umashankar Das (currently at Bangalore) answers questions posed to him on his support for Vedanta University.

Action Items:

(a) Please spread the word.
(b) Send me your statements (if you have not done so)
(c) Show support in face book: Click on "like" in http://www.facebook.com/vedantau

We now have more than 1200  well educated people (mostly Odias) openly showing their support in Facebook through likes and friends links. More than 70% of them are from India. So this is not an NRI thing. On purpose we focused on India.

(d) In general, lets not sit quiet; lets do our part as a well-wisher of Odisha.

best regards
Chitta Baral

December 23rd, 2010

NISER Bhubaneswar advertises for faculty position in Mathematics; first date February, 5th, 2011

Following is from http://www.niser.ac.in/notices/2010/Advt_FC_Math.pdf.


The National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) has been setup at Bhubaneswar by the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India as a unique institution of its kind pursuing undergraduate and post-graduate education in science combined with frontline research. NISER is being setup in a sprawling 300 acre campus about 3 km from Khurda Road Railway Station on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar overlook- ing Barunei Hills. It will be a fully residential campus with modern living amenities including children’s school and health centre. Presently NISER is functioning from its own Academic Building of about 5000 m2 area within the Institute of Physics campus. It is expected to move to the main campus by the academic session of 2012-13.

NISER invites applications for the following positions in the School of Mathematical Sciences from extremely motivated Indian scientists with a high-profile research agenda and a flair for teaching especially at the under- graduate level.

POSITIONS 1. Assistant Professor

• Pay Band -3: Rs. 15,600 – 39,100    Grade Pay- Rs. 7,600/-    Initial Basic Pay: 29,500*/-

• NISER has provision for advance increments maximum up to 5 to the selected candidates depending upon their post doctoral experience and quality of publications. Accordingly, the above initial basic pay may increase.

• Educational Qualification & Experience: A Ph.D. degree in the relevant discipline from a reputed and recognized university or institute. Three years of postdoctoral experience or three years teaching/research experience after Ph.D. preferably abroad with high quality publication in high impact journals.

2. Reader F

• Pay Band 4: Rs. 37,400 – 67,000    Grade Pay: 8,700/-
Initial Basic Pay: 46,100

• Educational Qualification & Experience: A Ph.D. degree in the relevant discipline from a reputed University or Institute. At least 5 years of postdoctoral/teaching experience preferably abroad with high quality publication in high impact journals.

• OTHER BENEFITS:

– In addition to the basic salary, NISER faculty member are entitled to the allowances as admissible to Central Government Employees stationed at Bhubaneswar.

– The Performance Related Incentive Scheme (PRIS) of DAE is likely to be implemented in the NISER, under which, there is provision for monthly incentive of 20% of the basic pay.

– NISER Faculties are also be eligible for DAE’s update allowance, which is currently Rs. 10,000 to Rs.30,000 per year depending on the scale of pay.

– Provision of Relocation Grant:

a. The candidates who are in abroad and joining NISER from there only shall be paid relocation grant maximum up to Rs.90000/- subject to submission/ production of original receipts.

b. Candidates who are in Government service and joining NISER shall be paid Joining T. A. as per Government of India rule.

c. Candidates joining NISER neither from abroad nor from Government service shall also be considered for Relocation Grant on case to case basis subject to approval of Board of Governors, NISER.

– Reimbursement of telephone charges on monthly basis as per Institute rule.

– NISER is also providing financial support to the faculty members for attending National, International Conferences, Seminars, Workshops, etc. which is comparable to the best in the country.

– NISER has sufficient funds to provide seed money to the new faculty members to start their research programme. In addition the Department of Atomic Energy provides generous grants from its Prospective Research Fund to bright young scientists.

– The age of superannuation of faculty members of NISER is 65 years.

– NISER Faculty members are covered under New Pension Scheme as notified by the Government of India, Ministry of Finance.

Interested candidates may apply by enclosing:

• Curriculum Vitae
• List of Publications (with reprints of important papers as pdf files)
• Names and addresses (with e-mail and fax number) of at least three referees
• A statement of purpose and research programme

The qualification and experience prescribed are the minimum and mere possession of the same does not entitle a candidate to be considered for any position. However, the experience criteria may be relaxed for exceptionally meritorious candidates.

Applications should be sent by e-mail to vmuruganandam [at] niser [dot] ac [dot] in  marking ”Faculty application ” in the subject field.

This is an open rolling advertisement and the applications shall be accepted throughout the year and will be considered for selection at regular intervals. However, the first panel of candidates will be prepared for selection among the suitable candidates whom applications shall be received by February, 5th, 2011.

Candidates are advised to request the Referees to send their letters of recommendations (preferably signed versions as pdf file) directly to NISER at the above e-mail address. Those having regular job in any organization should also send a scanned copy of ”No Objection Certificate” issued by the current employer.

All correspondence should be addressed to the above e-mail address only. No postal correspondence is required at any stage. Enquiry regarding the outcome of the application is discouraged. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted further.

Those who have already applied need not apply again.

 

December 23rd, 2010

Vice President Calls for More Funds for State Universities to Improve Higher Education: PIB

Following is from http://www.pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=68579.

The Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that higher education cannot improve in India unless State Universities, which are the backbone and represent the bulk of enrollment, are able to obtain greater funds, create new infrastructure and enrich their existing academic programmes. Delivering foundation day lecture at University of Calcutta today Shri Ansari said, anecdotal evidence suggests that the budget of one Central University is almost the same or more than the budget of all State Universities in some States. Just like the Central Government has assumed the responsibility for elementary education through Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, it should also vastly enhance its support to State Universities as a shared national enterprise, the Vice President observed.

Shri Ansari said, “Our Gross Enrollment Ratio in higher education is half of the world’s average, two-third’s that of developing countries and around a fifth that of developed countries. Even though we have been able to achieve an economic growth rate of 9 per cent of GDP despite low enrollment in higher education, it would not be possible for us to sustain such economic growth, maintain our competitiveness and enhance our productivity without at least doubling our higher education enrollment. Unless we can increase access and educational outcomes at secondary and tertiary levels, our demographic dividend might turn into a demographic liability.”

Following is the full text of Vice President’s lecture delivered on the occasion:

“ This is a rare privilege. I do feel flattered to be invited to deliver the Foundation Day Lecture of a great and famous seat of learning, India’s oldest modern university, more so because of an ancient association of a few youthful years with this city. I also subscribe fully to what the Urdu poet Ghalib said about Kolkata which he visited around the year1830:

Kalkatte ka jo zikr kiya tu ne hum nasheen

Ek teer mere sine main maara ki hai hai

Ah me, my friend! The mention of Calcutta’s name

Has loosed off a shaft that pierces to my very soul

Voltaire was perhaps unduly cynical when he describes history as “nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.” This is certainly not true of the history of this great city which is, in a sense, also the history of modern India.

Most of us associate the year 1857 with the First War of Independence, with the heroic deeds of many, as also with the eventual failure of the effort to overthrow the foreign yoke and seek freedom from bondage. Few today would associate 1857 with another event of seminal significance. It was on January 24, 1857 that the Calcutta University Act was enacted. It was the culmination of a process initiated by Lord William Bentinck and energised by his successor Lord Auckland. The conceptual input and framework had come earlier from Sir Charles Wood. Its purpose, and ambit, was unambiguously linked to a colonial purpose, namely “to confine higher education to persons possessing leisure and natural influence” over the minds of their countrymen and who, by attaining a higher standard of modern education “would eventually produce a much greater and more beneficial change in the ideas and feelings of the community.”

The expectations from this endeavour were anticipated to be modest. The first Vice Chancellor, Sir James William Colvile, was candid about results. “We must recollect,” he said in the first Convocation Address, “that we are not merely planting an exotic (tree), we are planting a tree of slow growth.” His successor went against the tide of opinion in the British Indian establishment in the aftermath of 1857 and said three years later: “Educate your people from Cape Camorin to the Himalayas and a second mutiny of 1857 will be impossible.”

These worthy gentlemen evidently could not discern the thirst for new knowledge among segments of the public, nor could they anticipate the use that would eventually be made of it. The alumnae of this institution played a great role in the freedom struggle as also in the furtherance of knowledge in all fields. The record does speak for itself.

The proclaimed and principal purpose of the university was, and is, ‘Advancement of Learning’. There was an element of idealism about it. In a celebrated work published in November 1858, Cardinal John Henry Newman spelt out the idea of a university in terms worthy of reiteration:



“ A university is a place of concourse, wither students come from every quarter for every kind of knowledge…It is a place where inquiry is pushed forward, and discoveries verified and perfected, and rashness rendered innocuous, and error exposed, by the collusion of mind with mind, and knowledge with knowledge…It is a place which wins the admiration of the young by its celebrity, kindles the affections of the middle-aged by its beauty, and rivets the fidelity of the old by its associations. It is a seat of wisdom, a light of the world, a minister of the faith, an Alma Mater of the rising generation.”

Over the past century and a half, the ideal has retained its relevance. What has changed in response to the evolving external environment is the content, some of the methodology, and some of the end product. These were propelled by the enormity of change – political, economic, technological and cultural. A historian of our times noted at the turn of the century that “we are entering a fearful time, a time that will call on all our resources, moral as well as intellectual and material.” In this endeavour, the intellectual inputs from seats of learning and research would impact decisively on the moral and material resources needed to respond to the emerging challenges.

The need to revisit the framework for higher education in the country has been felt in recent years. This was summed up in the 2008 Report of the National Knowledge Commission:

“The emerging knowledge society and associated opportunities present a set of new imperatives and new challenges for our economy, polity and society. If we fail to capitalize on the opportunities now, our demographic dividend could well become a liability. The widening disparities in our country will translate into social unrest, if urgent steps are not taken to build an inclusive society. And our growth rate, which is faltering now, will stagnate soon, if a sustainable development paradigm is not created. “

A look at the ground reality is relevant to this discourse. Today we have 504 Universities, with varying statutory bases and mandates. Of these, 40 are Central Universities, 243 are State Universities, 130 are Deemed Universities, five institutions established under State legislation, 53 are State private Universities, and 33 are Institutions of National Importance established by Central legislation. We have a total teaching faculty of around 6 lakhs in higher education.

The structure and quality of these institutions, and their output, was the subject of critical scrutiny in the Yashpal Committee Report of 2009, tasked to suggest measures for the renovation and rejuvenation of higher education. One of its observations is telling:

“Over the years we have followed policies of fragmenting our educational enterprises into cubicles. We have overlooked that new knowledge and new insights have often originated at the boundaries of disciplines. We have tended to imprison disciplinary studies in opaque walls. This has restricted flights of imagination and limited our creativity. This character of our education has restrained and restricted our young right from the school age and continues that way into college and university stages. Most instrumentalities of our education harm the potential of human mind for constructing and creating new knowledge. We have emphasized delivery of information and rewarded capability of storing information. This does not help in creating a knowledge society. This is particularly vile at the university level because one of the requirements of a good university should be to engage in knowledge creation – not just for the learner but also for society as a whole.”

The Report goes on to say that our universities remain one of the most under-managed and badly governed organisations in society, with constricted autonomy, internal subversion within academia and multiple and opaque regulatory systems. Furthermore, university education is no longer viewed as a good in itself but as the stepping stone to a higher economic and social orbit.

The Report dwells on the increasing demand for expansion of private college and university level institutions necessitating an understanding of its implications in terms of the system’s enrolment capacity, programme focus, regional balance, ownership pattern, modes of delivery, degree of regulation, quality and credibility as well as social concerns of inclusiveness. It points out that State universities and affiliated colleges represent the bulk of enrolment in higher education and remain the most neglected in terms of resources and governmental attention.

Targeted government interventions to enhance access to elementary education through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan have been successful in quantitative terms, even though problems remain with regard to content, quality and outcomes. You are also aware that one of the focal themes of the Eleventh Five Year Plan is the expansion and enhancement of access to higher education.

Our Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education is half of the world’s average, two-third’s that of developing countries and around a fifth that of developed countries. Even though we have been able to achieve an economic growth rate of 9 per cent of GDP despite low enrolment in higher education, it would not be possible for us to sustain such economic growth, maintain our competitiveness and enhance our productivity without at least doubling our higher education enrolment. Unless we can increase access and educational outcomes at secondary and tertiary levels, our demographic dividend might turn into a demographic liability.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, gross enrolment in higher education is not directly linked to economic growth and prosperity or to elementary school enrolment. Thus, for example, some of the economically and educationally backward states with respect to literacy rate and school enrolment, such as Orissa, Assam, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh have higher enrolments in higher education as compared to relatively better off states such as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It would seem that enrolment is a function of a variety of social, cultural, institutional and economic processes and is significantly affected by the availability of educational infrastructure and facilities.

In addition to expansion, the other two central themes of the Eleventh Plan are inclusion and excellence. This is recognition of the fact that expansion does not necessarily ensure automatic access to the marginalised sections of the society and that quantitative expansion without maintaining quality would defeat the basic objective.

There are five questions pertaining to higher education that need to be addressed urgently:

First, we must ponder whether the existing means of instituting new universities is desirable and sustainable. Currently, Universities can be established only through Central or State legislation or through recognition as Deemed Universities on a selective basis. Legislation has been accorded to many private Universities by some State Governments, and both Central and State governments have accorded statutory status to some institutions.

Second, higher education cannot improve in India unless state universities, which are the backbone and represent the bulk of enrolment, are able to obtain greater funds, create new infrastructure and enrich their existing academic programmes. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the budget of one central university is almost the same or more than the budget of all state universities in some states. Just like the central government has assumed the responsibility for elementary education through Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, it should also vastly enhance its support to state universities as a shared national enterprise. The Midterm Appraisal of the Eleventh Five Year Plan takes note of this option and has observed:

“Many state universities including the old and reputed universities of Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Pune are starved of funds and this allocation could be used for improving the conditions of the existing State universities and colleges which faces severe paucity of resources to help them retain their excellence and competitive edge….. The Central funding of State institutions should be linked to the reforms and a MOU signed between MHRD, UGC, States, universities and institutions for implementation of time-bound reforms and outcomes.”

Third, a significant focus of reform should be the college system, numbering around 26000 colleges, where most of the enrolment in higher education occurs. Sadly, under graduate education does not get the attention it deserves in universities amidst paucity of funds for qualitative development and quantitative expansion of colleges. The government is planning to establish colleges in 374 educationally backward districts in the country, representing over 60 per cent of all districts, with shared funding between the state and central governments.

Fourth, we need to liberate education from the strict and fragmented disciplinary confines of our formal higher education structures. This has become a significant impediment in the creation of new knowledge, especially in view of our stated objective of creating a knowledge society. We need to remind ourselves that the Indian Nobel Prize winners in the early part of the last century were a part of our higher education set-up. We had then allowed free interplay between science and engineering, languages and the humanities, performing and fine arts. It was at the fringes of such inter-disciplinary interaction that new knowledge was produced and existing knowledge flourished. I am aware of academic administrators who bemoan that those pursuing Mathematics could not simultaneously study Sanskrit grammar in India despite sound academic and research logic of doing so, due to systemic rigidities of our university system.

Fifth, higher education in our country must be an arena of choice, not of elimination. Increasingly, one notices that entrance and admission criteria and procedures are designed to screen out and eliminate, due to the adverse ratio of demand and availability, especially in disciplines with job potential or where the college or university reputation is likely to be a determining factor in employment. We must create avenues for skills training and vocational education so that entering universities does not become a default choice for the sake of employment, particularly for those who might not have interest in the subject or desire for higher education.

Allow me to conclude, ladies and gentlemen, by pointing out that the entire gamut of issues dealing with the rejuvenation and restructuring of higher education in India is in the public domain for an open policy debate. In the near future, we would witness civil society, policy community, academia, the government and the legislatures debating issues ranging from regulatory and governance structures, academic and administrative reforms, capacity building and teacher training, and entry of individual and institutional foreign education providers. This is a positive development and must be pursued to its logical conclusion.

It is my hope that this distinguished audience, and students, would be part of the ongoing debates on higher education. Each of you is an important stakeholder in the process and must contribute to it, not only as members of the academic community, but more importantly as citizens of this Republic. It is only with active engagement that we can hope to mould higher education as an instrumentality to achieve the Constitutional vision propounded by our founding fathers.”


This is an important speech. It gives some hints regarding what may happen in the 12th plan. It looks like there may be a significant central funding component for state universities.

December 21st, 2010

Best Western in collaboration with Ranjita Institute of Hotel Management and Catering (RIHC), has opened the Best Western India Centre For Hotel Management and Training in Bhubaneswar

Following is an from a report in hospitalitybizindia.com.

International hospitality chain Best Western in collaboration with Ranjita Institute of Hotel Management and Catering (RIHC), has opened of The Best Western India Centre For Hotel Management and Training in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. The new campus spread over 10 acres will train approximately 500 students. The centre will commence its next session from February 2011.

According to the company release, the institute campus will be fully residential and offer courses in hospitality and hotel administration, accommodation operation and management, food production, food and beverage service and other modular programmes.

Sudhir Sinha, President & COO, Best Western India said, “Best Western is probably the only international chain which has tremendous online certification and training resources available for all the key departments like front office, housekeeping, maintenance, food & beverage production, food & production service, sales for all its employees. These courses are all available online to the students of this training centre. The training and certification modules of Best Western helps to share the Global Best Practices identified across over 4,000 hotels worldwide.”

Ranjita Institute has the same Chairman as the C V Raman College in Bhubaneswar; so they are probably linked or part of the same group.

December 20th, 2010

Sri Sri Ravishankar laid foundation stone at Dharmagarh (Kalahandi) for an agriculture university

Following is an excerpt from a report in Pioneer.

December 17, 2010   11:59:31 AM

BIKASH KHEMKA | BHAWANIPATNA

Spiritualism pervaded the air here with Art of Living Guru Sri Sri Ravishankar’s visit and didactic discourse on Wednesday evening at the college field here thronged by the people of both Kalahandi and adjacent districts.

The backdrop of the dais was catchy with the images of Maa Manikeswari Temple, Chhatar Yatra and the primitive tribal groups depicting the true aura of this tribal district.

In the morning hour, Ravishankar laid a foundation stone at nearby Dharmagarh for an agriculture university and air-dashed here by chopper at around 2.30 pm.

Following is an excerpt from a report in orissadiary.com.

The founder of Art of Living , Spiritual Guru HH Sri Sri Ravishankarji  meets Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the Orissa Secretariat on Thursday and discussed with the Chief Minister regarding progress of proposed Sri Sri University at Narah Bidyadharpur.

In course of Discussion, Ravisankarji has proposed to set up an  Agriculture University at Kalahandi. Ravisankarji also expressed that besides Agriculture, training will be imparted on Medicinal Plants.

This is wonderful news. Earlier it was reported in kalahandia that about 100 acres has been identified for the above mentioned university.

December 17th, 2010

NRIADD Bhubaneswar advertises in Samaja for a Senior Research Fellow

This institute is among one of the many institutes under the Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha. The current details about the institute in Bhubaneswar is as follows:

National Research Institute of Ayurvedic Drug Development, Bhubneshwar

 

1.

Name Of The Institute

National Research Institute of Ayurvedic Drug Development, Bhubneshwar

2.

Name & Designation Of Unit Incharge

Dr.R.K.Swamy
A.D[Ay] Incharge

3.

Address With Phone, Fax No., E Mail

National Research Institute of Ayurvedic Drug Development,
Unit No.1, Bhubaneswar-751009
0674- 2530125 (Telefax)
2531941(Hospital), 2570650/  

2570705(R)/09437036463
cribbsr_ayurveda@yahoo.com

4.

Activities
(A) Clinical Research

 

* Pharmacovigilance study on Ayurveda and Siddha practices

(B) Literary   Research :

1. Chikitsarnava 
2. Fifty Two Manuscripts of Orissa state Museum.

(C) Family Welfare

Contraceptives:
 Neem Oil

5.

Facilities Available

OPD/ IPD Level,
Pathological Lab,
Biochemistry
X- RAY,

6.

Special Treatment Available

Slipada (Filariasis)

December 17th, 2010

Pushing for central institutions and universities for the Twelfth five year plan (work in progress)

Update: Odisha must push for a second campus of Indian School of Mines. See http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/6076 for the reasoning that can be used for this.


The twelfth five year plan starts from 2012. It is only two years away. The eleventh plan fetched us a NISER (Bhubaneswar), IIT (Bhubaneswar), Central University of Orissa (Koraput), and plans for an innovation university (Bhubaneswar) and a centrally funded IIIT (Berhampur). Since all of these are in their earlier stages and there were 5+1 IISER/NISERs, 8 new IITs, 16 new/upgraded central universities, plan for 14 innovation universities and plan for 20 IIITs across the country I do not think there will be new ones of them in the 12th plan.

However, there are other kinds of centrally funded institutes and universities that were not much covered in the 11th plan, but yet there were instances of them in some parts of the country. I think if we focus on them from now it is possible that we can influence the inclusion of their establishment across the country in the 12th plan with some locations in Odisha. It is important to push these ideas as pan-Indian ideas rather than Odisha specific. Within Odisha by focusing on "backward districts" we can achieve a good distribution.

Following are some pan-Indian ideas that come to mind.

  1. Several Central Agricultural Universities in backward areas of the country, including one in Kalahandi: Currently there is a Central Agricultural University HQed in Imphal. (http://www.cau.org.in/). I came across the news item in http://bundelkhand.in/portal/NEWS/Centre-clears-an-AIIMS-like-institute-for-Jhansi-Bundelkhand that says "the Union agriculture ministry had given the go-ahead to develop a central agriculture university in Jhansi". I think a good case can be made that instead of just Jhansi (in the backward Bundelkhand district) such universities should be made in several backward district clusters in India. In Odisha at one time Kalahandi was known as the Rice Bowl of Odisha. Also, with the central government’s role in harming the industrialization of Kalahandi they may be sympathetic to establish a CAU there.
     
  2. Several Central Institutions of Technology in backward areas of the country, including one in Balangir: Currently, a Central Institute of Technology exist in Kokrajhar, Assam. Similar ones exist in Longowal Punjab (SLIET),  and one being made in Malda (GKCIET). These are all centrally funded institutions, have rural focus and are aimed at 3-tiers: workers, technicians and engineers. See http://www.orissalinks.com/orissagrowth/archives/3911 for some more details on these colleges. I think a good case can be made that such institutions be made across India in the various backward district clusters. In Odisha, Balangir may be suggested as the location as the third district cluster of the famed backward KBK region. With CUO in Koraput and and a CAU in Kalahandi, Balangir is the right place for a CIT.
     
  3. Upgradation of several engineering colleges to IIESTs, including the upgradation of VSSUT, Burla: Now that go ahead has been given to upgrade BESU (Bengal Engineering and Science University) to an IIEST (Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology), this idea should be expanded to another dozen or so colleges across India. In Odisha, VSSUT is the one most suitable for this upgrade. In this regard one may note that as per the evaluation in http://www.npiu.nic.in/PDF/Govt-25-1.1.zip and http://www.npiu.nic.in/PDF/Govt-58-1.1.zip only two government colleges (one in Pondicherry (75) and one in Hubli (77)) in India have a higher score than VSSUT’s  score of 73. Even among the colleges listed in http://www.npiu.nic.in/PDF/Govt-71-1.2.zip only BITS-Mesra (76), Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysore (82), Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai (80) and NIT Surathkal (77) have a higher score than VSSUT’s 73. [I am not sure if the colleges in the last list were scored on the same parameters as VSSUT.]
  4.  

  5. Several National Sports Institutions/Universities, including one HQed in Rourkela: Currently there are two such institutes: Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education (LNUPE), Gwalior and Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports (NSNIS), Patiala. Recently, a proposal was received by GOI from the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports to convert Rajiv Gandhi National Institute for Youth Development, an institution deemed to be university, at Sriperumbudur into Rajiv Gandhi Central University/National Institute of Youth and Sports. I think a good case can be made that such institutions be made across India in districts and locations that are catchment areas for various sports. In Odisha Rourkela would be the right choice with a possible branch campus around Kendrapada (women’s soccer) and Jagatpur (Rowing).
  6.  

  7. Additional branches of IGNTU (Indira Gandhi National Tribal University) including one in Kandhamala: Indira Gandhi National Tribal University is HQed in Amarkantak, MP. Its act mentions that the university will have branch campuses in various locations across India. The government of Odisha has proposed Kandhamala as the location of one such branch campus. This should be pushed and perhaps another campus may be proposed for the tribal areas cluster of Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj.

In addition we need to continue to push for a medical college and an engineering college as part of the Central University of Orissa, Koraput. The state government and the CUO Koraput authorities are already doing it.

2 comments December 15th, 2010

AKC group, the holding company of Amity Group of Educational institutions, is looking for 25-50 acres in Bhubaneswar

The following research was done by our regular commentator Stingidea.


Amity University, one of India’s largest private university seems to be looking at setting up a campus in Bhubaneswar. While it is has not officially announced any such plans it appears to be scouting around for land in the capital city as evidenced from this advertisement that one of it’s holding companies – AKC Group of Companies through its affiliate company  Tegro India Private Limited (advertisement attached) – has put in the Oriya vernacular daily Dharitri.
 

A domain name search for the owner of tegroindia.com reveals that it is registered by AKC Group of Companies (http://whois.domaintools.com/tegroindia.com). Further research on the web reveals that AKC Group of Companies is the holding company for the Amity Group of Educational institutions.

 

6 comments December 15th, 2010

Utkal University to receive 9 crore PURSE grant from DST

Following is an excerpt from a report in Telegraph.

The ministry of science and technology, under its promotion of university research and scientific excellence (Purse) programme, has selected the Utkal University for an incentive of Rs 9 crore for research and development as grant.

“The department started the Purse programme in 2009. Based on studies carried out by the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), New Delhi, the department will support 29 universities for the research and development grant under the Purse programme. The grant will be spread over three years,” said in-charge of research and development, Utkal University, S Jena.

“This is supposed to be the single biggest grant that the university has received in its history.

… In 2009, the grant was provided to 14 universities, based on their publications as per the Scopus international database for 1996-2006,” Jena said.

“Similar studies were being carried out by the NISTADS in the current year using the Scopus database on publications output for 1998-2008,” reads a letter from the ministry.

Based on the study, the department of science and technology will support 29 more universities for the research and development incentive grant under the Purse programme, it reads.

This is great news. I hope this provides a big boost to Science programs at Utkal University. We found a bit more about the PURSE grants from the site http://203.200.89.92/dst/scientific-programme/inspire/ser-inspire-speech.htm. Following are some excerpts from that site.

With a view to promote scientific research in our universities, the Ministry of Science and Technology has proposed a special scheme named Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence (PURSE). I am very happy to have launched this new scheme, which provides an incentive grant to performing universities based on scientific publications in Science Citation Indexed Journals. I sincerely hope that many more universities would enroll into scientific research and become qualified for such recognitions and incentive grants.

I am pleased and delighted that recent data shows that publications in Science Citation Journals of the world from India have been registering an annual growth of about 10% during the last few years. A total of 14 universities are among the 35 high productivity S&T institutions of the country whose contributions figure significantly in such publications during the last ten years.

For a country with our vast underlying scientific potential, these should be seen as rather modest gains. We should think big and act purposefully towards more ambitious goals.

Unlike other major scientific nations, India has a young population. If we can get our act together, this favourable demographic profile can be exploited enormously to make India a key knowledge supplier in the global economy in the next few decades.

December 14th, 2010

BIMTECH Bhubaneswar classes planned to start in 2012

This is mentioned in the document at http://bimtech.ac.in/images/data/BIMTECH_%20Bhubaneshwar.pdf. Following is a plan drawing of their administrative block.

BIMTECH has been given 29.4 acres near IIIT Bhubaneswar.

December 12th, 2010

Faculty positions advertised for IMI Campus of Bhubaneswar; expected to start in 2011

First we give  some excerpts from an interview with IMI Director of Admissions done by pagalguy.com.

Following the diversity-wave hitting Indian b-schools, Delhi-based International  Management Institute (IMI) too is comtemplating using relaxed CAT cut-offs for students from commerce, economics and arts backgrounds, says Admission Director Prof Himadri Das. In this interview, he also announces IMI’s thought process behind opening new campuses in Kolkata and Bhubhaneswar.

Why is IMI expanding to two new locations?

We are opening two new campuses in Kolkata and Bhubhaneswar. We believe that there is a huge demand-supply gap of good quality schools in the eastern sector of India. There’s a good concentration of good b-schools in north and west India. But if you looked at the east, there’s nothing in Orissa apart from XIM Bhubhaneswar. If you looked at Kolkata, there’s nothing of the stature of IIM Calcutta or even IIFT Kolkata. Slightly northwards, there’s XLRI Jamshedpur which is top quality. But that’s about it.So we’re going to bridge the gap in that geographical area.

Opening an IMI in Kolkata was a natural progression because the IMI board’s Chairman is based out of Kolkata. They already had the land for the campus and we plan to launch that school in June 2011 subject to AICTE approval. In Bhubhaneswar, we were able to get institutional land from the government right next to IIIT Bhubhaneswar. We’ve got a huge 16-acre campus there and we plan to run all our residential Executive Development Programs (EDPs) there.

We are limited in terms of land in both Delhi and Kolkata, but not in Bhubhaneswar. So we plan to run all our EDPs from there apart from the standard PGDM courses subject to AICTE approval. Each of the new IMIs will have independent directors, all of equal seniority level, but the overall board of governors will be common. In terms of governance, these schools will be independent b-schools. For the start, IMI Delhi will help these two b-schools to get off the ground in terms of visiting faculty and curriculum.

…  How will you persuade good faculty to come and work for you in lower-profile cities such as Bhubhaneswar?

We obviously feel there will be a good response from faculty which is why we are opening these branches. But the real test will be when we look to hire people. Only last week have we put up the advertisements for hiring faculty so we’ll known soon how tough it’ll be. But in
Bhubhaneswar it’s going to be a residential campus where we’ll provide nice housing for the faculty in a gated sort of community, away from the hustle bustle of city life.

It is mentioned in their brochure that subject to AICTE approval they plan to start classes in the Bhubaneswar campus in 2011. Following is their ad for faculty for both their Bhubaneswar and Delhi campus.

In Bhubaneswar the IMI Campus will be located near IIIT and it has been given 15.8 acres. The IMI Kolkata campus has an area of 3 acres. The Delhi campus also has an area of 3 acres.

1 comment December 12th, 2010

Prof. Bala Balachandran, emeritus professor of Kellogg School plans University of Corporate Excellence in Bhubaneswar

Following is an excerpt from a report in pagalguy.com.

Great Lakes business School, Chennai is all set to open a university in Orissa, besides another b-school in Delhi. This is after taking Mumbai Business School, Mumbai under its wings a few months ago. Disclosing this, Founder and Dean of Great Lakes, Dr Bala V. Balachandran told Pagalguy that the university in Bhubhaneshwar, Orissa will be modelled differnetly and not like the usual universities.

“This university will cater to different subjects like engineering, law,  schools of art, science, economics, math,” said Dr Balachandran. This university may not be called Great Lakes but could be called the University of Corporate Excellence. When asked why, Dr Balachandran replied that Great Lakes already has an identity of a b-school. “Would be confusing to name the university with the same name.”

With regards to the b-school in Delhi, it would be called Great Lakes, like the one in Chennai. While the Great Lakes in Delhi is expected to come up in the next six months, the university is Bhubhaneshwar will come up in a year’s time.

Prof. Balachandran has already created the top notch business school, Great Lakes, in Chennai. Following is an excerpt from the page http://greatlakes.edu.in/Dr–Bala-V-Balachandran.html about his current and past associations.

Founder and Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, India J L Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Accounting and Information Management (Emeritus in Service), Northwestern University, Illinois, USA Executive Professor & Strategy Advisor to the Dean, Bauer College, University of Houston, Texas, USA

2 comments December 12th, 2010

Kandla to have a Marine University center; Whats up with Odisha?

Following is from a report in Gujarat Money.

Gujarat’s Kandla port will have a centre of Chennai based Marine University.

The centre has been approved by central shipping ministry, and it will start functioning in February 2011.

The centre will have Post Graduate Diploma in Marine Engineering, Diploma in Nautical Science, and BSc in Ship Repairing courses.

Kandla Port Trust will set up classrooms, hostel, laboratory and other facilities for proposed centre.

December 10th, 2010

Self-defeating politics in Odisha draws red carpet for Vedanta University from the southern states: Odisha may lose this opportunity of a millenium

Following is an excerpt from a report in Business Standard.

The Andhra Pradesh government has rolled out a red carpet for the Anil Agarwal Foundation’s proposed Rs 15,000-crore Vedanta University project, after the Orissa High Court termed the land acquisition process illegal for the multi-disciplinary university in Puri.

In a letter to Anil Agarwal, chairman and founder of Vedanta Resources, K Rosaiah, then chief minister of the state, said, “Andhra Pradesh strongly believes in nurturing great institutions of learning to empower youth, realise demographic dividend in full measure and to truly make the state a global center of learning.”

Despite Rosaiah resigning last month, state government officials say the state is keen on Vedanta considering their proposal. “Even if Rosaiah resigned, we still have a Congress government in the state and we are keen to have Vedanta University on board. The ball is in Anil Agarwal’s court now,” said a senior state government official.

The official said Vedanta University officials were shown three different sites in September. These lands, however, are private ones and would be sold to Vedanta at reasonable rates.

It was suggested to Vedanta officials to have the university’s head office in Hyderabad, with campuses in other cities, including Bangalore and Chennai.

“Instead of setting up a campus in one city, they can spread it over to other cities too. We have shown them land, which is at a reasonable distance from Bangalore and Chennai, and would be connected through the golden quadrilateral,” the official added.

… Vedanta University is modelled on Stanford University and aims to be a world-class, multi-disciplinary university, with students from around the world. However, the varsity, which was to begin operations by mid-2011, has not even started the basic infrastructure work on the land due to stiff opposition from locals and lack of political support.

… A director of a local institute told Business Standard: “The university concept is a good one and if Vedanta opts out, it would be an opportunity loss for Orissa.”

It is really unfortunate that the Congress party in Odisha is vehemently opposing this university and creating all kinds of troubles while its government in Andhra is rolling out red carpet for them. It is becoming obvious that the Congress leaders of Odisha do not work for the people of Odisha but work for their masters in Delhi and elsewhere. [Recently, their prince visited Odisha but would not even give an audience to Odisha congress leaders. But our congress leaders have no self respect. They are used to being humiliated by the prince and his family and the leadership in Delhi. One of them even accepted a demotion and became a state minister without independent charge after being cabinet minister twice.

I wonder when they will realize that a self-defeating strategy, subservient attitude and lack of self-respect will take them nowhere.

I wish Congress had some real leaders and strategists who instead of creating trouble to stop growth oriented projects would do the opposite; i.e., focus on Odisha’s growth and point out the current government’s mistakes in making a mess in achieving that growth after signing tons of MOUs. 

I wish the Odisha Congress took some lessons from their Bihar debacle under the leadership of their prince; the people want growth and development; not partisan politics, anti-development  chaos, and prince worship.]

Note: The portion inside [ ] was added after, but not in response to, Comment 1.

9 comments December 10th, 2010

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