Wednesday, February 28, 2007

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

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

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:
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.

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:

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:

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:
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.

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:
or be the recent shifting of IIT from Orissa.

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


Digambara Patra

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