Archive for November, 2011

Sri Sri University is shaping up nicely; the business school faculty list is impressive

Sri Sri University at Naraj, Cuttack is starting its business school (Faculty of Management) from 2012-13 with three MBA programs:

  • General Management
  • Agribusiness
  • Enrepreneurship

It has assembled a good list of faculty (23 core faculty, adjunct faculty, and visiting faculty) and academic and industry mentors. Many of them have degrees from and/or other associations with top institutions in India (IIT, IIM) and abroad (Cornell, UT Austin, etc.). The following youtube video gives a quick introduction of Sri Sri University’s  Faculty of Management.

A photo presentation based on screenshots of the above video is linked below.

The campus design is impressive. See the youtube video of the Architect’s flyby below.

A photo presentation based on screenshots of the above video is linked below.

Note that the basic parameters of this university, as given in the above pictures, are as follows:

  • Students: 10,000 (at maturity) [some documents mention 15,000]
  • Faculty and Staff: 2000
  • Project Cost: 760 crores
  • Area: 187 acres
  • Time to maturity: 7 years
  • Building area: 3 million sq ft
  • Academic Components of the University
    • Management (to start in 2012-2013)
    • Engineering & Science
    • Governance and public policy
    • Health Sciences
    • Yoga and Naturopathy
    • Indology and Vedic Sciences
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • Fine arts

Note that many of the above numbers, especially the project cost, are comparable with that of  IIT Bhubaneswar.

Based on the faculty it has already assembled for its business school, if they continue to hire at that level for the other disciplines, then, I think, at maturity (i.e., in 7 years) this university will be better than most central universities in India. 

At that time with 10,000 students the tuition and housing income from students will be about 10,000 * 3 lakhs = Rs 300 crores per annum. (The 3 lakhs/year is based on the numbers here. The business school fees would have increased by that time. On the other hand other programs may have lesser tuition fees.) That is a good number to spend on the university.

November 30th, 2011

Parlakhemundi to have a mini tools and training center

November 30th, 2011

Fifth anniversary of this site: We started with campaigning for a central university in KBK; Its time to campaign for a central agricultural university in KBK (especially Kalahandi)

Our first posting in this site was on November 28th, 2006. It is at It was about a central university in KBK. We succeeded in our mission and a central university in KBK was announced in March 2008, and it has now been established in Koraput district.

Earlier this year (On May 22nd 2011) I wrote to the planning commission to establish a central agricultural university in Odisha as part of the 12th plan. Following are excerpts of my mail.

I propose that the 12th plan staring from 2012 include several Central Agricultural Universities in backward district clusters of India that have potential for agriculture.

Sirs and and Madams: One of the biggest achievement of the 11th plan was that the new institutions (16 central universities, 8 new IITs, 7 new IIMs, proposed 20 new IIITs, proposed 14 innovation universities) were located across India, in states ruled by UPA, in states not ruled by UPA, and so on. It was an inclusive distribution and less driven by political connections.

I  request that similar distribution be made with respect to the institutions that are proposed for the 12th plan, starting with several central agricultural universities with various colleges (Agriculture, Horticulture, Veterinary, etc.).

The initial wave of creation of agricultural universities across India (in the 1960s) were an important factor in the initial Green revolution of India. However, as has been noted in the last two budgets (2010-11 and 2011-12) there is a need for another such revolution, especially taking into account factors such as (i) further mechanization (ii) urbanization (iii) looking east  and (iv) developing backward and tribal areas.

In the 2010-11 budget speech ( ) the Finance Minister had said the following:

44.        The agriculture sector occupies centre-stage in our resolve to promote inclusive growth, enhance rural incomes and sustain food security. To spur the growth in this sector, the Government intends to follow a four-pronged strategy covering (a) agricultural production; (b) reduction in wastage of produce;
(c) credit support to farmers; and (d) a thrust to the food processing sector.

45.        The first element of the strategy is to extend the green revolution to the eastern region of the country comprising Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Eastern UP, West Bengal and Orissa,…

In the 2011-12 budget speech ( ) he said the following:

Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern Region

52.    The Green Revolution in Eastern Region is waiting to happen. To realize the potential of the region, last year’s initiative will be continued in 2011-12 with a further allocation of `400 crore. The program would target the improvement in the rice based cropping system of Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Both speech say the green revolution needs to be extended to the eastern region.  The allocation of a total of 400 crores to 7 states is miniscule for the purpose and does very little.

Hence, I request that this aspect of extending the green revolution to the eastern region be taken seriously and in the 12th plan Central Agricultural Universities be established in appropriate locations in these states and some of the other states of the country.

Somewhat of a start in this direction has been made via the allocation of 30 crores for a Central Agricultural University in Bundelkhand in the 2011-12 budget.

It was reported by the press that Mr. Rahul Gandhi lobbied for this.

I would like to thank him for his vision and initiative and humbly request the  planning commission that they need to also think of the other backward areas of the country.

Taking all the above into account, it would be a win-win to include the establishment of several Central Agricultural Universities in the country located in backward districts with agriculture potential. The win-win aspects are:

(i) They will help higher education and GER, but will not stress the MHRD budget or its management. The majority of the funding could come from the Ministry of Agriculture with some required contributions from the state governments.

(ii) They will help bring in a new green revolution in some areas and extend the green revolution to the eastern region.

(iii) Since there have not been many new agricultural universities across the country, it will be comparatively easier to recruit faculty for these new institutions.

(iv) By locating them in the backward district clusters, they will bring Bharat and India closer.

I had sent copies of my mail to the MPs of Odisha as well as the Chief Minister’s officer. I talked to the secretary of agriculture Ranglal Jamunda by email at  as well as by phone and urged him that the Odisha government must push for a central agricultural university in Odisha, especially in the KBK regions (in particular, Kalahandi, as Kalahandi is known to be one of the rice bowl of Odisha; and Kalahandi was skipped over when deciding on the location of the central university in Koraput).

My emails and phone calls has had no visible impact on Odisha government, Odisha officials or Odisha MPs as so far I have not read any news regarding Odisha pursuing a central agricultural university. However, the news of the West Bengal government  pursuing a central agricultural university came out after a few days of my writing to the planning commission. It is possible that may mail to the planning commission somehow got forwarded to the right people in West Bengal or it may just be a pure coincidence. Following is from a Telegraph article on 13th July 2011.

I think there is still time to pursue to get this included in the 12th plan. I request all readers to write to the Chief Minister’s office at regarding this.


Chitta Baral

11 comments November 29th, 2011

Rourkela needs a general university

While for reason of pride it is important that BPUT buildings get completed soon in Rourkela and BPUT becomes fully operational from Rourkela asap, what is most important for Rourkela in terms of higher education is a general university with programs in all disciplines: arts, commerce, sciences, engineering, pharmacy, etc. etc.

Rourkela is one of the few metropolitan areas of the country with a population greater than 500,000 that does not have a general university.  There are a few other outliers such as Asansol and Dhanbad. (Dhanbad has ISMU; but its not a general university.) I would say if one checks the cities with more than 500 K population anywhere in the world, most would have a general university. In US, most cities with a population greater than 200K have a general university. In Odisha itself, much smaller cities and towns (Berhampur, Sambalpur, Balasore, Baripada and Koraput) have general universities.

As one can notice from recent news regarding Utkal University’s plan to have an engineering college (see also here), and before that about various new programs at Sambalpur university (see also here , here and here), once there is a general university, all kinds of disciplines, including engineering, can be added to it.  One can go through the list of top universities and look at the various programs that are offered there. For Utkal see here and here. Moreover, these days while engineering seats are going empty (not in the government colleges though) there is a lot of demand for various general programs. See for example the number of applicants to various programs this year and last year at Utkal. The commerce program seems to have a very high demand and graduates of this program are doing well.  Some numbers with respect to Sambalpur University are here.

Last year the higher education taskforce, among many other items, recommended a general university in Rourkela. However, I am not sure if any action is being taken based on that report. Regardless, I think the resurgent residents of Rourkela need to put the establishment of a general university in Rourkela among the top of their demands. I would put it at number one. The first thing that a city needs to become a real city is a general university. If people have to go out of town to pursue masters degree in regular disciplines like Economics or Commerce then the city is severely lacking.

7 comments November 28th, 2011

Past, present and future plans of Utkal University; Engineering college from next year

Following is from Samaja.

Following is from Sambada.

November 28th, 2011

CV Raman in Odisha is one of the 11 institutions in India offering Bachelors in Marine Engineering

Following is their ad.

The complete list of 11 colleges is available via Following are screen copies.

Note that the Indian Maritime University now has a new campus in Kandla, Gujarat. The initial campuses were in Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam and Kochi. The Odisha government should push for a campus in Odisha; perhaps by taking over or in adjacent to the existing Orissa maritime academy in Paradeep.

1 comment November 27th, 2011

Ravenshaw to be made to a model university: the new VC of Ravenshaw

November 27th, 2011

Utkal University at the National Level: an article in Dharitri by Prof. Santosh Tripathy

Following are some of the highlights mentioned in the above article.

  • Utkal University’s rank increased from 44 to 21 in the latest India Today ranking.
  • The Economics, Philosophy and Anthropology departments have received the Center for Advanced Studies designation for its research.
  • The Psychology department has had the Center for Advanced Studies designation for the last 25 years. This is a first with respect to any state university in India.
  • English and Odia programs are specially funded by UGC.
  • With the help of UGC, the programs of Tourism management, Journalism and Yoga under the departments of Ancient history of Utkal, General administration and Sanskrit, respectively, have created their independent identity.
  • All the Science departments of the university get independent funding from Department of Science & Technology of the Central government.
  • The Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology and Geology departments have UGC funding and are part of the FIST program.
  • It has been announced that the Biotechnology department will get full support from the Department of Biotechnology of the central government for the next two years.

November 27th, 2011

Some statistics based on the students entering various IITs in 2010 and 2011

(Thanks to Abi for the pointer.) The following tables are from documents at

November 22nd, 2011

Performance of Odisha and Odia students in IIT JEE 2010 and 2011

 (Thanks to Abi for the pointer.) The following tables are from documents at

November 22nd, 2011

Indian industrialists making foray into higher education

Although Vedanta University has not taken off yet, several other industrialists and billionaires have made efforts to establish quality higher education institutions in India. Using the links in we give a short list of the other efforts.

1. Ashoka University: Following is an excerpt from a report in

To recreate their own experience of learning at US universities, a group of professionals have come together to set up a new university of liberal arts in India. Well known names in Delhi and Mumbai circles — Ashish Dhawan (ChrysCapital), Sanjeev Bikhchandani (, Pramath Sinha (9.9 Mediaworx), NV “Tiger” Tyagarajan and Vineet Gupta (Jamboree), among others, are part of the International Foundation for Research and Education.

To be located in the Rajiv Gandhi Education City in Kundli, Sonepat, across 25 acres, Ashoka University has sought “private university” status from the Haryana government and will be not-for-profit. A total of Rs 50 crore has been paid for the land, and the first phase is expected to cost about Rs 200 crore. The  seed capital has been put up by the trustees, apart from donations from individuals.

Dhawan, senior managing director, ChrysCapital — who recently announced he was stepping down — plans to get into school education in a big way. However, with Ashoka University, the “idea is to offer a greater focus on languages, humanities and social sciences and to offer breadth rather than just depth as in the British system. Instead of studying one subject in depth for 3-4 years, the idea is to study many subjects across disciplines,” says Dhawan. He says it will offer courses and areas of study on the lines of universities such as Yale, Princeton and Amherst.

… Pramath Sinha, founder of 9.9 Mediaworx, brings his experience of the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, to the new venture. Some of the IFRE founders were keen to set up a quality engineering institute, while others wanted “more holistic” liberal arts courses. “We decided to marry the two and brought everyone together to set up a more ambitious project,” Sinha says.

 Says an advisor in the Planning Commission: “Given the paucity of public funds, we need many such initiatives to bridge the demand between quantity and quality in higher education.” The founders, he says, can raise funds through various means.  Given the founders’ past experience, raising capital should be the least of their problems.

2. Azim Premji University: The Azim Premji University is up and running in Bangalore. See

3. Shiv Nadar University: The Shiv Nadar University is up and running in Delhi area. See

4. Reliance University: There have been several news item regarding Nita Ambani heading the establishment of a Reliance University through the Reliance Foundation. See the announcement here.

Following is an excerpt from a report in Economic Times.

The Reliance Group is setting up a ‘world-class’ university as it seeks to promote education and research in sectors ranging from liberal arts to technology .

Reliance Foundation, which will spearhead the project, is expected to start the university either in Mumbai or Delhi. Nita Ambani, the wife of RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani, will head the new project.

India’s largest business conglomerate has started the process of identifying land for the proposed university , according to persons familiar with the development.

The university, modelled on the lines of American universities such as The University of Pennsylvania, will tie up with foreign universities. "It will be international in scale and in best practices, but with an Indian soul," said Mukesh Ambani, chairman, Reliance Group.

Nita Ambani told ET that the proposed university would be located either outside Mumbai or Delhi. "We are looking for sufficient land to set up a world-class university," she said.

Mr Ambani made this announcement while making the acceptance speech at Mumbai’s Tident Hotel after receiving the Dean’s medal from the University of Pennsylvania’s engineering school. His father Dhirubhai Ambani was earlier conferred Dean’s medal from Wharton School of Management.

The university will initially offer undergraduate courses. It will later offer postgraduate and doctoral courses, Ms Ambani said. India’s big business houses are strengthening their focus on education as it is poised to become a $80-billion opportunity by 2012. Indian spend $50 billion on private education annually, according to a research report by IDFC. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16%, said a CLSA Pacific study.

5. Proposed Bharati University: Following are excerpts from an article in that quotes from a CNBC interview.

Q: So could we possibly see a Bharti University being setup anytime soon? And now you can also bring in foreign partners and collaborate with them.

Mittal: For us education will never be a business and therefore whatever we do will have to be done through grants and contribution from the group and friends. And I don’t know whether foreign universities would want to come in for the philanthropy part of it. But we will bring them in at our cost and price but they will not be a foreign university, it should be a Bharti University funded endowed by the contributions that we have made.


November 21st, 2011

Despite hurdles SAIL Bokaro continues its efforts to establish a medical college; SAIL Rourkela ignores CM’s request for setting up a medical college in Rourkela

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

Bokaro Steel Ltd (BSL) has expedited the process of turning the 910-bed Bokaro General Hospital (BGH) into a state-of-the-art medical college.

Without setting a fixed deadline as of now, BSL a unit of SAIL wants to set up the college on public-private-partnership (PPP) basis. The state government is also providing its best possible support to BSL in setting up the college.

According to a senior BSL official, the company has initiated the process to enter into collaboration with private medical colleges for setting up the college. Talks between BSL management and premier medical colleges like Manipal Medical College, Karnataka, D Y Patil, Mumbai, Bhartiya Vidyapeeth, Pune, and Sri Ram Chandra Medical College, Chennai, are now in its final stages. A deal will soon be finalized with any one of the institutions, said the official.

The medical college for doctoral aspirants from the state is a dream project of BSL managing director S S Mohanty. However, BSL had earlier also initiated the process of setting up the medical college under the banner of Bokaro Ispat Education Trust but it was turned down for not fulfilling certain criteria as required by Medical Council of India.

However, BSL management has again formed a committee, which is working on preparing terms and conditions of the MoU that is to be signed with the institution. The committee members have already negotiated verbally with several medical institutions in this regard. The committee has received letters of interest from Manipal and D Y Patil Medical colleges while others have sent their assurance verbally.

Under the joint venture, the official said, BSL will provide its infrastructure (hospital) and other arrangements for bedside teaching facility to the institution, which will come up with its own building for classrooms, manpower and other essential facilities. BSL will provide the land on 99-year lease to the institution.

BGH has a huge potential to be developed as a medical college in this region. Around 11 lakh patients have undergone treatment in BGH in the last financial year alone.

Contrast this with SAIL Rourkela and Odisha. In we reported that the Odisha government was pushing for a medical college at SAIL Rourkela. But so far nothing has come out of it. See also the news item at

Considering that IGH already is a 685 bed hospital it can easily accommodate a medical college. SAIL Rourkela and IGH need to learn from the efforts at SAIL Bokaro and pursue establishing a medical college.

November 21st, 2011

BIMTECH advertises for 2012 admission to its Bhubaneswar campus

Following is the ad.

It seems, besides PGDM, BIMTECH Bhubaneswar will be offering programs such as PGD in Mass Communication & Journalism, PGD in Communication Design and PGD in Industrial Design; all subject to AICTE approval.

1 comment November 20th, 2011

Existing Universities and institutions wanting to become universties in Odisha; Sri Sri Ravishankar to visit Odisha regarding Sri Sri University

The 30.5 lakh sq feet is equivalent to 2,83,355.4066 sq meters and is equivalent to 70.0158 acres. As a comparison:

November 20th, 2011

Excerpts from the April-September 2011 IIT Bhubaneswar Newsletter

The newsletter is at are some excerpts from it.

Ground Breaking Ceremony

The foundation stone of the permanent campus of the Institute was laid on 12th February, 2009. On the eve of the 65th Independence Day, on 14th August 2011, Sri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Odisha formally launched the construction of the Phase-1 of the permanent campus of the Institute near Aragul (Jatni) in the presence of Director Professor M. Chakraborty, Deputy Director, Deans, Registrar, Faculty Members, Officers, members of the Staff and students of the Institute and other dignitaries including Hon’ble Member of Parliament Dr P. K. Patsani, and Hon’ble MLAs of Jatni and Khurda. This was preceded by a Bhumi Pujan Ceremony at the site by the Registrar. The Government of Odisha has allotted 936 acres of land for the purpose and 16 acres of private land is being acquired by the Government for making the land contiguous. The Master Plan of the Campus has been designed for 10,000 students, 1000 teachers, and 1100 non-teaching employees besides 1000 plus outsourced support staff including security personnel. The Institute has also a plan for a Research Park. However, the initial construction in the first phase (Phase-1) would cater to 2500 students, 250 faculty members and about 300 other employees. The total investment for the phase-1 has been estimated to be about 800 crores. The construction would cover 2, 21,000 m2 (63000 m2 for academic complex and 1, 58,000 m2 for residential complex) which would include Main Administrative Building, Lecture Hall and Class Room Complexes, Laboratory Complex, Four Academic Schools, Central Workshop and Students’ Activity Centre in the Academic Complex whereas the Residential Complex shall consist of 800 capacity single seater boys’ hostel, 200 capacity girls’ hostel, 80 numbers of Grade A quarters for faculty members and officers and 40 numbers of Grade C quarters for supporting staff, Shopping and Community Centre, Guest House, service centre etc. The Main Building shall be a structure of 6 storeys and that of the other Academic Schools shall be of 4-storey construction. The hostels as well as the residential quarters shall be of G + 7 storey constructions. The Institute plans to start operating from its permanent campus by 2013-14.

Prof. P C Pandey Joins IITBBS

A doctorate in Physics (Microwaves) from Allahabad University, he is credited with the initiation of the satellite borne microwave remote sensing of Ocean Atmosphere and Cryosphere research in India. Professor Pandey was the Founder Director of National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa from 1997 to 2005. He has spent a major part of his career at Space Application Centre (ISRO), Ahmedabad, and has worked for about five years at the NASA’s world famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA. Professor Pandey has carried out extensive research in the areas of satellite oceanography, atmospheric science, climate change and polar science. He has published more than 100 papers in reputed national and international peer reviewed journals and also written and edited many books. He has guided eleven Ph.D. students. Professor Pandey is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences (Bangalore) The National Academy of Sciences (Allahabad), Indian Society of Remote Sensing, Indian Geophysical Union, Geological Society of India and a host other societies. Besides, Professor Pandey has been Member/Chairman of various Committees of Govt. of India from ISRO, DSTM CSIR and has led or participated as member of delegation to various international Forums, notably the International Polar Year (2007- 09). He was also a member of the delegation led by Hon’ble Kapil Sibal to Antarctic, the first ever ministerial delegation to visit Antarctica. Professor Pandey has represented India in various International symposia related to Polar Science and Logistics such as Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) etc. Professor Pandey is the recipient of the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award (1989), Professor Vikram Sarabhai Award and Gold Medal, Om Prakash Bhasin Award and Vigyan Ratna Samman Award of U.P. Council of Science and Technology as well as the NASA award.

New Faculty Members joined

Dr. Arun Ghosh joined the School of Electrical Sciences in the month of April 2011. His research areas include Robust Control, Periodic feedback Control.

Dr. Subhransu Ranjan Samantaray joined the School of Electrical Sciences in the month of April, 2011. His research areas include Intelligent protection to transmission systems including FACTs, Microgrids with Distributed Generation and Dynamic security assessment in large power network.

Dr. Neti V. L. N. Murty joined the School of Electrical Sciences in the month of May 2011. His research areas include Semiconductor material & Device characterization, Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Devices, MMICs.

November 19th, 2011

Utkal University plans beyond the initiatives of the previous Sambalpur VC and plans to establish an engineering college

Following is an excerpt from a report in Telegraph by Priya Abraham

Utkal University is set to establish an engineering college in the capital.

… “The proposal to set up a new technical college has already been discussed by the syndicate and will be taken up by the academic council. The target is to start the new institute by the next academic session. A committee of experts will be set up to finalise the project,” Utkal University vice-chancellor P.K. Sahoo told The Telegraph.

“The team would discuss technical and academic aspects of the institute. Based on its recommendations, the institute will be set up,” said Sahoo.

The college will be located on the varsity campus and will have modern facilities and equipment. “We are trying to bring in diversification. For the staff salary, pension and modernising the varsity, there is a need for adequate funds. The UGC and state government have already asked state universities to try and raise their own funds. Only then can the varsity be self sustainable,” said the vice-chancellor.

Officials said a special budget would be sanctioned to make various provisions for the proposed institute.

However, this initiative by the university has surprised many people because technical education in the state is passing through a grim phase. About 22,000 of the 38,000-odd engineering seats are lying vacant. This number is around 5,000 more than last year.

… “There is definitely a lot of scope. Utkal University is a premier university and has earned a good name at the national level. Like all other self-financing courses that we have launched, this would also be a successful one,” said PG council chairman Pradip Kumar Sarkar.

Although there is a glut of engineering seats in Odisha with more than half the available seats unfulfilled, this is still a good move. This is along the lines of the recommendation by the Yashpal committee which recommended more well rounded universities. Having an engineering college as part of the university will make Utkal a more well-rounded university. In particular, being part of a university, the engineering program can take advantage of the existing university faculty in many disciplines (especially, English, Business, Economics, Psychology, Sciences, and Mathematics) and foster many cross disciplinary programs  and research projects.

This action also shows that the new Utkal VC is a man of action and is willing to take risks. This bodes well for Utkal.

ps —  We thank Prof. Arun Pujari, the immediate past VC of Sambalpur University, for having led the way in this direction by establishing SUIIT with several engineering programs and several other innovative programs. It is unfortunate that several locals and some activists could not understand his groundbreaking contributions and lobbied to deny him a second term. We hope that the new Sambalpur VC will continue the progress than Prof. Pujari made in Sambalpur.

November 19th, 2011

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