Wednesday, May 16, 2007

CM meets with Arjun Singh on IIT and other issues

It has been widely reported [Times of India, Statesman, Telegraph, Pioneer, New Indian Express, Samaja, Pragativadi, Kalinga Times] that the CM met HRD minister Mr. Arjun Singh on the IIT issue and Mr. Singh promised to consider Orissa for an IIT when the 11th is finalized.

However, Mr. Singh’s promise does not mean much. He has made such promises before during the time when the CM met him for NIS. In fact with respect to IIT Kharagpur’s campus in Bhubaneswar Mr. Singh’s meeting with the CM had been reported on September 29 2006 as follows:

The Chief Minister, Orissa, Shri Naveen Patnaik met the Union Minister for Human Resources development, Shri Arjun Singh today to discuss about the establishment of a campus of IIT, Kharagpur in Orissa. Shri Patnaik stated that the Government of Orissa have offered 300 acres of land next to Bhubaneswar city for setting up the campus and the State Government is fully committed to provide all necessary assistance for the institution. Since Orissa is fast emerging as a hub for industrial activities, an institution of the stature of IIT will provide the much needed boost to the efforts of the Government in providing support to these industries. The Union Minister, Shri Arjun Singh stated that the Central Government is positively inclined for setting up such an institution soon.

Similarly, with respect to KBK Central University Mr. Singh’s meeting with the CM had been reported on October 24 2005 as follows:

Statesman News Service BHUBANESWAR, Oct. 24. — Chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik today urged the Centre to accord approval for a central university in the undivided Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi (KBK) districts, besides expediting setting up the proposed Regional Centre of Studies in Integrated Sciences at Bhubaneswar. These requests were made by the Chief minister during his meeting with the Union Human Resources Development minister Mr Arjun Singh at New Delhi today. Mr Singh sought a formal proposal from the state government for the establishment of a central university in KBK region while appreciating the rationale behind the idea, said an official release.

So we should not get lulled by Mr. Singh saying that he will consider. We need to put pressure on him from all sides to actually grant an IIT for Orissa.

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