Friday, March 30, 2007

IIT shift: Ruling combine takes a dig at Centre

IIT shift: Ruling combine takes a dig at Centre
The New Indian Express, Friday March 30 2007 11:35 IST

BHUBANESWAR: BJD and BJP members on Thursday came down heavily on the Centre for ignoring the State’s demands in the education sector.

Criticising the Centre for shifting the proposed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) to the neighbouring state, they said political parties should start economic blockade to press for Orissa’s demands.

They also demanded that a House Committee, headed by Speaker Maheswar Mohanty, should visit New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demand establishment of an IIT in the State.

The issue cropped up during discussion on a Calling Attention notice. Replying to the discussion, Industries Minister Biswabhusan Harichandan also criticised the Centre’s attitude.

Stating that the issue has been taken up with the Centre several times, Harichandan maintained that the State Government will continue to put pressure on the Centre for establishment of an IIT in Orissa.

The Government had also informed the Centre about availability of land for establishment of an extension counter of IIT, Kharagpur near Bhubaneswar, he said.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Industry Minister says state will demand for an IIT to the Center: The Samaja

PDF IIT issue rocks Orissa assembly

Letter writing obsession of Naveen Patnaik received a jolt from his BJP partner in Orissa Legislative Assembly on March 29.

The concept of sending missives to Centre on burning issues and wait for the wind fall gain did not cut ice with BJP legislator Mahesh Sahu.

On the other hand Mahesh echoed the Biju Patnaik agenda of “Economic Blockade” to bring home the point.

He said central leadership is highly insensitive and thick skinned over the ever daunting problems of Orissa.

They see everything on political lines, he alleged.

They will not respond to our needs, unless we adopt the Biju Agenda of economic barriers to put forth our demand, he added.

Mahesh was participating in a debate on a calling attention notice over Centre’s neglect on setting up IIT in Orissa.

He said with massive industrialization in offing the requirement of engineers of IIT background will be high.

Keeping this in view we must force the Centre for an IIT by adopting Economic Blockade.

BJP member Aswini Kumar Patra those days are gone when Oriyas are used to go as “Kuli and Mulia”, now we have to put forth our demand in a forceful manner not meek and mildly to get the point.

Patra suggested a House Committee be formed under the chairmanship of the speaker and a delegation may visit New Delhi to press the IIT issue.

Industries minister B B Harichandan replying the debate said that the state government has once again brought to the notice of the Centre on setting up of a IIT for which a land of 300 acre has been identified which will be provided free of cost.

He said since 2003 the government is in constant touch with the Centre through letters and recently Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written letter to Prime Minister Dr.Man Moahn Singh objecting the decision of the Centre to shift the proposed IIT of Orissa to Andhra Pradesh.

Minister informed the House that the state government was sure of the IIT project as minister of state (MOS) of HRD M A Fatmi has assured through an announcement but it came as a shock when media highlighted about the shifting of the institution to the other state.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

IIT issue raised by Orissa MPs in the parliament

Dharitri (page1, page 2, page 3, page4, page5, page6, page7) has a nice summary of the various issues raised by Orissa's MPs in the just concluded first phase of the budget session of the parliament. It shows that various MPs raised the IIT in Orissa issue and MHRD's discrimination against Orissa. In particular:
  • BJD and BJP MPs gave a notice in the Lok Sabha on this issue, and received acknowledgement from the speaker, but it did not get a chance to be included in the Lok Sabha proceedings. (page1) We hope that they insist that it gets included in the second phase of the parliament session.
  • Lok Sabha: MP Mr. Swain raised the IIT issue. (page2)
  • Lok Sabha: MP Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan raised the IIT issue as well as how MHRD spends much lower in Orissa than in other places. (page3)
  • Lok Sabha: MP Ms. Archana Nayak raised the IIT issue. (page6)
  • Rajya Sabha: MP Mr. Pyarimohan Patnaik raised the IIT issue. (page2)
  • Rajya Sabha: MP Mr. Rudranarayan Pani raised the IIT issue. (page 7)
However none of the above was in an impactful manner like last year. We hope that in the second phase of the budget session, which starts on April 26th, the Orissa MPs will raise it in a more vocal and more impactful manner.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Rajya Sabha
The number of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the country, state-wise are as under:-

Sl.No. Name of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) State/UT

1. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay Maharashtra

2. Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi Delhi

3. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur Uttar Pradesh

4. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur West Bengal

5. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras Tamil Nadu

6. Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati Assam

7. Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee Uttrakhand

A Committee has been constituted to set up new IITs in the country. The Committee while finally short-listing the seven Institutions/Universities for the purpose, observed that all identified Institutions fall far below the level of the existing IITs in all criteria used for the short listing. The Committee was, therefore, of the view that in the light of the substantial gap between the selected Institutions and IITs, it would not be correct to position these Institutions straightway alongside the IITs. The Committee suggested that the selected Institutions should be described as Institutions possessing the best potential among the Engineering and Technology Colleges in the country for upgradation to the level of IITs. In order to start the upgradation process Rs. 61.00 crores have been allocated to these seven Institutions during 2006-07.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Smt. D. Purandeswari in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today (i.e March 19, 2007)


BJD-BJP plan to take up IIT issue in the Orissa assembly

BJD-BJP set to take on Opp in House

Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, March 20: The ruling BJD-BJP combine decided to adopt an aggressive anti-Centre posture during the budget session of the Assembly beginning tomorrow. Issues relating to shifting of the proposed IIT, miserly allocations for rural electrification, restoration of flood damage and the price rise will be taken up in the House.

The combine, which met here this evening to discuss the strategies of taking on the Opposition, will fully back Speaker Mr Maheswar Mohanty in the event of any no-trust motion being tabled by the Opposition.
“We will face it,” said chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik when asked about the move of the Opposition to impeach Mr Mohanty. He, however, hoped that the Opposition would play a constructive role and debate on issues.
Apparently, the combine has sensed that the Opposition’s attack should be countered by slamming the UPA government’s alleged neglect towards state. Though issues of Central neglect and price rise had been raised and discussed in the last session, an encore is likely.
The Congress legislature party meeting was on till late evening. Reliable sources said that besides the Maheswar Mohanty matter, other aspects that will be brought up are the alleged misuse of official machinery during panchayat elections and law-and-order failure.

Making their intentions clear, the Opposition had called on Governor Rameshwar Thakur yesterday and requested him not to share the podium with Mr Mohanty while delivering his customary address to the House tomorrow.

Interestingly, neither side had budgetary allocations or economic issues on top of their agenda today despite the fact that it is to be a session where the finance minister is to place a vote on account for four months.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

IIT Movement- Citizen's Convention: First Step of Public Action

Dear All

As the first step of the movement for IIT/IIEST in Orissa, a Citizen's
Convention has been organised on 18th March at Utkal University with
participation from cross sections of people. The participants,while supporting the demand, reaffirmed their faith and extended solidarity on Agami Odisha's plan of action for building people' movement to achieve the demand. You may find a brief report on this from the write-up of Sri Dhiren Ku Ray which is placed below.

The Convention approved the plan of action of Agami Odisha in unleashing the movement which are as follow-

1) Intellectuals Rally and submitting the memorandum to PM/President of India through the Hon'ble Governor, Orissa. The date will be finalised looking at the availability of the Governor.

2) Sudents convention will be organised with representations from
college/University student's Unions and Student Organisations. The date will be announced shortly.

3) Torch Light procession will be organised during the Assembly Session on a date convenient to participants, mainly students.

4) MLAs /Speaker of the Assembly/Leader of the Opposition/Chief Minister will be approached with the memorandum on the demand with request to come up with an all party resolution in the floor of the Assembly in favour of the demand.

5) There will be district processes to build up the public opinion and action
in favour of the movement.

6) All these public actions will be culminated in a rally and dharana at Delhi during the Session of the Parliament.

The above action points form the first phase of the movement and
learnings/experiences from the first phase will determine the course of action for the second phase of the movement.

NB-It is worth mentioning here,that a group of 10 people, 7 women, came from Kandhamal district to participate in the convention. While expressing their solidarity to IIT movement of Agami Odisha, the delegates requested Agami Odisha to support and facilitate their movement on various demands of the people of Kandhamala, which they are doing under the banner of Kandhamala Bikash Parishad.

Sudarsan Das

agami Orissa convention on March 18th

Agami Odisha Convention on establishment of IIT and IIM

A Peoples Convention organized by Agami Odisha on 18th March in the Political Science Lecture Theater of Utkal University. It was remarkable in reflecting total unanimity of views of wide cross section of the civil society in joining and in extending support to the Movement for establishment of IIT, IIM and other institutes of higher learning in Orissa by the Central Government.

At the outset , Sudarshan spoke about plan,program and perspectve of Agami Odisha and Santosh Tripathy read over the proposed Plan of Acton.

In addition to the focused issue of the day, the Convention reflected a
groundswell of opinion for movement on flagrant and persistent discrimination against Orissa in decisions of the Central Government on economic and social development issues. The issues highlighted in Appeal for Convention issued under signature of 45 intellectuals and social acivists were discussed in the background of a base paper circulated by Santosh Tripathy on behalf of Agami Odisha. The range of emotions for furthering economic and social development of Orissa varied from impassioned plea based on cold logic to oration of nationalistic fervour spitting fire..Those who spoke included Panchanan Kanungo,
Baijayanta Panda, Jagadananda, Sahadeb Sahoo, Jatish Chandra Mohanty,
Chandraprava Pattanayak, Prativa Das, Madhusudan Dash, Adwaita Charan Hota, Anita Ray, Prasanta Paikray,Sangram Mishra,Namita Das, Pranab Prakash Sahu, Ajit Das , Subash Das, Kasturi Mohapatra, and Dhiren Roy.

Program of Action red over by Santosh Tritathy was endorsed by all. It was
assured on behalf of AO to progressively take up other issues responsible for the ennui pervading the state,the abysmal inefficiency in the Government and the ignominious state of socio economic development.

Agami Odisha pledges to be an unremitting catalytic agent for the progresss and all round development of Orissans . To all those who attended the Convention and those who did not attend we implore all to join the bandwagon. Do join the various phases of activity as per the Program of Action.

Dhirendra K Roy
For and On behalf Of Agami Odisha

Monday, March 19, 2007

March 18 Convention photos

Full gallery

Left side of the audience

MP Baijayanta Panda addressing

Working President Lalit Patnaik and President Dhiren Ray

Panchanan Kanungo addressing

(photos: courtsey Orissa Today network)

Sambada and on Agami Orissa March 18 convention (in Oriya)

Sambada and covered this.

Hindu: Intellectuals plead for premier institutions

Intellectuals plead for premier institutions

Staff Reporter

To build up a movement by mobilising support

# Preparatory meeting held with students, teachers
# Mass demonstration in front of Parliament planned

BHUBANESWAR: A group of intellectuals, students and university teachers decided to build up a movement, seeking establishment of greenfield Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Management and a central university in Orissa.

A preparatory meeting convened on the campus of Utkal University here on Sunday chalked out strategy to raise the issue in different fora.

`Gross injustice'

"The Union Government announced to set up three IITs with an investment of Rs. 4,000 crores in three States. But the name of Orissa is missing in the list. This is gross injustice to a poorer State like Orissa," general secretary of Agaami Orissa Santosh Tripathy said.

The forum would mobilise support from legislators, Parliamentarians, students of every college and professionals working in different fields to give it a shape of a movement in the coming two months.

The group plans to organise mass demonstration in front of Parliament by seeking participation from students studying in New Delhi, professionals and Parliamentarians in the month of April.

In the run-up to the mega dharna, a procession of intellectuals would be taken out in Bhubaneswar and it would submit a memorandum to Governor Rameshwar Thakur to apprise him about "negligence of the Centre."

They also planned to impress upon Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Leader of Opposition J.B. Patnaik and all legislators to pass a unanimous resolution in support of setting up of an IIT in the State.

Presenting a comparative figure on per capital expenditure by Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry in the country, Mr. Tripathy said: "Orissa is getting very low budgetary allocation for HRD. When the Centre spent Rs. 183.08 per head in Delhi on HRD, it was Rs. 4.07 in case of Orissa last fiscal. Other States are way ahead than us."

Call to students

Similarly, the HRD Ministry also ignored according status of Indian Institute of Science and Technology (IIST) to University College of Engineering, Burla, he said.

Speakers also called upon students to take up the issue and start movement until the central institutes were sanctioned for the State.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Kalinga Times on the March 18 intellectuals meeting on IIT and other issues

Orissa activists to question Central Government

KalingaTimes Correspondent

Bhubaneswar: A large number of social activists, academicians and politicians of Orissa on Sunday gathered came together to demand a better deal for the State from the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre.

At a meeting held at Utkal University here, the activists criticised the Centre for its alleged neglect of the State and demanded setting up of a greenfield Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), an Indian Institute of Management and a Central University in the State.

The meeting also resolved that the demands will be highlighted at a demonstration to be held in New Delhi next month. Apart from about 1000 people halining from different walks of life, the Members of Parliament from the State will also participate in the dharna.

Before the New Delhi dharna, those supporting the demands will take out a rally in Bhubaneswar and hand over a memorandum to Governor Rameshwar Thakur complaining about the Centre's neglect of the cause of Orissa.

Those who spoke at the meeting severely criticised the UPA Government for ignoring Orissa's cause while setting up of branches of various Central Government-run institutes in the Orissa.

They warned that the movement against the Centre's neglect of Orissa, particularly in the context of setting up of institutes of higher learning, will continue till the UPA government favorably considered the issues nvolved.

Sambada (Oriya) editorial: HRD minister says IIT in Orissa is still under consideration

Today's Sambada editorial also says that the HRD minister has said that the proposal for an IIT in Orissa has not been scrapped and is still under consideration. The editorial goes on to say that however it is supicious that while the 3 IITs in the other locations have been decided no decision has been made on the one in Orissa.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dharitri (in Oriya) reports Ms Archana Nayak demands IIT for Orissa in Lok Sabha

Dhariti reports that MP Ms Archana Nayak demands greenfield IIT for Orissa in Lok Sabha.
Another good step by our MP in Lok Sabha.

Pragativadi (in Oriya): Arjun Singh says that IIT for Orissa still under consideration

Pragativadi on 3/9/2007 reports that HRD minister Mr. Arjun Singh has said that the proposal for an IIT in Orissa is still under consideration and the state government has a received a letter to that effect from Mr. Arjun Singh.

However, the headline of the Pragativadi news item "Arjun Singh assures Orissa will have an IIT" does not match with the text of the news item. Mr. Singh has only said that the proposal is still under consideration and has not been rejected. That does not mean it has been accepted. Hence, we still need to continue making our points in letters to the PM, HRD M, UPA Chairperson Mrs. Gandhi, and Orissa MPs.

(Thanks to Baijayanta babu for pointing to this news item.)

Sambada (in Oriya) : IIT issue raised in Rajya Sabha

Sambada reports (in Oriya) that MP Rudra Narayana Pani raised the issue of IIT in the Rajya Sabha. This is a good first step. We hope soon the MPs will raise it in a more impactful manner and meet the HRD ministry and the PM about it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

AICC responds to Dr. Saraju Mohanty's letter

Dear all:

AICC has responded (html version) to Dr. Saraju Mohanty's letter and it has the sentence: "We are of the opinion that the request of people of Orissa may please be acceded to for the development of the backward state."

I have no definite idea if AICC writes similar language with respect to all letters they receive or if in this particular case they agree with the letter. But I had received a letter from them during the NIS movement and that letter was more like "We received your letter and have taken note of your feelings".

So it seems letters written to AICC and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi are very useful and hard copy has the most impact.


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Three IITs for Andhra, none for Orissa

This news item has appeared in many many places. I hope the Citizens of India understand how the HRD ministry is anti-India and is trying to divide Indians by its partisan and vindictive actions. I hope the cabinet and UPA parties realize their mistake and change course at the earliest.

  1. Time of India
  2. Hindustan Times
  4. RxPGnews
  5. Indiaenews
  7. Indianmuslims
  8. Andhra cafe

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Three IITs for Andhra, none for Orissa: TOI

Three IITs for Andhra, none for Orissa
[ 3 Mar, 2007 1747hrs ISTIANS ]
RSS Feeds| SMS NEWS to 8888 for latest updates

NEW DELHI: The central government is planning to set up an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Andhra Pradesh even as it has decided to upgrade two other technical institutes in the state to IIT level.

Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh informed the Rajya Sabha this week that the Andhra Pradesh government had offered 1,000 acres of land free of cost along with civic amenities at Basara in Adilabad district if the centre agreed to its proposal to set up an IIT there.

He was answering a question by Adilabad MP Nandi Yelliah.

Arjun Singh had told Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy last year that the central government was willing to set up an IIT if the state was ready to provide 500-600 acres of land free of cost with necessary social and physical infrastructure, including good road, rail and air connectivity.

The Andhra Pradesh government was responsive to the precondition of the human resource development ministry and immediately wrote back that it is "in the process of finalising a suitable piece of land with good infrastructure facilities, for the setting up of an IIT in Andhra Pradesh".

Arjun Singh also said the Centre on the basis of the recommendations of an experts committee had identified seven institutions in the country for upgrading to IIT level. Two of these are in Andhra Pradesh - the Osmania University College of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, and the Andhra Pradesh College of Engineering, Visakhapatnam.

The upgradation process has already begun and the central government has released Rs 70 million for Osmania College and Rs 80 million for the Visakhapatnam college in the last financial year 2006-07, said Singh.

Orissa, however, has had no such luck.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeshwari informed the house that "the chief minister of Orissa has written to the prime minister for establishment of a Greenfield IIT in Orissa and for upgradation of the extension campus of IIT, Kharagpur, at Bhubaneswar.

"The government has decided to set up three new IITs in the states of Rajasthan, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh."

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Agami Orissa's agenda for Action

Dear Friends,

Recently we at Agamee Odisha had two rounds of preparatory meetings (on 26th and 28th Feb) on IIT- movement, of intellectuals, students, professionals, activists and Representatives of mass organisations, net work organisations, NGOs etc. These two meetings were well attended and one of the remarkable features of the meetings was that many important dignitaries attended the meetings and conveyed their solidarity to the movement for IIT in Orissa. In these two meetings the agenda of the first phase of movement has been finalised which are as below-

1) On 11th of March, there will be a Citizen's Convention at Bhubaneswar
(Probably at Utkal University Auditorium, or to be finalised shortly) to which representatives of various mass organisations, Political Parties, Net Work organisations, NGOs, Student Organisations, employees organisations etc besides intellectuals, artists, academicians etc. For this 10,000 leaflets will be printed and distributed for awareness generation. A booklet will also be printed which will be the base paper for discussion in the convention. A target of mobilizing 500 participants has been fixed.

2) There will be a student convention, the date of which will be announced in the convention. All student organisations, college union leaders will be invited to this "All Orissa Students Convention".

3) A torch light procession has been planned during the Assembly Session to attract the attention of the house on the demand.

4) There will be a "March to Governor House" by intellectuals, artists,
academicians and other general public who will meet the His Excellency the Governor of Orissa through whom the memorandum to the Central Govt will be sent.

5) Effort will be taken to meet and request the MLAs, Leader of the
Opposition, Speaker of the Assembly and CM for an all party resolution in favour of the demand for IIT in Orissa.

6) MPs of Orissa will be contacted to take up the issue in Parliament.

7)Post card campaign will be undertaken at various places of the state and on a particular date these post cards will be sent to the PMO office with denad "We want IIT in Orissa".

8)The culmination of all these movements will be in the form of a mass dharana infront of Parliament in the month of April, during the second phase of the Budget Sesion of the Parliament.

This is the first phase of the movement during which there is also plan to
take it to various districts and other places like we did during the NIS
movement. A tentative budget has been finalised for this which amounts to Rs.1 lac, the detals break up will be posted later on.
We appeal to memebrs of this group and to those who are in soliderity with the demand for IIT in Orissa to come forward in favour of this movement and provide suport in terms of phisical presence during the programme, taking forward the campaign and organise different programmes relating to the movement, writting letters to appropriate authority, financially contributing to meet the expences for the programmes etc. In soliderity with movement for making "Another Orissa Possible".

Sudarsan Das

Agami Orissa's meeting on Feb 28th

Dear Friends,

On 28th Feb'07 around 25 Heads of Mass Organisation in Orissa attended the preparatory meeting for the Grand-Citizen meeting regarding IIT
and IIEST issue on 11 th March 2007. Prominent citizens of Orissa Like Shree Prafulla Kar( Top Oriya singer), Er Nadanadan das, Ex-Works secy, Sri Gopal Mohanty ( NRO), Shree Bimalendu Mohanty, an Ex Vice Chancellor, Shree Jatish Mohanty, an ex Prinicipal Secretary, Er Bimal Mishra, a prominent engineer and social worker, Shree Jagannath Chaterjee, a prominent social activist, Shree Dipti Pattnaik, a prominent Vashabit, Mrs Kasturi, an emminent social reformer, Shree Bibhuti
Mohanty, a prominent "A" Class contractor and Ex- President(1978) vani vihar, Er Jaga Panda, Sr. engineer GRIDCO, Shree Kamalakanta dash, a Senior Lawyer in High court, Er Saty Panda, Sr manager Coal India, and many more attended the preparetory meeting at our one day notice-invitation. This certainly speaks volumes of our concerned for Orissa. The most important thing is all of them left other scheduled
programmes and came dot in time at 6.30 pm. During the meeting all of them spoke and one by one pledged their full support to the movement
whole heartedly and will arrive with their supporters, friends and collegues on 11 th March Citizen meeting for the said cause.

The organizer's and mass leaders, who have missed the preparatory meeting have another opportunity to place their thought to the august
committee on 8th March'07 at Faculty club at 6.30pm. 8th march will be the last meeting before the Mega- Meeting on 11 the march.
So, we will request all of you, on behalf of AGAMI ODISHA, to attend the 8th meeting and to catch the changing wind of Orissa and have a say in
the societal work.

Wishing you all a happy Holi and after Holi we meet with more vigor and commitment.

Sudersan das , VicePresident,
Santosh tripathy, Gen. Secy.
Supriti Mishra, Tresurer &
Lalit Mohan Pattnaik, Working President