Monday, March 19, 2007

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.

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