Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Response to HRD saying Orissa has 12 central institutes: Dr. Digambara Patra

To
The Ministry of HRD
Government of India

Copy to: The President, Government of India
The Prime Minister, Govt of India
Ms Sonia Gandhi, UPA chairpersons
Media

Dear Honorable Union HRD Minister, Government of India, Mr Singh,

With reference to the news report published in Hindustan Times on 26th Feb 2007, Reference: http://digpatra.googlepages.com/20070227_HT_IIT.pdf
we are astonished to learn that “HRD ministry feels opening of satellite campus might dilute the standard of education in premier institutes like IITs”. If this is the case why the present ministry is making 3 more new IITs, 5 new IISERs, 3-5 IIMs and few IIITs across India? We also do not see any dilution in education standard by establishing more IITs as each IITs are autonomous and independent institutions and would maintain their individual quality of education rather than exploiting “IIT” as a fancy brand name.

The argument made by HRD ministry saying “presence of 12 centrally funded educational institutes and announced NISER forbid Orissa to get a new IIT” is also equally baseless. If it would have been the case than Andhra Pradesh has 31 such centrally funded institutions including HRD ministry sponsored central university Hyderabad and beside many DRDO
laboratories, still the HRD ministry has proposed new IIT and is also considering for two new IIEST in the state. Additionally other central institutes like IIPH and NIPER are being established in Andhra Pradesh.
Reference:
http://digpatra.googlepages.com/20070227_state_wise_national_lab_ins.pdf

As given in the above reference link, our state wise comparison also shows states having more centrally funded institutions like Maharastra (36), Karnataka (35), Delhi (34), Uttar Pradesh (34), Andhra Pradesh (31), West Bengal (23), Tamil Nadu (20), Madhya Pradesh (16), Gujrat (16) and Kerala (14) are still given preference while establishing new centrally funded institutions. Additionally many of these states have many DRDO laboratories. If this is the reason, why are also IISER and Indira Gandhi Tribal University being established in Madhya Pradesh which has 14 other centrally funded institutions instead of Chhatisgarh that has only two centrally funded/proposed institutions?

NISER in Orissa costs 500 crores where as IIT in Bihar costs 4000 crores. Additionally Bihar and Andhra Pradesh gets NIPER apart from IIT. Excluding NIT, the total expenditure of all other centrally funded institutions in Orissa would be equivalent to a single IIT’s expenditure. Many states like Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Assam, etc. have many centrally funded institutions apart from IIT and NIT.

Even in zonal basis selection of centrally funded educational institutions there was fraud and misuse of political and administrative power. Reference:
http://digpatra.googlepages.com/20070226_Tathya_inInformingPeople.pdf

Take the case of eastern zone, West Bengal has always received extra advantages over other states despite the fact that it has already many national institutes of high repute like IIT, IIM, ISI, Shanti Niketan, IACS (a science institute of IISc standard) etc, even very recently for establishing new IISER, NIPER, IIPH etc the state has become extra beneficiary in the
eastern zone by totally showing blind eyes to state like Orissa, which is at the bottom of per capital expenditure by HRD ministry along with Bihar and Rajasthan (see reference below). Reference:
http://digpatra.googlepages.com/20060214_HindustanTimes.pdf

Though we are very much disappointed about IIT in Orissa, we are equally happy about IIT in Bihar and Rajasthan.

Many hilly regions in India have been given national institutes of higher learning except similar backward region in Orissa. Reference:
http://digpatra.googlepages.com/KalahandiNeedsNationalInstitutes.pdf
Unfortunately, Orissa was not given any national institute like IIT, IIM or central university in this regards, although its south-western region, infamously known as KBK region, is well known for its multi-facet backwardness and its 7 out of 8 districts are among the 10 most backward districts in India.
Reference: http://digpatra.googlepages.com/20070209_ThePioneer.pdf

Unless people fight for it, in every decision the HRD ministry was taking currently, Orissa had always been at the receiving end, whether it was the shifting of IISER to Kolkata, Reference: http://iiser.blogspot.com/
or be the recent shifting of IIT from Orissa.
Reference: http://iits-11thplan.blogspot.com/

In stead of going towards a rational approach the central government has still been encouraging politically biased and regional favoritism looking at the ruling parties of various states, home state of the concern minister and counting the number of MPs of the ruling parties from those states while establishing national institutes.

In fact, there was no science (rationality is the basis of science) while establishing science and science based institutions across the nation by ministry of HRD recently (except the case for IIT in Bihar and Rajasthan).

We are sure if national policy will have rationality in its decision, Orissa would have more advantages over many other states where HRD ministry and central government are presently looking at while establishing national institutes like IIT, IIPH, NIPER, IIM, IIIT, National Institute of Nanotechnology, National Institute of Biotechnology etc.

Thank you and with kind regards

Sincerely

Digambara Patra

Monday, February 26, 2007

Central PSUs urged to help in establishment of IIT in State

Central PSUs urged to help in establishment of IIT in State
Pioneer News Service Bhubaneswar
IIT, as a brand, has made a significant contribution and added value to 'Brand India'. So, 'Brand Orissa' too is looking forward to having an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the State in order to boost its image in the international arena.
When Ashok Kumar Basu, Principal Secretary of the department of science and technology and information technology of Jharkhand, disclosed the State Government's intention to rope in the public sector to set up quality technical institutes in the State, IITians and non-resident Oriyas (NROs) immediately joined the issue.
NROs have urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to impress upon the Central Government's public sector undertakings (PSUs) to invest in the human resources development in the State in general and establishment of an IIT-type institute in particular.
According to Basu, the PSU Bokaro Steel has already agreed to set up an engineering college and a medical college in Bokaro. Talks are on with top private institutes to set up educational shops in Jharkhand, he added.
NROs have suggested the State Government to cajole the various mineral-based industries like steel and aluminium plants and coalfield undertakings to invest in the human resource development of the State. Chitta Baral, Professor of Arizona State University, pointed out that so far only Vedanta Resources Plc has announced its intention to set up a world-class university and that a sum of Rs 13 crore has been donated by Tata Steel for the Bhubaneswar-based Institute of Mathematics. But other companies have contributed little for the establishment of ITI-type trade schools. If one analyses the investments of Central PSUs in the HRD sector in Orissa, he would find that they have not done much, pointed out Digambara Patra, visiting Lecturer of Waseda University of Tokyo. Now, Orissa must take a quick lesson from Jharkhand, where the Bokaro Steel plant has agreed to establish an engineering college as well as a medical college in Jharkhand, said Patra.
Dhirendra Kar, vice-president of the Orissa Society of Americas, urged the Orissa Government to immediately pursue with the big minerals-based PSUs in the State for establishment of an IIT-equivalent technology institute.
The major minerals-based Central PSUs such as Rourkela Steel Plant, NALCO, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited and NTPC may be cajoled to follow the path of Bokaro Steel Plant and establish an IIT, he said. In the mater of establishment of a medical college, a location in the hinterland, near the mines from where the minerals come from, should get preference.
For example, NALCO should establish its medical college at Damanjodi, which is in the backward district of Koraput, he added.
The Orissa Government should then make similar efforts in respect of the private sector companies, particularly Tata Steel, that depend on minerals from Orissa. Since Tata Steel has been exploiting the Orissa minerals for more than a century, the company must go beyond an engineering college and a medical college and establish a technical university, Prof Baral demanded.
The State Government has also to rope in corporate sector and the upcoming private sector biggies such as POSCO, Reliance and Arcelor-Mittal in this regard. In particular, POSCO has created one of the top engineering universities POSTECH in South Korea and the Mittals have established the LN Mittal School of Informatics in Jaipur in Rajasthan. So, these industrial houses must be made aware that Orissa expects similar HRD investment from them soon, perhaps as soon as their land acquisition is completed, said Prof Baral.

IITs plan for expansion scrapped: HT

IITs plan for expansion scrapped
Chetan Chauhan, New Delhi, February 26, 2007

The HRD ministry has snowballed the plan of IITs to open new campuses. The first to be hit are the top three IITs of the country at - Delhi, Mumbai and Kharagpur.

In a policy directive, the HRD ministry has rejected the idea of opening satellite campuses in places far off from the main campus, citing huge costs involved. The decision was taken after number of IITs approached the HRD ministry seeking its views on opening new campuses.

While IIT Delhi was formulating a plan for Gurgaon, the proposal of IIT Mumbai for Gujarat and IIT Kharagpur for Bhubaneswar have already been rejected by the HRD ministry. "We are against the concept of opening satellite campuses as it may dilute the standard of education in premier institutes like IITs," a senior ministry official told HT.

IIT Kharagpur, which has a small campus functioning in Bhubaneswar, offering post-graduate diplomas, wanted the ministry’s permission to expand the existing campus and convert it into satellite campus offering undergraduate courses. Even Orissa Chief Minister Navin Pathnaik had written to the HRD minister Arjun Singh requesting a IIT in Orissa or providing full-fledged IIT like facilities in the existing campus to improve higher education in the state.

Rejecting the proposal, the HRD ministry officials say that Orissa as 12 Centrally funded educational institutes and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had already announced opening of a National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) at Bhubaneswar.

A similar proposal from IIT Mumbai to open a campus in Ahmedabad to tap huge influx of JEE pass-outs from Gujarat was not approved, although there allegations that the proposal was rejected as IIT Mumbai had selected a BJP ruled state. But, a HRD ministry official gave a different explanation. "Opening a satellite campus requires funds equal to opening a new IIT. So, it is better to open new IITs," he said.

The HRD ministry has got, in principle, approval for opening three new IITs in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar. HRD minister Arjun Singh has requested Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy to provide 500-600 acres of land.

The state government has informed the ministry that they are in the process of finalising land with civic amenities and air and rail connectivity, a ministry official said. Similar, requests have also been made to Bihar and Rajasthan governments, he added.

Friday, February 23, 2007

CM spoke to the Planning Commission deputy chairman about the need of IIT and IIM in Orissa

Plan pegged at 5105 cr
OUR CORRESPONDENT

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 23: The plan size for Orissa for 2007-08 was pegged at Rs 5,105 crore at the end of discussions between chief minister Naveen Patnaik and the Planning Commission deputy chairman in Delhi this evening.

The annual plan outlay for the coming financial year is 46 per cent higher than the current fiscal, said an official release issued by the chief minister’s office here.

Discussions were also held regarding the size of the 11th plan (2007-12). It was, however, decided that the plan size would be finalised after “further deliberations” within a couple of months.

Addressing the meeting with Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Patnaik said less-developed states like Orissa should get “greater support and higher flow of liberal assistance” from the Centre, primarily of non-debt creating nature.

The chief minister urged Delhi to provide greater assistance for development of infrastructure such as roads, irrigation projects and ports. He also stressed the need for expeditious release of fiscal incentive grants to Orissa for its “excellent performance in reducing revenue deficit”.

Patnaik reiterated the demand for increase of special central assistance for the undivided Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi (KBK) region to Rs 500 crore per annum. He urged the plan panel official to extend concessions in central excise, income-tax and other incentives for promotion of industries in KBK on a par with some of the other backward regions of the country.

Patnaik said the Centre should redefine the criteria for according special category status to a state and treat Orissa as such.

The other major demands put forth by the chief minister included timely revision of royalty rates for major minerals on ad valorem basis, compensation of power generating states like Orissa for environmental degradation and displacement of people.

He also urged Delhi to address “inequalities” between the power producing and consuming states.

On the education front, Patnaik spoke about the need for setting up an IIT and an IIM in Orissa.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dharitri's Front Page Picture : Protest by ABVP on Shifting of IIT from Orissa

Pioneer: ABVP gheraos Raj Bhawan, opposes IIT shifting

ABVP gheraos Raj Bhawan, opposes IIT shifting

Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar

Stepping up its agitation against the shifting up the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) from the State, the ABVP on Wednesday gheraoed the Raj Bhawan here and sought the direct intervention of Governor Rameshwar Thakur in the issue.

The ABVP activist staged a day-long dharna in front of the Raj Bhawan, during which they had a scuffle with the police. About 100 demonstrators were arrested by the police when they tried to enter the Raj Bhawan forcibly.

The ABVP leaders submitted a memorandum to the Governor, urging his direct intervention in the issue. The Congress-led UPA Government had earlier promised location of National Institute of Sciences ( NIS) in Orissa, but subsequently it was shifted elsewhere. This time the proposed IIT has also been shifted from the State. In fact, two IITs were promised to Orissa, but not even one is being located in the State, ABVP State general secretary Nirmal Sarangi said, adding that such a move is purely politically motivated, as the Centre wants to satisfy the UPA allies.

"We have urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President APJ Abdul Kalam and Congress President Sonia Gandhi to look into the matter seriously and take into account Orissa's interest," Sarangi said.

Despite Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Fatmi's promise in August last year, Orissa has been ignored in the matter of location of an IIT, ABVP activists pointed out.

"Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh is anti-Orissa and the UPA Government is more worried for the States which are governed by the Congress," ABVP national executive member Mahesh Mishra alleged. He warned that unless the Union Government's decision is reversed, ABVP would intensify its agitation.

The agitation over the IIT issue is likely to gather further momentum as Agami Odisha will hold a preparatory meeting on February 26 to decide its further course of action on the issue. Persons associated with different organisations are expected to participate in the meeting.

Kalinga Times: ABVP demands IIT for Orissa

(Update: Also reported in Hindu)

ABVP demands IIT for Orissa

KalingaTimes Correspondent
Bhubaneswar: Orissa unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad staged a demonstration outside Raj Bhawan here on Wednesday to register their protest against the United Progressive Alliance Government's move to shift the proposed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) from the State.

Angry activists of the organisation broke the police cordon and staged a sit-in outside the main gate of Raj Bhavan demanding that the Centre should set up an IIT in the State. Raising slogans against the Centre, the youths blamed the Centre for neglecting the State.

In a memorandum submitted to the Centre, the ABVP demanded that the Union Human Resource Development Ministry should reconsider its decision to set an IIT in Orissa as was decided by it earlier.

The organisation announced that it would intensify its agitation to highlight the demand for setting up of an IIT in Orissa if the Centre did not take any decision in favour of the State soon.

A full-fledged IIT was needed for the State as it was attracting huge investments in the recent years and many companies had started process to set up industries in various sectors. Institutions such as IIT were necessary to ensure economic development in the State in the years to come, the ABVP leaders said.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Notes on announced for IIT shifted from Orissa

Some notes have been prepared on this. (word, pdf)
Please distribute this widely, especially among Orissa lawmakers (MLAs and MPs) and journalists so that the MLAs can use it in the assembly, the MPs can use it in the parliament and the journalists can use it to write their articles.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sudarsan Das of Agami Orissa appeals

Dear Friends,

In the earlier occasion NIS was promised to us and subsequently shifted to
elsewhere. It was due to consistent campaign and continuous public action at different level we could get back the institute in the form of NISER. This time it is IIT. 2 IITs were promised to us(Orissa) and now it is denied. Many of our friends have started raising the issue in different forms. Many a friends have sent memorandum to Prime Minister, President of India, Mrs Sonia Gandhi etc, protesting against the Central Govt's move of shifting the IITs from Orissa.Protest is being registered in media against this move also.

But what is needed most now is public action in different forms. Agami
Odisha's core team met on 17th Feb to discuss about the possible public actions that could be initiated at this point of time. Some of the proposals came up in the discussion were, Holding citizen's convention(8th March), organising students convention, torch light procession, march to Governor House and finally holding mass rally at Delhi in front of Parliament.This will be the first phase of movement which also include meeting with the MLAs/MPs and requesting them to take up the issue, meeting the media and requesting them to create broader public opinion in favour of the movement, initiating the process of protest at regional level etc.
To finalise the details of the first phase of the movement we have convened a meeting on 26th Feb to which persons associated with different organisations/networks would also be invited.You are also requested to join the meeting.If you have any new ideas pertaining to this movement you may please share with us so that we can discuss them on 26th Feb. In solidarity with the movement for IIT in Orissa.

Sudarsan Das

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Agami Orissa's preparotory meeting on Feb 26th

Dear friends,

A preparotory meeting has been convened, for the burning issue of IIT in Orissa, on 26th afternoon ( 3pm to 5pm) at Faculty Club, VaniVihar. All members and also other interested persons, not belonging to Agami Odisha but strongly feel" Orissa has been cheated in IIT/IIEST issue, may participate in the meeting.

It has been tentatively decided by executive body meeting on 16th Feb'07 to hold the proposed Grand-Citizen convention on IIT issue on 8th March'07.

All subsequent course of action till getting IIT and upgrading UCE, Burla to IIEST, will be discussed and finalised on 26th Feb'07. This may please be considered as letter of invitation and remember we are fighting a cause, which will benifit all our future generation. Let us remind each other, our achievement in getting NISER in 2006 is because of our unity and action in 2005.

Thanking You,

Yours,
truly

Santosh Tripathy,
Suderson Das,
Madhusudan Das,
Pradeep Pradhan,
Pradipta nayak,
Lalit Mohan Pattnaik.

Orissa TV: Center’s decision unfortunate - Naveen

Perhaps due to the elections the visit of HRD secretary, his confirmation regarding the IIT not being in Orissa and the CM's comment had gotten lost. Following is a news report from Orissa TV. It also has a video clip on the issue.

Bhubaneswar
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Center’s decision unfortunate: Naveen
[ Click here for Video ]

Bhubaneswar: People of Orissa came to know on 6th February that the Centre had belied its promise to set up an IIT in the state. On that day the secretary of HRD ministry confirmed that there was no plan of the union government to set up the IIT in Orissa. Various organizations have decided to launch agitation against the decision of the Union government. Congress, the main opposition party has said that the demand of state to have an IIT is genuine. However, it has blamed the style of functioning of the state government for such failure. Though many aspects depend on the style of presenting a demand before the center, the Chief Minister is clear on this issue. Time and again the state government has put its demand for IIT. And all the times the Centre has rejected with some plea or the other. It is expected that at least for the sake of state’s interest, all political parties should stand united.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Dharitri (in Oriya): IIT shifting and the sleeping Oriya - Brajakishore Sahu

Another hard hitting article on the issue in Dharitri.
(page1, page2, page3, page4, page5, page6)

Agami Orissa plans a mass convention on the IIT issue on March 8th.

Agami Orissa is planning a mass convention on the IIT issue on March 8th. If you are in Bhubaneswar or plan to be in Bhubaneswar around that date, please plan to attend. If you contact me by email (chitta@gmail.com) I can give you the contact address of the Agami Orissa leaders.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Memorandum sent in by Tokyo Oriyas

It was addressed to the following people and faxed to them:

To
Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime minister of India
South Block,Raisina Hill
New Delhi, Pin code: 110011
INDIA
Telephone: 91-11-23012312.
Fax: 91-11-23019545 /91-11-23016857
Email: manmohan@sansad.nic.in

To
Dr. A.P.J. ABDUL KALAM
President of India
Rashtrapati Bhavan,
New Delhi, Pin code: 110 004
INDIA
Fax: +91 11 23017290
Email: presidentofindia@rb.nic.in

To
Smt. Sonia Gandhi
Leader of UPA
President: INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
24, Akbar Road,
New Delhi, Pin code: 110011,
INDIA
FAX : + 91-11-23017047
Email: soniagandhi@sansad.nic.in

To
Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia
Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission,
Government of India
Parliament Street, New Delhi, Pin code: 110001
INDIA
Fax: 91-11-23096699-2132
Email: dch@yojana.nic.in

To
Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat
Vice-President of India
6, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi
INDIA
Fax: +91 11 23018124
Email: vpindia@sansad.nic.in

To
Shri Somnath Chatterjee
Speaker, Lok Sabha
17, Parliament House,
New Delhi, Pin code: 110001
INDIA
Fax: + 91 11 23792927
Email: lokmail@sansad.nic.in

To
Sri Arjun Singh
Minister of Human Reource Development
Government of India
Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi-110001
India
Fax: + 91-11 23382365
Email: hrm@nic.in

To
REGD. & HEAD OFFICE NEW DELHI
The Press Trust of India Limited
PTI Building,
4, Parliament Street, New Delhi - 110 001
INDIA
Fax: + 91 11 23718714
Email: trans@pti.in

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Orissatv.com: IIT issue snowballs into a major controversy: Orissa MPs to raise the issue in the parliament

Even in 2002 there was a plan for an IIT in Orissa

9/21/2002

IIT would be set up at Koraput: Dr M M Joshi

BHUBANESHWAR: An Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) would be set up in the tribal dominated district of Koraput as soon as financial crises is over according to Union Minister for Human Resources Dr Murali Manojhar Joshi. However, in a letter written to the Koraput MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Joshi informed that though the central govt. is interested to impart qualitative technical education, due to paucity of funds, this intention of the govt. is not getting adequate boost.He however, has written that the Centre is considering to open up an IIT in Koraput after its financial condition improves. Bahinipati had written separate letters to the Union Human Resources Minister and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee requesting them to open IIT in Koraput.(OTV Web Bureau)

Coverage of the IIT issue at Odisha.com (letters) - In Oriya

Feb 10 2006: Letters thanking Odisha.com
IIT: Support petition content but why is it addressed to Mrs. Gandhi (please send a protest letter to the people you think are appropriate. response.)
IIT: Student revolution necessary
IIT: Student protest necessary ( I donot agree with the message here.)
IIT: voice against the central government
Everyone want's their own IIT (She does not realize the impact of an IIT on the locality where it is located.)
IIT should be in Berhampur
IIT: Deception by the central government

Friday, February 9, 2007

India First's cover story: Farewell to IIT

Orissa has missed the bus again, thanks to the machinations of the Ministry of Human Resources Development. A green-field Indian Institute of Technology, which was in the pipeline for Orissa, has been surreptitiously shifted to Andhra Pradesh. Bihar retains an IIT. So does the western state of Rajasthan. But Orissa’s claim seems to have gone down the drain as the Ministry of HRD has made a volte face.

Orissa has missed the bus again, thanks to the machinations of the Ministry of Human Resources Development. A green-field Indian Institute of Technology, which was in the pipeline for Orissa, has been surreptitiously shifted to Andhra Pradesh. The Ministry of HRD has maintained a complete silence over this sudden shift, but the issue has sparked off anger and resentment in Orissa. It’s the second blow for the state in less than a year. The first blow came when the National Institute of Science was shifted from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata. But the NIS furore subsided after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone of National Institute of Science Education and Research in August. And now, another storm has lashed Orisa over the IIT issue. Union minister of state for HRD M.A.A. Fatmi in August last year had said, "The proposal for one IIT for Bihar and two for Orissa and one western Indian state besides one Indian Institute of Information Technology in Bihar will be included in the 11th Five Year Plan". Fatmi’s Bihar retains an IIT. So does the western state of Rajasthan. But Orissa’s claim seems to have gone down the drain as the Ministry of HRD has made a volte face.

Each state of the country, of course, cannot have an IIT. But the decisions pertaining to the location of such reputed centres of excellence have to follow certain objective criteria. The Ministry of HRD cannot announce an IIT for Orissa and suddenly decide to scrap the same in a jiffy. The decision to shift the IIT appears to have been taken on grounds of political expediency. The decision does not reflect the academic realities staring at a state like Orissa where the institutions of higher learning set up by the Ministry of HRD are few and far between. At present, there are seven IITs in the country at New Delhi, Mumbai, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Roorkee, Chennai and Guwahati. Three more IITs will come up during the 11th Plan period from 2007 to 2012. Each IIT will involve an investment of Rs 4,000 crores and hence, it will be a costly exclusion for Orissa.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has already written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh protesting against the decision. The CM has described the decision not to locate one of the green-field IITs in Orissa as "shocking". The CM has sought the intervention of the PM to sanction one IIT for Orissa. The CM has also conveyed the state’s willingness to provide 300 acres of land free of cost for this prestigious IIT project.

There is a ray of hope that the Prime Minister might intervene in favour of Orissa as he earlier did to offer an alternative to the NIS project, which was shifted to Kolkata. In his address while laying the foundation of the National Institute of Science Education and Research, the Prime Minister had said, "I am also concerned about the regional imbalance in science teaching and the development of science and technology in India. There was a time when the East was at the forefront. Today the East is lagging behind the South and the West. We need to redress this regional imbalance. It is to meet these challenges that we will be setting up the National Institute of Science Education and Research in Bhubaneswar". But the NISER is no substitute for an IIT. While the estimated project cost of the NISER is Rs 750 crores, an IIT involves an investment of Rs 4000 crores. In short, Orissa may lose Rs 3250 crores due to this decision of the Ministry of HRD.

Moreover, the NISER project has not taken off yet though top officials from the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) visited Bhubaneswar last month to meet the chief minister.

CII-McKinsey Report

The Prime Minister was right when he stated that the East is lagging behind in science teaching. But the East has got tremendous potential for the future. A CII-McKinsey report named "Turning The Minerals And Metals Potential Of Eastern India Into A Goldmine" has enumerated the potential of three eastern states of Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and what the states can achieve in the next 15 years. Are the three states really sitting on a goldmine? A peek into the CII-McKinsey report provides some answers.

According to the report, the three eastern states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa have the potential to unleash an unprecedented economic boom, which will have a direct and unassailable impact on all sections of their population. The report says, "The economies of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa also have the potential to grow from $30 billion in 2003 to $75 billion by 2015, in which the share of metals and minerals would increase from 27 to 46 per cent. This would also result in employment for 7,00,000 additional people by 2015 and the majority would be from the rual and small town population".

Capturing the potential, however, will require a concerted and co-ordinated effort by the government and industry players.

The three states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkand and Orissa alone account for about 70% of the country’s coal reserves, 55% of iron ore and 60% of its bauxite reserves. However, they have grossly underexploited this opportunity so far as is borne out by their low state domestic products and low growth rates. There is no reason why, however, these states cannot leverage their natural resources to propel their economic growth just like several mineral rich regions across the world such as Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Chile and Botswana have done. What is more the timing could not be more ideal. There are three reasons for saying this. First, India’s domestic demand for metals (and hence minerals from eastern states) is poised for significant growth over the next 10-12 years making India one of the top five global markets for several metals and minerals. Secondly, the growth rate of the Chinese economy has significantly accelerated the global demand for basic materials, resulting in global growth rates for steel, aluminium and coal. Thirdly, India is uniquely positioned to play a significant part in servicing this global demand due to its low-cost advantage.

The eastern states, according to the report, would also benefit in terms of employment creation, where levels of employment in the minerals and metal sector could increase from 560 thousand to 1.4 million workers by 2015. In addition, they would be able to significantly increase their state revenues from the minerals and metal sector from $1 billion to almost $2.9 billion by 2015. Significant investments could also flow in and could possibly reach as much as $20-35 billion from the steel sector, $10-14 billion from aluminium sector and $6-9 billion from the coal sector by 2015. Additional investment of $20-40 billion could flow in from the power sector for coal-based generation companies.

An IIT would have been the perfect icing on the cake for the eastern states in general and for Orissa in particular.

Hindustan Times: Mentioning about IIT shifting from Orissa

IITs fuel political passions

KV Lakshmana

New Delhi, February 9, 2007


Indian Institutes of Technology seem to not only fuel student dreams but intense political passions as well. If students compete to secure a place in an IIT, politicians spearhead agitations to get them located in their areas of influence.

Orissa is objecting to an IIT, originally meant for it, being awarded to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. In Andhra, on the other hand, two districts of Telangana — Adilabad and Medak — are squabbling for the institute.

The Chandrababu Naidu government had campaigned for an IIT at Basara in Adilabad, while Chief Minister YS Rajashekhara Reddy has plumped for Medak, from where late Indira Gandhi had once secured passage to the Lok Sabha.

Telangana Rashtriya Samithi leader and former union minister A Narendra has alleged that Reddy is using the IIT card to divide and weaken the Telangana movement for a separate state.

Meanwhile, AP minister for marketing, Botsa Satyanarayana is advocating the cause of Vishakapatnam to house the IIT.

Amid all the churning in Andhra Pradesh, a "shocked" Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik wrote in protest to the prime minister last Wednesday. He pointed out that Orissa was promised an IIT in the 11th five-year plan. The Centre's reported decision to establish new IITs in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan was not cricket, Patnaik told Dr Manmohan Singh.

Human Rescource Development Minister of State MM Fatmi had announced on August 28 in Patna that three IITs, including one in Orissa, were being set up.

Similar passions are in evidence in four Rajasthan cities — Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota and Jodhpur — for an IIT. Students of Ajmer consider their city too has a claim.
The rapidly expanding Pink City, with a sprinkling of engineering colleges, industrial units and infrastructure and proximity to Delhi, greater road, rail and air connectivity, seems to have the more aggressive campaign. The highest number of 200 IIT entrants per annum are from Jaipur.

The Pink City also has a more concrete proposal. It is ready to provide 400 acres and an administrative building free 25 kms from Jaipur. A Sambhar-based NGO, Sri Gopal Gowshala, will donate the land and building, said Suresh Kalani, the NGO office bearer. Delegations from the four cities have met Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje with their claims for the IIT. Raje's office confirmed the claims on Monday but said "no real progress was made on the ground".

The state has nominated additional chief secretary DC Samant to the HRD ministry committee that will finalise the location of the new IIT. While Udaipur has its strong points as tourism, business and trading, Kota said it already has 30,000 students preparing for the IITs at the various coaching institutes there.
Meanwhile, the demonstrations, sit-ins and signature campaigns continue to bring the IIT into the neighbourhood.

Email KV Lakshmana: klakshmana@hindustantimes.com

Sambada Editorial: Neglect beyond tolerance (obliquely refers to IIT issue)

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Pioneer: Agami Orissa to gherao Parliament to protest shifting of IIT

Agami Orissa to gherao Parliament to protest shifting of IIT

Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar

Agami Orissa, which has been at loggerheads with the Union Human Resource Development Ministry for its step-motherly attitude towards Orissa, on Thursday announced to gherao the Parliament and stage a demonstration in New Delhi if the decision for setting up of an IIT in the State is reversed. "We will stage a demonstration here involving all the students' community and after that a protest rally will be conducted at New Delhi against the conspiracy of the HRD Ministry," Agami Orissa convener Santosh Tripathy said.

With the help of students, teachers and intellectuals of the State, the Organisation would launch mass mobilisation rally in order to gain public support, he said.

The decision to shift the proposed IIT to Andhra Pradesh has proved the anti- Orissa attitude of the Central Government, Tripathy said adding that all should strongly oppose the move.

It might be noted here that earlier on October 2006, the Minister of State for Human Resource Development MAA Fatmi had announced in Patna that two IITs would be set up in Bihar and Orissa, which had made the people of the State buoyant. But the Ministry had reversed its announcement within a few days.

Meanwhile, extending its full support to the agitation call by the Agami Orissa, State unit of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad also turned the decision due to the Congress Party's age-old negligence against Orissa.

Parishad national zonal organising secretary Bishnu Das threatened that the Parishad would launch a statewide agitation against the Union HRD Ministry. "It was not the first case, earlier the Centre had promised for a NIS, but when the Left Parties mounted pressure, it was shifted to Kolkata and now both the Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and Andhra Pradesh Government are mounting pressure," Das said adding Orissa has to wait for justice.

New Indian Express: Orissa poised for mass movement

Orissa poised for mass movement
Thursday February 8 2007 11:32 IST

BHUBANESWAR: Orissa being given a short shrift by the Centre on the development front might be a common issue but frequent instances of shifting projects from the State to others have raised heckles among the people.

The Human Resource Development Ministry’s recent approval for setting up three more Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in Rajasthan, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh bypassing Orissa, which was named as a beneficiary state only last year, is once again poised to lead to a mass movement.

HRD Minister of State MAA Fatmi in August last year had announced that the proposal for establishing IITs in Bihar, Orissa and one Western Indian state would be included in the 11th Five-Year Plan. But the decision was changed and the one proposed for Orissa was handed over to AP.

According to sources, Orissa is most deserving for allocation of an IIT not only in consideration of the industrial boom, ensuing requirement of quality technical personnel, support for technical colleges but more importantly for it figures among the bottom three states in the Ministry’s spending list. Rajasthan and Bihar are the other two.

As per the 2006-07 budget, the MHRD’s per capita spending on higher education institutions plus institutions of national importance in Orissa is only Rs 4.07, while in Rajasthan and Bihar it’s Rs 2.59 and Rs 1.87 respectively.

Reason: These states have the least number of HRD Ministry-funded institutions. Thus these states need more focused attention subjected to development initiatives.

Establishment of the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) cannot be counted against an IIT because it’s funded by the Ministry of Atomic Energy and not HRD.

Besides, the other States are beneficiaries of multiple institutions of national importance. Bihar and AP, each would have new National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER).

AP would also have an Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) while two universities, Osmania University College of Engineering and Andhra University College of Engineering have been short listed for up gradation to IIT status and called Indian Institutes of Engineering Science and Technology.

Thus, taking into account the emerging conditions in Orissa that necessitate quality institutions to churn out personnel, the Union HRD Ministry should sanction an IIT to the State, noted academician and professor of Arizona State University Chitta Baral said.


Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Dharitri's Editorial gives a scathing wake-up call to Oriyas

Dharitri's editorial gives a scathing wake-up call to Oriyas to go after things, with the IIT issue and MHRD neglect as the subtext. (page1, page2, page3, page4, page5)

Monday, February 5, 2007

Center Doesnot Need Orissa: Dharitri


Dharitri (pdf: page1, page2, page3) covers the main story on "Center Doesn't Need Orissa" where it exposes how Orissa is being sidelined for all the national institutes being proposed in 11th five year plan including IIT, IIIT, IISER, IIM, etc. Not a single institute is being proposed in Orissa among proposed 3 IIT, 20 IIIT, 5 IIM, 3 IISER, 4 ISPA, and NITTR in the 11th five year.

Draft Letters

Several letters that have been sent to the Prime minister, President and UPA Chairperson Mrs. Gandhi are now available at
http://iits.11thplan.googlepages.com/draftletters

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Odisha.com covers betrayal of central government to Orissa on IIT

Odisha.com reports on Government of India's betrayal towards Orissa and its people while establishing new IIT across India. The announcement made by state minister of HRD, Government of India in Patna was downplayed.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

28th August 2006: PM visited Orissa; Did Orissa lose Rs. 3250 crores because of that?

On 28th August 2006 PM Manmohan Singh visited Orissa and announced the establishment of NISER (National Institute of Science Education and Research), which now has a budget of Rs. 750 crores. The same day Union minister of State of Human Resources of Development Mr. Fatmi announced in Patna that one of the greenfield IITs will be in Orissa. The budgets of the greenfield IITs are Rs 4000 crores each. It seems some officials at MHRD used the NISER in Bhubaneswar announcement as an excuse to remove Orissa from the list of IITs. Thus the Prime minister’s visit to Orissa has cost Orissa Rs 3250 crores.

Orissa is not greedy. Orissa will be happy if it is granted a Rs 3250 crore IIT instead of the Rs4000 crore IIT the other three states are getting.

Agami Orissa threatens agitation against shifting of IIT

Agami Orissa threatens agitation against shifting of IIT

Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar

Agami Orissa has threatened to launch a mass agitation against the conspiracy to shift the proposed Indian Institute of Technology from the State by the Centre.

In a release the organisation said on October 2006, the Minister of State of Human Resource Development had announced in Patna that two IITs will be set up in Bihar and Orissa, which had been welcomed by the people of the State. But two days back the statement of HRD Minister Arjun Singh has depressed the people.

The decision to shift the proposed IIT to Andhra Pradesh has proved the anti- Orissa attitude of the Central Government. Earlier, in 2004, Agami Orissa had launched an agitation against the Central Government decision to shift the proposed National Institute of Science to Kolkata with the help of students, teachers and intellectuals of the State. After which the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the NIS, here in August 2006.

The organisation has urged the people of the State, students, intellectuals and political activists to build up a mass agitation against the Centre's decision.

CNN-IBN and Money control have picked up on the IIT shifting (from Orissa to Andhra Pradesh) controversy

CNN-IBN collaborated on a piece at ibnlive.com which talks about multiple protests in AP by various political parties regarding the location of IIT in Andhra and in that context also talks about shifting of IIT from Orissa to AP, and the CM of Orissa writing a letter to the PM about it.

This news is also carried by moneycontrol.com.