Friday, April 27, 2007

MPs and the IIT Orissa issue in the parliament

Pdf (2 MB) at:

Word document (500 KB) at:

Compilation of news items (9 MB):

Digambara Patra's compilation of national labs distribution across India:


The text part of "IIT in Orissa: talking points"

IIT in Orissa: talking points

Following are some points that can be used to convince the other MPs, the PM, the planning commission etc. that the issue of an IIT in Orissa is an extremely important one; it has caused a lot of strife in Orissa; and appropriate amendments must be made at the earliest.

1. Our strongest point: A green field IIT in Orissa and a branch campus of IIT Kharagpur in Bhubaneswar had been decided in MHRD, so much so that On August 28th 2006, Union minister of state for Human Resources and Development Mr. M. Fatmi said the following Patna. (This was reported in Times of India on Aug 29th 2006, and available for everyone to see at and )

2. Is this the India we want where newspaper headlines scream:

3 IITs for Andhra and none for Orissa.

The three IITs for Andhra here refer to the greenfield IIT that has been announced and the announcements that Andha University Engineering College and Osmania University engineering colleges will be upgraded to IIT clones (to be called IIEST – Indian Institutes of Engineering Science and Technology.) We should brandish copies of the news item that has the headlines "3 IITs for Andhra and none for Orissa" to other MPs, planning commission, and the PM.

3. Does MHRD think that Orissa is not a part of India?

Why does it repeatedly takes away institutes that have been announced for Orissa?

Why does not it pay attention that Orissa is among the bottom three in per-capita spending by MHRD on fully-MHRD-funded institutions?

A rough calculation detailed at showed that MHRD was scheduled to spend Rs 4.07 on fully funded HRD institutions (like IITs, IIMs, etc.) per person in Orissa, while it will spend Rs 183.08 in Delhi, Rs 41.20 in West Bengal, Rs 33.4 in Karnataka, Rs 27 in Tamil Nadu, Rs 28.38 in Maharastra, Rs 17.73 in UP, Rs 16.05 in Andhra, Rs 33.27 in Punjab, Rs 8.13 in Haryana, Rs 7.90 in Kerala, Rs 9.02 in MP, Rs 4.87 in Gujurat, Rs 2.59 in Rajasthan, and Rs 1.87 in Bihar. In other words Bihar, Rajasthan and Orissa were at the bottom of per-capita spending by MHRD in its fully funded higher education institutions. Now that IITs have been allotted to Bihar and Rajasthan, it is imperative that the next IIT should have been allotted to Orissa. Since Orissa was skipped over, to correct this injustice an IIT should be immediately allotted to Orissa.

4. Repeated harassment of Orissa: the above has caused a lot of strife among the people of Orissa.

See the news coverage on the outrage this has caused all over Orissa. Is it the goal of the UPA government to create another strife-torn region? There is enough problems in India already! Why does the UPA government, especially its MHRD, repeatedly takes away institutes from Orissa after announcements have been made. This is akin to repeatedly showing food to a hungry person and then taking it away from him/her. Does not MHRD realize that such repeated teasing will make the hungry person seethe with rage. That’s what MHRD’s action has done to Orissa.

Why don’t the PM and planning commission stop MHRD from lighting such fires in the mind of the people of Orissa?

5. Dear PM: Please keep your word. Give us back the biggest infrastructure of all, the IIT that was announced for Orissa.

The PIB release reporting on ( the Prime minister’s latest meeting with our CM titled "PM REVIEWS PROGRESS OF INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS IN ORISSA" says:

"In his opening remarks the Prime Minister said that the Central Government would take all steps needed to promote development in Orissa. He assured the Chief Minister that procedural delays and inter-ministerial issues will be addressed and the State's interests protected."

Dear PM: The most important infrastructure project for Orissa is an IIT. Please stop it from being taken away after it has been announced by your ministerial colleague, Union minister of state for Human Resources and Development Mr. Fatmi , in Patna, on on Aug 28th 2006.

6. Getting other NDA partners on board: We must get other NDA partners (especially from outside Orissa) on board in our protest and demand for an IIT in Orissa. In this regard one may note that in 2002 the then minister of HRD Dr. M. M. Joshi is reported to have supported this. Following is an excerpt from that report.

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.

7. Parliament Question (needed for future steps): Please ask the following question in the parliament so that we can make an accurate calculation of how much MHRD spends on various states with respect to institutions that are fully funded by it.

Please give the 2005-06 and 2006-07 individual budgets (plan, non-plan and total) of the following fully MHRD funded institutions: Andhra Pradesh (NIT Warangal, Hyderabad University, Maulana Azad Urdu University), Assam (NIT Silchar, IIT Guwahati, Assam University, Tezpur University), Bihar (NIT Patna), Chhattisgarh (NIT Raipur), Delhi (IIT Delhi, JNU, Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia, School of Planning and Architecture), Gujarat (IIM Ahmedabad, NIT Surat), Haryana (NIT Kurukshetra), Himachal Pradesh (NIT Hamirpur), Jammu & Kashmir (NIT Srinagar), Jharkhand (NIT Jamshedpur, NIFFT Ranchi, ISM Dhanbad), Karnataka (NIT Surathkal, IISc Bangalore, IIM Bangalore), Kerala (NIT Calicut, IIM Kozhikhode), Madhya Pradesh (IIM Indore, NIT Bhopal, NITTR Bhopal, AVB IIITM Gwalior, IIITDM Jabalpur), Maharashtra (NIT Nagpur, NITIE Mumbai, IIT Bombay, Mahatma Gandhi Antarashtriya Hindi University), Manipur (Manipur University), Meghalaya (North Eastern Hill University), Mizoram (Mizoram University), Nagaland (Nagaland University), Orissa (NIT Rourkela), Punjab (NIT Jalandhar, Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology), Rajasthan (NIT Jaipur), TamilNadu (NIT Trichy, IIT Madras, NITTR Chennai), Tripura (NIT Agartala), Uttaranchal (IIT Roorkee), UP (NIT Allahabad, IIM Lucknow, IIT Kanpur, IIIT Allahabad, Benaras Hindu University, Allahabad University, Babasaheb Ambedkar University), West Bengal (NIT Durgapur, IIT Kharagpur, IIM Calcutta, Viswa Bharati University, NITTR Kolkata), Chandigarh (NITTR), and Puducherry (Pondicherry University).

8. Anticipated challenges and countering them

The UPA government will definitely challenge the above points. Following are some anticipated challenges and their counter.

a. Orissa is already given an NISER.

(i) NISER (National Institute of Science Education and Research) will have mainly science disciplines. An IIT’s focuses are technological and engineering disciplines. So having a NISER does not overcome the need for an IIT.

(ii) NISER is funded by Dept. of Atomic Energy and not by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Not only most other states have multiple fully MHRD funded institutions (such as IIT, IISER, IIM and Central University in West Bengal; IIT, IISER and Central Universities in Maharashtra, etc.) but two of the three states that have been picked for the greenfield IITs have been simultaneously granted other institutes that are funded by MHRD or other ministries. For example, Andhra Pradesh has been granted two MHRD funded IIESTs (Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology), which are referred to as IIT clones, an MHRD funded SPA (school of planning and architecture), a Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers funded NIPER (National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research) like institute and an Indian Institute of Public Health. Similarly, Bihar has also been granted a NIPER like institute. Kerala, which is being given an MHRD funded IISER is being given a new Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology. Madhya Pradesh which is being given an MHRD funded IISER is being given a new SPA.

So why is Orissa being singled out, especially when NISER is not even from the MHRD, while many others are given multiple MHRD institutions or an MHRD institution and another institution.

b. Orissa has 12 central institutions.

This is ludicrous. Every state has many small central institutions. We are attaching a list at the end of this document that shows which states have which central institutions.

c. An IIT is a national institution; in which state it is located does not matter.

If one thinks of an IIT as a place where people go to study and get their degrees and evaluate its impact based on this aspect solely then it does not matter that much where it is located, and Mr. K is right. But an IIT is not just that.

An IIT is an infrastructure and it has and can also have huge impact on the local area (say within 100 kms) of where it is located.

An institution like IIT is (or will be) an engine of growth in and around the place where it is established. Examples abound: Stanford and Berkeley's impact on the Silicon Valley of California; Harvard and MIT's impact on the Boston corridor and our own IISc's impact on Bangalore are testament to this. (Stanford University and MIT have spawned many top-notch companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Bose electronics, all in the vicinity of the university.)

True, many of our existing IITs do not seem to have that much local impact. But that is changing. The example that is often bandied about as an IIT with no local impact, IIT Kharagpur, is now leading in this. It is helping in the development of a Biotech park near it and has also decided to create a super speciality hospital and start a medical college in Kharagpur.
All our IITs will soon have similar and much more local impact and a few decades down the road they could have the impact of a Stanford on Silicon Valley and MIT and Harvard on the Boston corridor.

Moreover, many companies would like to be in a location with an IIT because that provides opportunities for their employees to pursue a higher degree, and because they can collaborate with the IIT faculty and students on cutting edge research. Thus having an IIT makes an otherwise good location a bigger attractor to companies for establishment of branch or for relocation.

At present IITs are India's best graduate schools in engineering. They are the best place, and often are the only place within hundreds of miles, with a comprehensive array of M.Tech and Ph.D programs. In the last decade Orissa has developed 40+ engineering
Colleges (, mostly private ones. However, only handful of faculty in these colleges have Ph.Ds or M.Techs. In contrast, the faculty in most engineering programs in US have Ph.Ds. Several efforts are being made by AICTE, UGC and other organization to improve the quality of faculty in engineering colleges across India. Such efforts include QIP (Quality improvement programs) in various IITs and selected NITs. However, such efforts are not enough as often faculty at a private engineering college, say in the Bhubaneswar area (with 26 and growing engineering colleges), would have to take leave and then pursue a higher degree as the nearest IIT and NIT are more than 300kms away from Bhubaneswar.

However if there was an IIT within an hour and half of Bhubaneswar then many of the faculty in the 26 (and growing) odd engineering colleges in and around Bhubaneswar would be able to pursue higher a degree in that IIT without taking complete leave of their job and without relocating.

As a proof that this theory works, we submit the example of the Institute of Physics in Bhubaneswar. It is a national institute admitting students from all over India. However, if one looks at its alumni one will
find that a large number of Ph.Ds are from Orissa and many of these Ph.Ds have gone on to be Physics faculty in various colleges in Orissa.

Here we want to state that we do not subscribe that an IIT in Orissa should have any preference or quota for students from Orissa. Its just a fact of life that, especially at the graduate level, for QIP, and for industry sponsored candidates, more local people join take advantage of the opportunity as it is easy for them to do that.

d. IIT location should be in a good accessible place. New IITs should be located in a backward area. There should be industries around the location where a new IIT is located.

We agree and will argue that a location an hour or hour and half south of Bhubaneswar (note: 1.5 hours one way is a typical commute from home to office in Mumbai) satisfies the above three criteria perfectly.

(i) A perfect location for a greenfield IIT is the Ganjam district of South Orissa (which is one of the most backward area of India) at a place within 1-1.5 hours of Bhubaneswar on NH-5 and 30-40 minutes of Berhampur on NH-5, the major town in South Orissa. This location will be the best of both worlds, close enough to Bhubaneswar to avail of all the opportunities there and help the 29+ engineering colleges in the Bhubaneswar-Berhampur corridor and yet in south Orissa and close to South Orissa's major city so as to impact the backward South Orissa region in many other ways. An IIT at such a location will help build a Bhubaneswar-Berhampur hi-tech corridor. Such a location in Ganjam district of Orissa will be in South Orissa the most backward region of India.

(ii) It will be close enough to Bhubaneswar, which is well connected to cities and towns all over India.

Considering only non-stop or one-stop without plane changes, Bhubaneswar has 5 daily flights to Delhi, 3 to Calcutta, 3 to Hyderabad, 2 to Mumbai, 2 to Chennai, 2.3 to Bangalore, 1 to Vizag, and partial connections to Ranchi and Raipur. More details are at

Bhubaneswar has multiple daily direct trains to Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, a daily train to Mumbai, and trains to all corners of India (Guwahati, Kerala, Goa, Gujarat, Jaipur, Punjab, Rishikesh, Kanpur, Lucknow, Benras, Patna, Raipur, Bhopal, etc.) A map of Bhubaneswar's railway connectivity is at and a table is at

(iii) The Bhubaneswar area has sustained high quality research and educational institutions such as Institute of Physics, Institute of Life Sciences and Xaviers Institute of Mangament, and has many universities such as Utkal University, Orissa university of Agriculture and Technology, Utkal University of Culture, Ravenshaw University. Moreover, recently several several high profile higher education institutions have found the area to be suitable. This includes the proposed NISER (National Institute of Science Education and Research), the proposed Vedanta University (near Puri) and the proposed university by the Art of Living trust of Shri Shri Ravishankar. Thus there is no reason why an area within 1 to 1.5 hours of Bhubaneswar is not suitable for an IIT.

(iv) A world class institution needs local goodwill to grow and blossom. When there is a need then the local people will appreciate and help an institution like IIT located in their midst. Earlier, we established the need of an IIT in Orissa. Thus the people of Orissa, because of their need, will appreciate and help in the growth of an IIT in Orissa.

(v) Although Orissa is behind many other states in terms of industrialization, in recent years there has been tremendous industrial growth in Orissa and an IIT is necessary to nurture, support and amplify that growth. Besides existing industries such SAIL Rourkela, NALCO, NTPC, MCL, etc., following is a short list on new industry coming up in Orissa during the last three years:

Metal Sector: 45 projects over 70 mtpa of steel (22 of them partly commissioned) with more than US$45 billion investment; 4 new aluminum complexes and 1 mtpa aluminium smelter capacity under implementation with US$10 billion investment and rare earth projects worth US$0.5 billion. The investors in this sector include POSCO, Arcelor-Mittal, Tata Steel, Bhusan, Jindal, Essar, Hindalco, Vedanta, L&T Dubal etc.

Chemical and Petrochemical: 15 mtpa US$6 billion mega petrochemical by IOC; Deepak Fertilizers implementing 2 chemical projects at Paradeep, etc.

Energy and power: 13 thermal power projects under implementation with capacity of 13,500 MW with investment of US$14 billion and Reliance Industry hydrocarbon based power generation and gas grid (US$1.5Bn). The investors include Tata Power, Reliance energy, Sterlite energy, Mahanadi Aban, Monnet Ispat, Essar power, Lanco group, NavBharat Power, CESC and GMR energy.

Ports: 2 new ports are under construction at Dhamara and Gopalpur and three others at Jatadhari, Kirtania and Astaranga are in the pipeline with MOUs on them signed.

IT: Infosys, Satyam, TCS, Wipro, Genepact, Mindtree, Hexaware, etc.

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