Friday, October 27, 2006


Pune a knowledge city. How does Bhubaneswar compare to it.


Now, Pune’s a ‘Knowledge City’

Express News Service

Pune, October 27: Having earned the auto and IT hub of the country tag, Pune on Friday got another name: Knowledge City. When Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh was apprised of the city’s educational infrastructure — four universities, 20 engineering colleges and over 5 lakh students — he immediately declared Pune as the `Knowledge City’ of the State.

Deshmukh said Pune is an ideal destination for investments in technology-driven sectors. “According to a recent RBI bulletin, Pune has attracted 20 per cent of the total industrial investment in the country, which is the highest. It also reports the highest exports in the country — almost $2 billion,” he said at the two-day Hi-Tech Pune conference.

It was not just about investments, but Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation CEO Rajiv Jalota pointed out that a 2005 survey had also rated it as the “happiest city in India”. So, it is no wonder that MIDC has earmarked Rs 500 crore to promote biotech in the city.

“We expect Pune to attract investments in SEZs to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore within just five years, and this is likely to be the highest such investment attracted by a city in India,” Jalota said.

“Pune provides all the necessary incentives for companies to set up shop here,” University of Pune vice-chancellor Narendra Jadhav said.

On the IT front, Software Technology Parks director P Venugopal said Pune has 83 IT parks — the highest in the country — and it continues to invite IT investments at a scorching pace.

The conference also conferred lifetime achievement awards on Serum Institute head Cyrus Poonawalla, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research director-general Raghunath Mashelkar and former vice-chairman of TCS Fakir Chand Kohli for their contributions to healthcare, science and software respectively.


Bhubaneswar-Cuttack metroplex is small compared to Pune. But in terms of the "knowledge city" parameters it is catching up.

Pune has 4 universities, Bhubaneswar has 4 proper universities (Utkal University, OUAT, KIIT, and Ravenshaw unitary university). In addition there is the fledgling Utkal University of Culture. Pune has 20 engineering colleges; BBSR-CTC has 20+ engineering colleges. Albeit, the ones in Pune may be more established, as many of them have been in existence much longer. Pune has an IISER; Bhubaneswar will follow it with an NISER. Lot more new things are planned for BBSR-CTC-Puri. It will be interesting to see how BBSR-CTC-Puri compare with Pune in 4-5 years: Does it catch up or fall behind??

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