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Dear Mr. Ramesh:
I read about your visit to Bhubaneswar and some news reports
and quotes of yours in Statesman. (See article below.)
1. One of them says:
"I do not want to score political points but what if I ask what were
these people doing in all the six years that the NDA was in power.
The IIT could have come up in six years time , what were you
(the BJD) doing when all that you needed was to take up the file to
Mr Vajpayee and he would have signed it," shot back Mr Ramesh.
2. Another paragraph of that report says:
Repeatedly emphasising that he was one with the demand of the
state for institutes of higher education, Mr Ramesh said at the same
time, one should realise that an IIT will solve the problem of unemployment.
Has Kanpur IIT contributed in any way to Kanpur? In fact, IITs have
contributed more to the US economy than Indian economy, he remarked.
Mr. Ramesh: I don't know if your intent was to score political points or if this is your thinking. You are quoted as saying that "you do not want to
score political points", so these must be your real views.
(1') Your comment (1) implies that a state can get an IIT (or similar institute) only when its coalition is in power in Delhi. Do you really mean that? So is the UPA government in Delhi only for states with UPA friendly
governments and the rest should go to hell in regards to higher education
institutions? Not only that you seem to be implying that it is not right (timing) for Orissa to ask for an IIT now because the ruling party
of the state is not aligned with the center.
If your thinking is the thinking of UPA, it is a pity that
millions of people of Orissa and a billion plus of India think that the Govt in Delhi is for all of India, not just for the specific subset of states which have a UPA friendly government.
Also, you must know the economic situation 5 years back and what is
predicted of the coming 5 years and beyond. What India could not afford 5 years back it can afford in the coming five years. So any time Orissa asks for something the UPA leaders keep replying back that why they did not get it during NDA rule. The simple answer is: *The economy of India 3-5 Yrs back was different than what it is now.* and Mr. MM Joshi had said exactly that when asked about IIT in 2002. Please see the last item of
Moreover no IITs were announced during NDA time.
So when you and other UPA leaders and Orissa congress leaders
repeatedly harp on what did not happen in the past, one wonders if it is a
mere cover for UPA's strategy in regards to where MHRD higher education budget goes: to states where the MHRD ministers come from or states with big contingent of UPA allied MPs. (example: Big winners: MP -- Mr. Arjun Singh come from there, AP -- Ms. Rao comes from there, lots of UPA MPs come from there. etc.)
So far MHRD has announced 24 national level institutes and universities;
none of them are in Orissa. Please see list below. Yet, Orissa is now at the bottom of the list for per capita spending by MHRD. See details below.
(2') In regards to your comment that "Has Kanpur IIT contributed in any way to Kanpur?", what about the contribution of similar institutes to the locality they are in all over the world starting from contribution of MIT to the Boston area, of Stanford and Berkeley to the San Francisco Bay area, and our own IISc and all the public sector electronics companies in Bangalore to the current Bangalore. Moreover, if one thinks of the future
it is expected (and almost certain) that the IITs will contribute a lot to the
locality where they are in.
I do not know specifically about Kanpur, but it has already
started in Kharagpur. IIT Kharagpur is helping in the
development of a Biotech park near it.
It has also decided to create a super specialty hospital and start a medical college in Kharagpur.
More on IIT Kharagpur's expected contribution is at:
(3) The Statesman article also says that you were trying to convey
that how the Orissa CM did not really ask you much. Just in case it did not dawn on you: when one's repeated demands and requests are ignored, what is the point in asking.
Worse consider this; Mr. Naveen Patnaik visits the HRD Minister in
October 2005 (see http://rc.orissa.gov.in/index3
and tells him a great idea to have a KBK Central University for tribals, and Mr. Singh acknowledges that it is a great idea and then it seems (as reported) makes a committee with your NAC colleague and well respected Dr. Swaminadhan as the chair to give him (Mr. Singh) cover to steal the idea and make the tribal university in MP. [I asked about the time line to confirm this but did not get any reply from Dr. Swaminadhan or the UGC.]
Coming back to IIT: Union minister of state for HRD MAA Fatmi is reported (in Times of India) on 28-8-06 to have said in Patna, "The proposal for one IIT for Bihar and two for Orissa and one Western Indian state besides one IIIT to Bihar will be included in 11th Five Year Plan," See attached page.
After that probably someone in UPA had the aha moment
and realized that Orissa is not UPA ruled, and promptly Orissa
was removed from the list and since then people of Orissa have been
trying to point this injustice out.
With this background, it is understandable that the Orissa CM Mr. Naveen Patnaik. decided not to ask your UPA government for anything. You and your government just can't be trusted. Your HRD minister will say he is positively inclined and that will become a NO. He will like the logic behind an idea and then allegedly steal it to his home state.
The above feeling goes beyond the ministers to the secretary level in Orissa. I personally have met some officers at Orissa secretariate who cringe when asking something from central govt. is mentioned. They feel it is of no use and a waste of time. To them central govt. is a bully and loves
harassing them asking for this document and that document, and finally
stealing their ideas to politically aligned states.
Finally, Mr. Ramesh, its a pity that, with your implications that
(a) Orissa not being a UPA allied state should not expect much and only UPA allied states can get the national institutes and (b) IITs have no impact on the location where they are located, you are also a member of
the National Advisory Council. With people like you at the helm of UPA and NAC, Orissa and as a result India has no hope. (You know for India to rise, all parts of it have to rise; not just the home town and states of the UPA ministers and states allied with UPA.) All the concerns and talk about equitable distribution, taking care of the deprived etc. that you and your government engages in is just talk. The actions speak otherwise.
All that matters is which group/state supports UPA and its ministers and which does not. The state govt. that are allied will get the goodies and the others like Orissa, no matter how big a need they have, will be punished and things will be taken aways, ideas will be stolen, coal royalty rates will not be updated in time, etc.
Mr. Ramesh: Thank you for coming to Bhubaneswar and taking the blind out of the eyes of people of Orissa. They now know where they stand vis-a-vis your government. Hope the rest of India also knows about this.
an extremely sad and disappointed Oriya
24 institutes announced by MHRD during the UPA government: None in Orissa
- IISER Kolkata, West Bengal (1)
- IISER Pune, Maharashtra (1)
- IISER Mohali, Punjab (1)
- IISER in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (1)
- IISER in Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala (1)
- IIT in Andhra Pradesh (1)
- IIT in Rajasthan (1)
- IIT in Bihar (1)
- IIM at Shillong, Meghalaya (1)
- SPA in Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh (2)
- SPA in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (2)
- Upgradation of Bengal Engineering and Sc U to an IIT clone (IIEST), West Bengal (2)
- Upgradation of Andhra Univ Engineering College to IIT clone (IIEST), Andhra Pradesh (3)
- Upgradation of Osmania Univ Engg College to IIT clone (IIEST), Andhra Pradesh (4)
- Upgradation of IT BHU to IIT clone (IIEST), Uttar Pradesh (1)
- Upgradation of Cochin Univ of Sc and Tech to IIT clone (IIEST), Kerala (2)
- IIIT Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu (1)
- Allahbad University made to a Central University, Uttar Pradesh (2)
- Manipur University made to a Central University, Manipur (1)
- Arunachal Pradesh university made to a Central University, Arunachal Pradesh (1)
- Tripura university made to a Central University, Tripura (1)
- New Central University in Sikkim, Sikkim (1)
- CIEFL Hyderabad made to a central university, Andhra Pradesh (5)
- Indira Gandhi Nationan Tribal University, Madhya Pradesh (3)
Per capita MHRD spending on its fully funded institutes
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. IITs have been given to Bihar and Rajasthan.
What happened to Orissa? Why was Orissa skipped over?
The statesman article about Mr. Jairam Ramesh's visit to Bhubaneswar
Time factor in fulfilling IIT dream
Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, June 20: "Much as I am fond of CM Naveen Patnaik, much as I like him, I have to say that in all the time I spent talking about projects related to Orissa's export potential the only question that he asked was " how is Kamal," remarked Union minister of state for commerce Mr Jayaram Ramesh.
The Central minister's barb at the CM came when he was responding to questions on the alleged neglect of Orissa by the UPA government.
Listing out the various issues/projects he had raised during his meeting with the CM yesterday, Mr Jayaram Ramesh quipped ~ "all that the CM asked me was how is Kamal (Union minister Mr Kamal Nath). He (the CM) is a very busy man running a big state and he was frequently looking at his watch, added Mr Ramesh.
"I have met chief ministers who send e-mails placing their demand, who sit on my head and hammer their demands during discussions with me," he added rubbing home the implicit point that nothing of this sort took place at his meeting with Mr Naveen Patnaik.
Dismissing all talk of UPA government neglecting Orissa, Mr Ramesh said such charges are irresponsible and absurd. Nobody ever conspires to starve a state of funds, he retorted. "I do not want to score political points but what if I ask what were these people doing in all the six years that the NDA was in power. The IIT could have come up in six years time , what were you ( the BJD) doing when all that you needed was to take up the file to Mr Vajpayee and he would have signed it," shot back Mr Ramesh.
Repeatedly emphasising that he was one with the demand of the state for institutes of higher education, Mr Ramesh said at the same time, one should realise that an IIT will solve the problem of unemployment. Has Kanpur IIT contributed in any way to Kanpur? In fact, IITs have contributed more to the US economy than Indian economy, he remarked.
Reeling out figures of how Orissa had got the maximum assistance from the UPA government, Mr Ramesh said it is the only state in the country which is fully covered under the NREGA and Backward Region Grant put together. Be it the National rural health mission or any other Central programme, Orissa and other backward states have been accorded priority, he stated.