Search Results for ‘igntu’

Progress up Tribal University (IGNTU) at Amarkantak; Odisha has requested a branch campus

Following is from

Tribal University Set Up in Amarkantak

The Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU), Amarkantak became functional recently. In this regard the State Government of Madhya Pradesh handed over possession of 370 acres of land to the University. The University has since embarked upon construction of prefabricated Portal Frame Structure, with 87,000 square feet plinth area. The University is presently running 22 courses and programmes at undergraduate level. As on date the total number of students studying in the undergraduate courses at Amarkantak is 769, out of which 392 are Scheduled Tribe, 80 Scheduled Caste and 255 girl students.

The University has already established its Regional Campus at Manipur with a couple of programmes and the State Government has recently handed over possession of about 300 acres of land for establishment of a permanent campus. The IGNTU has also been approached by the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Kerala and Gujarat to open its Regional Campuses in their respective States.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Smt. D. Purandeswari, in written reply to a question, in the Rajya Sabha today.


1 comment December 4th, 2010

MHRD has recommended IGNTU to make a regional center at Phulbani:

Following is an excerpt from a report in

It came to light that the Union Government has favored for the establishment of a Regional Centre of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) in Odisha. 

This was also revealed by Mr.Sibal that Centre has recommended the proposal of the State Government to IGNTU for a Regional Centre at Phulbani.

I hope the Odisha government keeps pushing on this and allocates a large enough land for it. The Odisha government should push for this to become an independent tribal university (with its own medical, engineering, nursing, education, agriculture and other colleges) and not just a regional campus.


May 12th, 2010

RTI response by MHRD related to Kalahandi; Orissa government should also push for a campus of IGNTU in Kalahandi., Pioneer and Samaja covered this.

The following response was received by Madhusmita Panda.


Government of India

Ministry of Human Resource Development

Department of Higher Education


New Delhi, the 10th July, 2009





 Ms. Madhusmita Panda

C/o- Shri Bikram Kishore Panda,

E-8, UCO House, 1/1 Alipore Avenue,



Subject :  Information sought for under Right to Information Act,2005.




 With reference to your application dated 27.5.2009, it is stated that any application under the section 6(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 is required to be accompanied by a fee of Rs.10 payable in cash or bank draft drawn in favour of Pay and Accounts Office of the concerned Ministry. Since the Indian Postal Orders enclosed with your application are payable to Central Public Information Officer, the same are not acceptable and, hence, are returned herewith. Accordingly, your application is not being treated as an application under section 6(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005. 

It may,however, be informed that on receipt of a letter from Shri Bikram Keshari Dev, Member of Parliament about locating the Central University of Orissa in Kalahandi district instead of Koraput district as recommended by the State Government, it had already been decided by this Ministry that the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University could consider establishment of one of its off-campuses in Kalahandi district during the 11th Plan Period,subject to availability of resources. No separate action was,therefore,called for on letter dated 17.8.2008 of Shri Digambara Patra on this issue.


Yours Faithfully.


Director & CPIO.


The Orissa government had earlier written about an IGNTU campus in Kandhamala. In light of the above, and the fact that IGNTU may have multiple campuses, the Orissa government should also push for a campus in Kalahandi.Considering the distance between Kalahandi and Kandhamala, the need of both places, and the name recognition (unfortunately in a negative sense) of both places it is quite possible that they can get multiple campuses.

7 comments July 19th, 2009

IGNTU branch in Manipur gets formal approval

Following is excerpted from a report in Telegraph.

The Centre has approved a request by the Manipur government to set up a campus of the new Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in the state and asked the chief minister to allocate land for it.

The human resource development ministry has authorised the IGNTU, India’s first university dedicated to tribal studies, to open a campus in the hills of Manipur, The Telegraph has learnt.

… Manipur, sources said, was told of the approval just before the announcement of elections. But the formal sanction from the IGNTU governing body — critical for setting up a new campus — came only earlier this week.

The IGNTU was started last year at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh but its planned campus there is tangled in controversy with forest officials and some religious leaders opposed to chopping of trees to build the university.

Manipur is the first state whose request for an IGNTU campus has been accepted. Several other states with a significant tribal population had also asked for a campus.

The Congress rules both at the Centre and in Manipur.

With the Centre’s approval, the state may now actually develop the first fully operational campus of the IGNTU unless the dispute over Amarkantak is resolved, sources said. The headquarters of the IGNTU will however remain in MP, the sources said.

The government, through the IGNTU vice-chancellor, has written to chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh asking him to allocate 300 acres of land in the state for the campus, officials said. The state government is likely to offer land for the campus in Senapati, it is learnt.

…The tribal university is expected to offer, in the coming years, the country’s best academic opportunities in tribal literature, culture, language, music, arts and scriptures.

The idea behind the university is to provide students from a tribal background an education that they can identify with and which can train them in helping safeguard and develop their culture.

Classes in select subjects started last year from a temporary campus at Amarkantak.

March 20th, 2009

Land identified in Koraput for Central University; Branch of IGNTU proposed for Phulbani

The following is from Samaja.

It is high time people of Kalahandi go to the CM for higher education institutes in Kalahandi. In particular they should demand a state university and a centrally funded BPIET (Biju Patnaik Inst of Engineering and Technology) in the line of SLIET and ABA Ghani Khan Choudhury IET.  The people of Kalahandi need to be strategic in terms of what they can get at this time. For example, UCE Burla supporters initially, for several years, were going after a deemed university status. It was going very slowly. Once they switched to demanding for state unitary university status, things happened fast. Similarly, people of Kalahandi should realize that they should not put all their egg in one basket.  IMHO, shifting of the location from Koraput to Kalahandi after the location is announced by the CM and mentioned in the assembly is unlikely, and I hope I am wrong, but a new central university in Kalahandi has a low chance of happening soon. So as a practical matter people of Kalahandi should, for now, ask for a state university and a BPIET. They don’t have to retract their demand for a central university; that can continue.

16 comments December 19th, 2008

Naveen asks for a regional center of IGNTU in Kandhamal and more

Update: Pioneer reported on this; reported on this; Zee news reported on this.

Following is an excerpt from a PTI report in Hindu:

Orissa government has asked the Centre to adopt a long term plan for Kandhamal, prone to ethno-communal violence instead of seeking any quick solution, official sources said on Tuesday.

Orissa’s suggestion came after the high-level central team headed by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, which visited Kandhamal today, sought to know what assistance was needed in mitigating the problems there.

"The Centre wants to support Orissa in building confidence among all sections of the people in Kandhamal," Pawar told reporters after the team arrived here yesterday.

Identifying backwardness in education, lack of connectivity and poor livelihood means as the cause behind the ethno-communal violence in Kandhamal, Orissa government asked the Centre to set up a campus of the National Tribal University, Amarkantak at Phulbani, the district headquarter town.

"As scheduled tribes constitute 52 per cent of Kandhamal’s population, it is proposed to have one Ekalavya model residential school (EMRS) in each block to cater to the needs of tribal children," …

This apart, the state government also asked for at least six schedule caste hostels to cater the children of SCs who comprise 17 per cent of the total population in the district . ..

Following is from a report in

Naveen Patnaik has demanded for a Regional Centre of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) in Kandhamal. 

Presenting the memorandum to the Central Ministerial Team headed by Sharad Pawar, the Chief Minister pleaded for the Centre of Higher Learning in the riot –hit tribal zone.

… He said it will go a long way to provide education to the tribal youth, who are in difficult situation.

Following is from Sambada. It mentions the demand for an ICAR lab.

November 18th, 2008

Two third of IGNTU students are tribals

Following is from a PTI report.

Tue-Sep 16, 2008

New Delhi / Press Trust of India

The first tribal university of the country, which aims at promoting higher education among the Scheduled Tribes, has started functioning from this session in Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh but sans teachers and a campus of its own.

Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU), the first of its kind dedicated for education and research on tribals, has given admission to 150 students this year. It will offer courses in humanities and commerce.

"We have given admission to about 150 students, including 100 belonging to tribal communities. We are offering Bachelor Degree programmes in anthropology, tourism, political science, geography, history and commerce," IGNTU Vice-Chancellor C D Singh told PTI.

The university, which is yet to have its own Academic Council, has adopted the syllabus of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) for the courses.

HRD Minister Arjun Singh had laid the foundation of the university at Amarkantak on April 19 this year. However, the land is yet to be acquired for its campus.

"We have hired a building of an Ashram in Amarkantak where we will conduct classes. Hope we will get the land soon from the state government," the Vice-Chancellor said.

A major portion of the land earmarked for the campus comes under forest area. It has not been transferred to the university till date.

The university has started the process of recruiting its registrar and teaching faculty.

The courses on anthropology and tourism will touch upon the tribals’ tradition and culture, he said.

"We will start research on tribal art, culture, tradition, language, custom, medicinal system, forest-based economic activities including special studies in flora and fauna and advancement in technologies relating to natural resources of tribal areas. All these will start after we get the campus and adequate staff," the Vice-Chancellor said.

The university, set up under a Central law enacted last year, will have jurisdiction all over the country and will be funded by the University Grants Commission.

The education of the tribal people has been a matter of concern in view of low gross enrolment ratio (GER), the percentage of people of the relevant age group in the realm of higher education. While the national GER is 11.6 percent, the GER of the tribals is a meagre 6.6 percent.

The university, which will be broadly on the pattern of existing Central universities, will cater particularly to the tribal people in Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat, he said.

Besides headquarters at Amarkantak, the university will have regional centres and campuses in other tribal concentrated areas, the Vice-Chancellor said.

Authorities of the university like executive council, academic council, college development council, boards of studies, academic boards, management boards and finance committees will have adequate number of members from among the Scheduled Tribes, he said.

Amarkantak has been selected as the site for the university because it is a central point in the tribal areas stretching between Madhya Pradesh, Chhattishgarh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.


2 comments November 16th, 2008

Manipur campus of IGNTU approved

Following is an excerpt from a report in

New Delhi, November 11 2008:

STATE CHIEF Minister Okram Ibobi along with the Education Minister L Jayantakumar and the Tribal Development Minister DD Thaisii met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh at the Prime Minister’s Office here this afternoon in connection with the reservation policy for recruitment of scheduled tribes in Manipur University and opening of a regional centre of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Manipur.

During the half an hour meeting, Chief Minister Ibobi told the Prime Minister that the Manipur University, which was a State University , became a Central University in the year 2005.The All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur (ATSUM) and Manipur University Tribal Students’ Union (MUTSU) had been requesting the Central Government as well as the State Government seeking adoption of the State Government’s reservation policy in matters of recruitment in the Manipur University.

The Chief Minister further stated that based on the population composition of Manipur, the reservation policy of the State Government stipulated 31 pc reservation for Scheduled Tribes and 2 pc for the Scheduled Castes, as against 7.5 pc for Scheduled Tribes and 15 pc for Scheduled Castes in the Central Reservation Policy.

As such, the State Government had recommended to the Central Government the adoption of the State Reservation Policy by the Manipur University as a special dispensation keeping in view of the ethnic composition of Manipur.

O Ibobi also referred to the establishment of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh by a Central Act namely the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Act 2007.This Act empowered the University to make special provisions for the employment or admission of women, persons with disabilities or of persons belonging to the weaker sections of the society and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and scheduled Tribes.

The Chief Minister further expressed that Manipur had nine districts; out of which five districts were predominantly inhabited by the tribal communities.

The facilities for imparting education in hill districts were inadequate.

It would help a great deal in promoting education among the tribal communities of the State, if a Regional Centre of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University had been established in one of the hill districts of Manipur.

He demanded for setting up a Centre of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in one of the hill districts of Manipur.

After patient hearing, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh expressed that the rectification of the Central Reservation Policy required an amendment of the policy and it would take time.

But the Centre would see the possible way to rectify it.

In regards to the opening of a Regional Centre of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Manipur, the Prime Minister nodded enthusiastically at the proposal.

He advised the Union Secretary of Higher Education Shri Rameshwar Pal Agrawal who was also in the meeting asked to sit with the Ministers from Manipur tomorrow at 4 pm for working out the modality for opening of the Centre in Manipur.

Tomorrow, the Manipur Education minister Shri L.Jayantakumar Singh and the Tribal Development Minister Shri D.D.Thaisii will sit with the Union Secretary (Higher Education) Shri R.P.Agrawal at Shastri Bhavan here to chalk out the modality for opening of the Regional Centre of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in one of the hill districts of Manipur.

Following is an excerpt from the report in on the follow-up meeting.


November 13 2008: STATE CHIEF Minister Okram Ibobi and the Education Minister L Jayantakumar on Wednesday met the Union Minister for Human Resources Development Arjun Singh at Shastri Bhawan here to relay the assurance of the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh made on the previous day for opening of the Manipur campus of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University.

The meeting lasted for about 10 minutes.

In the afternoon at 4 pm on Wednesday at Shastri Bhawan here; the Manipur Education Minister L Jayantakumar, Tribal Development Minister DD Thaisii and students leaders had an hour long discussion with the Union Secretary (Higher Education) RP Agrawal assisted by two Joint Secretaries for formulation of the proposed Manipur campus of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh.

The Union Secretary (Higher Education) informed the Manipur Ministers that the matter regarding the opening of a Regional Centre of the University in Manipur had been communicated to the Vice Chancellor of the University.

An expert group consisting of the representatives of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi had been formed for preparation of Detailed Project Reports of the proposed Centre in Manipur.

RP Agrawal also communicated to them for sending a high level team comprising of representatives from the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University to Manipur very soon to see the suitable location of the Centre.

The Secretary asked the Manipur representatives to find out a suitable location of the area of 500 to 700 acres.

He informed them that the appointment of faculty staff of the Centre would be done on the basis of the all-India norm and as for the admission of the students; it would be based on the ethnic composition of the State.

… The Manipur Tribal Development Minister DD Thaisii said here today that the opening of the regional centre of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University would have a good opportunity not only for the tribal people of the region but also for the general people in learning different subjects in the University.

The Minister further stated that the proposed regional centre in Manipur would be the first campus of the University.

The Union Secretary told them that the Ministry received many proposals from different States for opening of the branches of the University in their respective States, he added.

Why is not Orissa proposing one such regional center in one of its tribal districts? At the current moment Kandhamala would be an easy sell.

4 comments November 14th, 2008

New tribal university in Andhra Pradesh; not clear if it is a centrally funded one or a state funded one

Going back to April 2010, there are several news regarding establishment of a tribal university in Andhra Pradesh. The early news reports talked about it being a state initiative. However, the recent news reports mention experts from outside being involved in evaluating locations and in reporting to the center, which suggests that the center may also be involved in the making of this university. We now give several excerpts.

From Hindu (April 26, 2010)

Dogged by the question of a dismal State of higher learning among tribals in the State, the government is ‘seriously’ contemplating establishment of a Tribal University. “A strong demand from tribal groups and other concerned sections of society in the recent past has made the government to sit up and think on the ways and means to establish a university,” divulges a top-level source in the Tribal Welfare Department.

“The government had initially explored the possibility of converting Srikakulam’s MG University into a Tribal University. This idea was dropped due to certain practical difficulties,” recalls the officer about the efforts made by the government so far.

The government has also rejected an offer from the Tribal University at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh for affiliating some of the colleges here with it.

From Hindu (Jan 23, 2011):

Andhra Pradesh Tribal University is all set to come up on a 300-acre site in Chintapalle.

A study team of senior professors led by Samaresh Bandopadhyay (Kolkata) with Sudarshan Nadu (Bhubaneswar), Joseph Bara (JNU) and Registrar of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University from Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh, Ashok Singh, which inspected the site on Friday, will be submitting feasibility report to the Centre.

“We are absolutely happy that a lot of land is available with facilities like power, water and connectivity. In fact, this place is more accessible than Amarkantak where there is already a university,” Prof. Bandopadhyay told The Hindu at the Visakhapatnam airport after returning from Chintapalle on Saturday noon. The tribal university would provide avenues of education, particularly higher education and research facilities primarily for the tribal population of the country, he said. If everything went on well, the new university at Chintapalle could be started by June, he added.

From TOI (Feb 3, 2011)

While the Centre is mulling to set up the campus at Chintapalle in Visakhapatnam Agency, …

IGNTU, located in the small pilgrim town of Amarkantak in Anuppur district in Madhya Pradesh, became functional some time ago and has already established its regional campus in Manipur after the state government handed over 370 acres of land for establishment of a permanent campus. Sources said IGNTU was also approached by Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Kerala and Gujarat to open its regional campuses in the respective states.

The government had initially explored the possibility of converting Srikakulam’s Mahatma Gandhi University into a tribal university.

"But the idea was dropped due to practical difficulties and logistical problems. Visakhapatnam became a potential site for the campus as it has basic amenities like power, water and better connectivity," a senior official said.

… After visiting some sites here, the team of senior professors led by registrar of IGNTU Ashok Singh said they would be submitting a report to the Centre soon.

Note that the idea  for a central tribal university was suggested by Orissa CM, on 24th October 2005, which the HRD minister had appreciated. See our earlier posting at for more details. 

2 comments February 3rd, 2011

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 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. ( I came across the news item in 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 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 and 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 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.]

  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).

  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

Proposal for three new PPP based Central Universities for minorities

Thanks to for the pointer. Following is an excerpt from a report in indiaedunews.

… the country could soon have a new model of central universities that offer preferential admission to students from minority communities which is not followed by any central varsity until now.

The proposal forwarded to the law Ministry for inspection explores a central university model in public-private partnership mode (instead of total central funding), to come up on land donated by the Wakf Board in Rajasthan, Bihar and Karnataka.

Although offering admissions to both majority and minority students, the land for these universities will be given by the Musilm communities with the minorities getting the maximum share of seats.

They are expected to come up at Ajmer, Kishanganj and Mysore and are expected to get the maximum share of seats in these new varsities.

The Minister of Minority Affairs Salman Khursheed confirmed that the concept has been borrowed from Dr B.R Ambedkar University, which came up to educationally empower SC students.

Odisha must take a cue and push for PPP based central universities – in addition to branch(es) of IGNTU – for its tribals.

1 comment January 18th, 2010

India’s effort to address imbalances in higher education: PIB

Following is from


The National Sample Survey (NSS) data for 2004-05, indicates rural-urban disparities, gender disparities, inter caste disparities, imbalances in access opportunities for tribal population of the country, disparities amongst religious groups and differences in enrolment rates between the poor and non-poor. The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education for the nation as a whole as a percentage of the population cohort in the age group of 18-24 years is 12.4% based on 2007 enrolment data whereas the GER in secondary education (class XI-XII) as a percentage of the population in the age group of 16-18 years is 28.96% based on data reported in Selected Educational Statistics of 2006-07. 

During the Eleventh Plan establishment of Central Universities in hitherto uncovered States has been envisaged. 15 New Central Universities have been notified on 15.1.2009 and another Central University has been established in Jammu Division of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) has been established for facilitating and promoting studies in areas concerned with the way of life of the tribal population in the country. A new Regional Centre of the IGNTU has been inaugurated in Manipur. University Grants Commission (UGC) has invited detailed project proposals from State Governments for Establishment of 374 model degree colleges in the districts having GER lower than national level with the Centre-State funding in the ratio of 1:1 for Special Category States and 1:2 for other States. The Eleventh Plan has schemes for incentivizing State Government for setting up of new institutions or expansion of existing institutions with Central assistance with focus on underserved areas, strengthening colleges and State universities with focus on underserved areas which are not presently eligible for receiving assistance from UGC to enable these institutions to fulfil the criteria for UGC assistance, additional assistance to State universities and colleges which are already declared fit to receive grants under Section 12B of the UGC Act. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has permitted second shift in certain engineering colleges and polytechnics. Expansion of intake in Central Educational Institutions by 54% has been undertaken consequent to the implementation of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006. A scheme of interest subsidy during moratorium period for students accessing educational loans for technical and professional education has been notified on 8.9.2009. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Smt. D. Purandeswari, in a written reply to a question, in the Lok Sabha today. 


November 25th, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 comments September 25th, 2009

Orissalinks and all around development of HRD infrastructure in Orissa

In light of some comments in Orissalinks and several efforts that are going around in the Cyberspace, I would like to give a bit of history of Orissalinks that would make our stand clear in terms of promoting all around development of HRD infrastructure in Orissa.

We had several blogs that are precursor to The first two were:

  •  started October 2005: This was about getting NIS to Bhubaneswar which was earlier announced in 2003 by the President of India and HRD minister of India but was omitted when IISERs were proposed.
  •  started October 2005: This was about getting a central university to KBK.

Couple of the blogs after that were:

  •  started December 2005: At that time there were plans to upgrade some existing institutions to an IIT or existing IITs opening branches in other locations.  We pursued both.
  • started January 2007: After the first three new IITs were announced and Orissa was left out this was to push for an IIT in Orissa.

With the help of Prashant Sahoo, we started this consolidated blog in Novermber 2006. The first postings of this blog was about KBK Central University. See

We have been fortunate that the goals of our initial efforts were achieved and we now have NISER, an IIT and a Central University in Orissa.

There were other achievements including helping the UCE Burla students and alumni in their efforts to make UCE Burla an unitary university.  The idea was mooted in this blog in October 2007 (see and later support was provided by email. See their acknowledgement in their souvenir.

While a lot of our initial focus had been about getting Orissa its fair share, dealing with inequality within Orissa was also a concern from the very beginning. Although we did not frame it in the terms of "inequity within Orissa" our initial postings on KBK University and the kbkcentral blog were about addressing the lack of opportunities in the KBK districts.We continue with several other efforts such as making VSSUT, Burla an IIEST, having a branch of IGNTU in Kandhamal and getting an ESIC medical college to Rourkela.

We also wrote specifically about inequality within Orissa. One of our early post was in April 2007. See Since then we have raised this several times and will continue to do so.

But we would like it to be done, at least in this forum, in a respectful way and avoiding divisiveness. I also think that is the most effective way.

Following are some of my suggestions:

  1. We should not show any hatred towards any region of Orissa. (Sometimes one may not mean that, but the words imply that.) While it is ok to point out that some area, say the Bhubaneswar area, has too many of something as compared to the rest of the state, it is really not helpful to say something like since X will be in the Bhubaneswar area, I would rather not have it in Orissa at all.
  2. We should not use divisive terminologies.
  3. Personally I think it is usually better to argue for certain amenities and infrastructure elements in particular metropolitan areas rather than whole regions especially when there are divisive stereotypes about those regional distinctions.
  4. As described in (in particular ) I think we can initially focus on five tier 2 regions (Rourkela area, Berhampur area, Baragarh-Sambalpur-Jharsuguda area, Balasore-Baripada area and Koraput-Jeypore-Sunabeda area) and five trier 3 A regions (Bhawanipatna, Balangir, Phulbani, Angul and Keonjhar). See the above links for the reasoning behind why these ten are our first choice. Specific mailing lists or yahoo groups on each of them would be useful in interfacing cybercitizens with people phyiscally located in those areas. This will allow organization of some ground level teams and actions when needed.
  5. While looking out for our own backyard is important, it is more effective if one does not only focus on their own backyard or one is not too obsessed on their own backyard.
  6. It is more effective to argue for a location of an institute, when another location for it has not been announced. It creates divisiveness when one suggests or campaigns that institute X announced for location L should be moved to location M. A better alternative in that case is to say that a branch of X or something like X should also be in M. That is what we used when campaigning for NIS in Bhubaneswar. We never said that the IISER in Kolkata should be moved to Bhubaneswar. We said that we are happy that Kolkata gets an IISER but we would like Bhubaneswar to have an NIS or an IISER. That way the campaign does not pit people in favor of L against the people in favor of M. The more unified an effort is the better its chances of success. Especially, if one makes enemies or treats others as enemies then it works against their goals. The intelligent and effective approach is to convert others to support or even pursue your goals and not make enemies.
  7. On the other hand if X is announced for location L and someone from L says that I am from L but I think for these reasons the institute X  should be in M, then that is the right spirit. That is what is happening in the ESIC medical college in Rourkela effort.
  8. There will be cases when several areas are under consideration for a single exclusive institute. At that time we should keep the debate about the location civil and logic based. In such debates people arguing for their own backyard is expected and reasonable, but one must keep in mind that it automatically decreases their credibility in the eyes of the others.

In summary, if we work unitedly for all of Orissa and respect some ground rules (such as the ones above), the chances of success are much higher.

13 comments September 8th, 2009

Rajasthan uses a balanced approach in choosing locations for its national institutions

Update on 27th April 2011: The Central University location has been changed to Bander Sindri near Ajmer and only 80 kms from Jaipur. The Innovation University (previsouly referred to as National University) aiming for world class is now pushed for Jaipur. [Times of India]

The panel set up by the CM of Rajsthan has picked the following places to recommend to the central government for the various national institutes and universities coming up in Rajasthan. (From a Times of India report and another Times of India report)

  • IIT : Jodhpur
  • IIM: Udaipur
  • National University aiming for world-class: Ajmer 
  • Central university: Bikaner.

The committee also recommended:

  • a "futuristic" heritage conservation and museology centre in Jaipur
  • an institute of Food Technology in Hadoti region of Kota

Currently the following national institutions exisit or are being made in the following places in Rajasthan:

  • NIT: Jaipur
  • LNMIT (private but top-notch): Jaipur
  • National law School: Jodhpur
  • AIIMS-like institution (being made): Jodhpur

The institutions are nicely distributed between various cities of Rajsthan, although people of Jaipur and Kota are not happy. The population of these locations are:

  • Jaipur (World Gazetteer 2009): 3.1 million (has inetrnational air connectivity)
  • Jodhpur (World Gazetteer 2009): 988K  – (332 kms from Jaipur; has air connectivity)
  • Udaipur (World Gazetteer 2009): 457K – (400 kms from Jaipur; has air connectivity)
  • Ajmer (World Gazetteer 2009):  604.7K – (131 kms from Jaipur)
  • Bikaner (World Gazetteer 2009): 624.6K – (321 kms from Jaipur)
  • Kota (World Gazetteer 2009): 823 K (242 kms from Jaipur)

In contrast in Orissa the distribution of national institutions are more Bhubaneswar centric. Following is the status:

  • IIT: Bhubaneswar
  • NISER: Bhubaneswar
  • AIIMS-like (being made) : Bhubaneswar
  • National Law University: Cuttack (part of Bhubaneswar metroplex)
  • IIIT (state-funded) : Bhubaneswar
  • National University aiming to be world class: Bhubaneswar
  • Vedanta University (private): Puri
  • NIT: Rourkela
  • Central University: Koraput
  • IIIT (centrally funded): state wants it in Berhampur; center has identified as Bhubaneswar

Unfortunately, one of the reason given behind the above selection is the lack of connectivity and the size of places. Following is some information on that.

  • Bhubaneswar (World Gazetteer 2009): 1.67 million  (has airport but no inetrnational connectivity)
  • Rourkela (World Gazetteer 2009): 551 K  (no air connections) – 334 kms from Bhubaneswar
  • Berhampur (World Gazetteer 2009): 403 K (no air connections) – 160 kms from Bhubaneswar
  • Koraput-Jeypore-Sunabeda: 200K+ (no air connections) – 499 kms from bhubaneswar
  • Puri (World Gazetteer 2009): 185K – 60 kms from Bhubaneswar 
  • Sambalpur (World Gazetteer 2009): 258 K (no air connections)  – 321 kms from Bhubaneswar
  • Jharsuguda-Belpahar-Brajarajnagar: 200 K (no air connections) – 374 kms from Bhubaneswar; 50 kms from Sambalpur

For the future, following are some of the steps that Orissa government needs to urgently take regarding developing more larger urban areas and having the national institutions more evenly distributed:

  • Make sure the centrally funded IIIT is established in Berhampur
  • Establish functioing airports in Jharsuguda, Rourkela and Koraput at the earliest
  • Push for international flights to Bhubaneswar
  • Push for upgradation of UCE Burla (Sambalpur area) to an IIEST (Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology)
  • Push for the establishment of a branch of IGNTU (Indira Gandhi National Tribal University) in Phulbani
  • Push for the establishment of IIM outside of the Bhubaneswar area
  • Push for the establishment of a centrally funded KBK Inst of Engineering and Technology (along the lines of SLIET and ABAGKIET) in Kalahandi or Balangir.
  • Push for upgrading another medical college (Berhampur or Sambalpur) to AIIMS level.
  • Push for establishing NID in a location outside of Bhubaneswar
  • Push for establishing NIPER in a location outside of Bhubaneswar
  • Push for a BITS Pilani campus in a location outside of Bhubaneswar

9 comments June 12th, 2009

Centrally funded non-NIT/IIT engineering colleges in various states; need a KBKIET in Kalahandi

Besides IITs and NITs some centrally funded engineering colleges are being established by the central govt. in various states. This includes the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology in Punjab and Central Institute of Technology, Kokrajhar, Assam.

Following is a PIB report on a similar institute being established in Malda, West Bengal.

The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for establishment of Ghani Khan Choudhary Institute of Engineering & Technology, as a Centrally funded institution in Malda, West Bengal on the modular pattern of teaching as adopted by Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering & Technology (SLIET), Longowal, Punjab. The Institution will offer courses in Engineering and Technology to cater to the various manpower requirements of the region, with special emphasis on courses relevant to the local population such as in food technology & sericulture.

Initially, the Institution would start with Certificate level courses leading to Diploma, Degree and Post-graduate levels later.

The total project outlay of the Institute will be around Rs. 97 crores.

Orissa should ask for a similar engineering college to cater to the backward KBK+ districts and located in Kalahandi.

Koraput will have the central university; Branch of IGNTU is being pursued in Kandhamala. So an engineering college like SLIET should be located in Kalahandi. The institute can be called KBK institute of Engineering and Technology (KBKIET).


November 20th, 2008

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