Archive for March, 2012

Odisha CM clears the University of Corporate Excellence proposal; one of its promoter is Prof. Bala Balachandran

Following is an excerpt from an article in

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik taking interest in the proposal of Bala V Balachandran for setting up the University of Corporate Excellence (UoCE) in Odisha, has cleared the same.

… Padmashree Prof. Balachandran, Professor at the Kellogg Institute of Management (KIM), USA is one of the major promoters of UoCE, which will come up with a cost of Rs.500-600 crore.

After setting up the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, along with some like-minded people, he started his Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai. 

And now Prof. Balachandran has joined hands with top experts in the field of education and management to set up UoCE near the Capital City, which will enrol 5060 students in 9 years. 

Accordingly the Chief Minister has cleared the proposal of Infinity Education Foundation (IEF), which will set up UoCE near Khurda.

… Earlier considering the student strength, Chief Secretary headed committee has decided to provide 20 acres of Government land at the premium of market rate in Daspur of Khurda district.

After assessing the progress in future, additional land can be considered for allotment, said an official.

… The University will have School of Technology, School of Management, School of Law, School of Humanities and School of Advanced Studies.

School of Technology will include courses on Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Electronics & Computer Engineering and Bio-Technology.

School of Humanities at foundational level will be preparing the students for corporate disciplines.

School of Advanced Studies will be providing courses for top-end corporate role.

UoCE will have top collaborative universities including Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, IIT, Harvard Business School, Kellogg School of Management, Harvard Law School, Yale Law School and several others, said sources.

6 comments March 31st, 2012

Odisha CM clears the proposal of Manipal Educational Foundation to establish a state university near Bhubaneswar

Following are excerpts from a report in

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has cleared the proposal of the MEF, which is eyeing to expand its footprint all over the country in general and eastern India in particular.

This will be a State University, for which a bill will be presented in the Odisha Legislative Assembly (OLA), said a senior official in the Department of Higher Education (DHE).

The proposed university will be fourth of its kind and will come up with an investment of Rs.200 crore.

… The proposed University will provide high quality education at the level of under Graduation, Post Graduation, post-PG and Research in Engineering, management, Hospitality, Law, Paramedics, Pharmacy, Education Technology, Media & Journalism, Planning & Architecture, Medicine and general subjects also.

Total student strength of about 10,000 is estimated by the end of five years to achieve the target of 20,000 in 7-8 years as the University is expecting normative growth by 5 per cent per annum.

20 percent seat will be reserved for Person of Indian Origin (PIO), Foreign/NRI/NRI sponsored students as this will be a World Class University.

The proposed University will come up in the outskirts of the Capital City, for which 70 acres of Government land will be provided at a premium of market rate to the promoters of the institution, said sources in Government.

Recently the Chief Secretary headed committee has approved the proposal, which has been green signalled by the Chief Minister, said sources.


2 comments March 30th, 2012

First of the 14 proposed innovation universities to come up in Pune, but without the “innovation” tag; not sure how many of the rest will happen

Following is an excerpt from a report in Hindu.

The Tagore University for the Liberal Arts, first institution to be established under the Human Resource Development Ministry’s once ambitious Universities for Innovation programme, will be set up in Pune. But, ironically, the word ‘innovation’ will be missing from the nomenclature of the institution. For, the group of experts, which was asked to draft a concept for such institutions, fears that such an emphasis is likely to inhibit its creative potential.

 The task of such an “institution should be, not to presume an elite status for itself, but to create excellence by drawing freely upon the best talent from all sections of the populace, and fostering it to the furthest extent possible in a climate of international exchange and awareness. Ultimately, such an institution might be the first of many, and it might also provide a model for other existing universities,” the group said in its report submitted to the Ministry.

 On its part, the Ministry is finalising the concept paper so that it can send the toned down version of the Universities for Innovation Bill, 2011 for Cabinet clearance.

 The proposal to set up 14 such world-class universities was made during the tenure of the former HRD Minister, Arjun Singh, and even the locations were finalised with the Planning Commission. Under the new regime, it was decided to convert these universities into institutions of innovation in different areas of societal concerns. They were then named Universities for Innovation, each expected to focus on its theme in an interdisciplinary manner. However, the revised draft Bill does not give any number for such universities.

 …  The experts include theatre personality Girish Karnad, academics Supriya Chaudhuri and Sunil Khilnani, and writer Ramachandra Guha.

 According to the group’s note, the task of the Tagore University for the Liberal Arts should be to promote both arts and science under the rubric of liberal arts, in an interdisciplinary environment which allows creative interchange of scholars from different fields. The university will have five schools: School of Humanities for teaching languages, literature, philosophy, cultural studies and creative writing; School of Social Sciences for teaching history, politics, sociology, economics and human sciences; School of Sciences for mathematical studies, biological sciences, physical sciences and environmental science; School of Performing Arts for dance, theatre, music, film and sports; and School of Visual and Applied Arts for painting, sculpture, graphic, arts, textile arts, crafts, design and photography.

 The experts group has recommended that the university should have a Research Fund with an annual corpus of Rs 200 crore, administered by a Research Council with both internal and external members. ….

The university can invite applications for a proportion of its posts from non-Indian citizens who are outstanding scholars, artists, writers and scientists so as to promote international cooperation and exchange of ideas. The guests will be entitled to special salary provisions, in excess of the pay scales stipulated by the University Grants Commission or other such regulatory body.

March 12th, 2012

Science Magnet Schools in India; planning commission has approved them; Kapil Sibal urges IISERs to support them

Following are excerpts from a report in Pioneer.

The meeting also stressed on the need the need for increasing the student intake in these premier institutes of Science and Research and urged the IISERs to support the proposed Science Magnet Schools to attract students early in life to the realm of science.

Ten such elite residential schools first of its kind in the country have been approved by the Planning Commission. These schools would teach only science to students from Class IX onwards and will offer them opportunities to interact with top scientists.

Following are excerpts from

He appreciated the willingness of the IISERS to support the proposed Science Magnet Schools to attract students at their early age to the realm of science.

… Sibal also called for a good eco system in and around the IISERs through interaction with institutions located in the state. The progress made in this regard would be reviewed in the next meeting to be held sometime in June, 2012, an official press release added.


March 10th, 2012

Urgent action needed: Please write to the CMO to pursue a Central Agricultural University in Odisha

Currently India has one operational Central Agricultural University in the North East. However, in last year’s budget there was some seed money for a Central Agricultural University in Bundelkhand. We wrote the planning commission (with cc to Odisha CM, Odisha MPs and Odisha officers) in May 2011 for a Central Agricultural University in backward district clusters of India. In July 2011 West Bengal started pursuing a Central Agricultural University and its very likely that they would get one.

Odisha CM must at the earliest ask for a Central Agricultural University in Odisha. Please immediately write to (he is in Delhi for the next few days) asking him to ask for a Central Agricultural University in Odisha. He must do that before the budget session in the parliament that starts next week. A 2-3 line email such as the following is fine.

Dear Esteemed Chief Minister: Please request the Agriculture ministry at the center for a Central Agricultural University. There is high likelihood that some other states will be getting such universities. Odisha must ask for one. Sincerely, XYZ.

See for some background on this. See also and for couple of articles on this.

1 comment March 7th, 2012

Finally the CM asks for upgrading the 3 state medical colleges to AIIMS level under PMSSY; He should ask the Agriculture ministry for a Central Agricultural University

Following is an excerpt from  a report in Orissadiary.

Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik today met the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad in New Delhi. Chief Minister informed the  Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare that the proposal to raise the number of seats for admission to MBBS Course from 150 to 250, would necessitate significant increase in the infrastructure of the Medical Colleges in the State.

He requested that the three Medical Colleges of the State may be approved for upgradation to AIIMS like Institutions under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) along with sanction of Rs.432 crore for the purpose. He added that the State has identified an alternative site for establishment of a Regional Institute of Paramedical Sciences at Bhubaneswar for which Government of India may sanction the funds forming part of Central Share component.  

… Chief Minister urged upon the Union Minister to appreciate the just needs of the State for augmenting medical infrastructure and creating new specialized medical institutions. He requested the Union Minister to establish a National Cancer Institute at Bhubaneswar and a Regional Geriatric Centre at SCB Medical College, Cuttack. He further informed that State has already identified 20 acres of land for setting up of the Central Research Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy. Accordingly, Government of India may sanction the required funds to enable early establishment of the Institute along with 100 bedded Hospital, at the earliest.

… The Union Minister assured the Chief Minister that the issues raised by him will receive priority attention of the Ministry. He agreed to provide necessary funds for upgrading the infrastructure of the three Medical Colleges in the State.

… Union Minister promised to take urgent steps for establishing the Regional Institute of Para Medical Sciences at Bhubaneswar.

He assured that the Central Share for the Odisha State Treatment Fund shall be released very shortly and that additional funds will be provided for strengthening the Regional Cancer Centre at Cuttack. Further, the request of Odisha for a stand-alone Cancer Institute will be considered as and when adequate funds are available for the purpose in the Central Budget.
Union Minister agreed to establish a Regional Geriatric Centre at SCB Medical College, Cuttack and requested that Government of Odisha may handover the identified 20 acres of land for setting up of Central Research Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy.

We have been writing the CMO and others about approaching the Health ministry regarding the upgradation of the state medical colleges. See:

It took a long time, but its good that he finally did it.

I hope he also pursues a Central Agricultural University in Odisha. More on this in a separate post.

1 comment March 7th, 2012

Tata Motors to supply equipments to several ITIs in Odisha

Following is from Sambada.

March 4th, 2012

Update on the proposed Nursing Schools

Following is from a report in Pioneer.

The State Government in the Department of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday asked the district authorities of Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Sundargarh and Dhenkanal to start preliminary work for construction of four General Nursing and Midwifery Training Schools in those districts at a cost of Rs 10 crore each.

Out of the required Rs 40 crore, the Central Government has agreed to release 85 per cent and the State would have to bear 15 per cent. …

Besides, the Government has also directed the departmental authorities in Nabarangpur, Boudh and Subarnpur to accelerate the process of completing the GNM Training School and two ANM Training Schools under construction in the districts, respectively. The Centre has released Rs 4.75 crore out of a total of Rs 17 crore. The State Government has also released Rs 1 crore while another Rs 3. 33 crore has been laid out in the current year towards the State’s share.

March 4th, 2012

Transformation of Toshali Plaza after IIT Bhubaneswar takes it over

Earlier as per Toshali Plaza looked like the following:

Now it looks as follows. (Obtained from wikipedia.)

While its main campus gets built IIT Bhubaneswar has built some new facilities in its Samantapuri campus. Following is how one of the new facilities (a hostel) look. (From wikipedia.)

Following are pictures of some of the other building being temporarily used by IIT Bhubaneswar.

SBI Colonly in Kesura: 50-60 apartments are taken on rent here for student accommodation.

IIT Kharagpur extension center in Samantapuri (back of Swosti Premium)

Workshop Building

March 4th, 2012

Tentative admission to the first batch of AIIMS like institutes (including one in Bhubaneswar) advertised with disclaimers

The ad is at The prospectus is at  Following is the admission notice.

Following are excerpts from the prospectus.

Other AIIMS like Institutes Under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana

6 New All India Institutes of Medical Sciences are being established similar to AIIMS, New Delhi. Government of India has decided that the Academic Session in six New AIIMS at Bhopal, Patna, Jodhpur, Rishikesh, Raipur and Bhubaneswar starts in August 2012. The proposal is for an intake of 50 students for each of the institutions. The Ministry after deliberation took the view that for the first academic session (2012-2013), selection for admission should be done through the same entrance examination through which candidates are selected for AIIMS New Delhi. The counselling and admission in Six New AIIMS will be done by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. Any dispute in regard to counseling and admission to six new AIIMS will be dealt with by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Nirman Bhavan, New Delhi.



A. Each year 77 (seventy seven) seats are available for admission to the graduate medical course, leading to the award of the degree of M.B.B.S. by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences,Delhi. Out of these, 11 (eleven) seats are reserved for the Scheduled Castes, 5 (five) seats are reserved for the Scheduled Tribes, 19 (nineteen) seats are reserved for Other Backward Classes and 5 (five) seats are reserved for the Foreign Nationals nominated by the Government of India and 37 (thirty seven) seats for General Category. For Indian Nationals, 3% reservation for orthopaedic physically handicapped shall be provided on horizontal basis, in the seats available. If requisite number of suitable candidates are not available to fill the seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes, the same are filled out of the candidates belonging to the Scheduled Tribes and vice versa. In case suitable candidates are not available from the above two reserved categories, Orthopaedically handicapped and OBCs, the vacant seats will be filled by the candidates from the general category.


B. From August 2012, Six New AIIMS like Institutions (viz: Bhopal, Patna, Jodhpur, Rishikesh, Raipur and Bhubaneswar) will start with an intake of 50 students each. The reservation policy followed will be 7.5% ST, 15% SC and 27% OBC. For Indian Nationals, 3% reservation for Orthopaedic physically handicapped shall be provided on horizontal basis, in the seats available.

… The candidate is required to go through the prospectus carefully and acquaint himself/herself with all requirements with regard to filling in of the online application form. Candidates are advised to give order of preference for the Six New AIIMS, apart from AIIMS New Delhi in the Application Form.

… For enquiries relating to Counseling and Admission to Six new AIIMS,please contact from 1st July, 2012 onwards:

PMSSY Section, Room No.22 ‘A’ Wing, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Nirman Bhawan , Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi-110 011 Tel Fax: No- 011-2306187, Website: & Email :

March 3rd, 2012


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