Wednesday, November 29, 2006


City has potential as big IT hub: Kalam

Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar

President APJ Abdul Kalam on Wednesday laid the foundation stone of the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) at Gothapatna here.

Speaking on the occasion, he said that like Bangalore and Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar has the potential to develop into an international quality IT hub and attract blue chip companies in the IT field. The proposed institute would be a unique facility and lead to a convergence of technology.

The President, addressing the students present on the occasion, advised them to be good citizens. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said it would be named as the knowledge city.

The proposed institute on a area of 25 acres is being jointly developed by the State Government and the IT industry at a cost of Rs 16 crore, of which Rs 10 crores will be provided by the State Government.

There are plans to set up a 100-acre IT Park adjacent to it to house the IT companies. The IIIT will come up to cater to the booming IT industry and with a vision to contribute to the IT world by focusing on education and research, enterpreneurship and innovation, add sources.



16:4 IST

Following is the text of President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s address during the laying of foundation stone for International Institute of Information Technology at Bhubaneswar:

Convergence of Technologies

“Knowledge makes you great”

I am indeed delighted to participate in the laying of Foundation Stone for the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Bhubaneswar. My greetings to the Chairman and Members of the Governing Body of the institute, dean of Centre for Information Technology Education, scientists, technologists and distinguished guests. The Information Technology is the core competence of India. Within the next five years there will be a requirement of over one million candidates for IT, ITES and BPOs sector in the country. Launching of IT education program through IIIT is an important step by the Government of Orissa for participating in this growth area.

India in transformation

India is well on its way to become a knowledge power, there are all round growth in all sectors of the economy namely the agriculture, manufacturing and services. Today we have an opportunity to take the leadership in the knowledge revolution. Knowledge revolution is indeed the foundation for leading India into a Developed Nation. For this, the time is ripe because of the ascending trajectory of the economy, availability of great institutions for capacity building of the human resource, abundant bio-diversity, and other natural resources and above all, our 540 million youth who are determined to make the nation prosperous, happy and a safe place to live well before 2020. I would like to discuss with you on the topic “Convergence of Technologies”.



Kalam to lay stone for IIIT on Wednesday

Kalam to lay stone for IIIT on Wednesday
Wednesday November 29 2006 11:23 IST

BHUBANESWAR: A new chapter will be added to the education scenario in the State on Wednesday with President A P J Abdul Kalam laying the foundation stone of International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Bhubaneswar.

With this the city will join the league of selected few cities in the country to boast of an IIIT. The objective of the centre would be to carry out advanced research and technology development in information technologies and their societal, industrial and financial applications.

It will offer programmes at the post-graduate level. There will be 90 seats for the M.Tech programme and 25 PhD seats.

The Industrial Development Corporation of Orissa has allotted 24 acres of land near Khandagiri at Gothapatna for the development of the centre. The State Government has earmarked Rs 10 crore for its establishment, of which Rs 5 crore has already been sanctioned.

Making a statement in the Assembly on Tuesday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the institute would be modelled after similar institutions in Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Naveen said that close to the institute�s site on the available government land, an information technology park will be set up to facilitate interaction between industry and the academia. The State Government will also take necessary steps to provide supporting infrastructure like improvement of road, water supply and electricity for this complex to be named the Knowledge city, he said.

IIIT, Bhubaneswar, will be a perfect example of a successful public-private partnership. Several software houses, which have a presence in the city like Infosys, Satyam, Tata Consultancy Services and upcoming firms like Mindtree Consultancy and Wipro will hold stake in the institute.

IT Director Vishal Dev said their active participation would also solve the problem of engaging qualified faculty. IIITs are not only known for the quality of the students, but also for the highly qualified faculty members. IIIT also seeks to closely work with industry leaders and help them in undertaking programmes needed in their sectors.

The institute will initially function under the aegis of the Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT), but will subsequently be converted into a deemed university. IIITs of Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata already enjoy deemed university status.

Subroto Bagchi of Mindtree Consultancy will be the chairman of the governing body, which will look after the functioning of the institute. The members include Prof L M Patnaik of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Bangalore IIIT Director Sadhu Gopan, representatives of NASSCOM and Manufacturers Association of Information Technology.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Lalit Patnaik's update on new IIT and IIEST demands

Dear Friends,
In a recent joint meeting on 24th Nov'06 at Utkal University, Bhubaneswar by Agami Odisha and UCE Alumni under the chairmanship of Sj Debi Prasanna Pattnaik( Padmashree award winner) and hundreds of Students and engineers, a resolution was passed to make all round effort to get an full fledged IIT for Orissa. It has been high lighted in many a leading Oriya and English news papers.
In continuation to that , on 27th Nov'06, Agami Odisha handed over the following memorandum to CM, Orissa , Speaker of Assembly and other prominent Ministers and MLA's in the Assembly hall.
People loving Orissa, who feel that Orissa deserves an IIT may join our movement and write letters to CM and all MLA's of Orissa. Our next move will be to HRD Minister and PM of India.

Honourable Speaker,
OLA, Bhubaneswar.

Sub:- Request for an all party resolution in Orissa legislative assembly for a Full-fledged IIT in Orissa.

Respected Sir,
With due respect, we beg to state the followings for an all party resolution in the assembly for a full-fledged IIT in Orissa.
That, in the past it is because of an all party resolution and the collective efforts of our esteemed leaders in the assembly and Parliament, we could achieve to get the NISER to be established in Orissa. For this, Agami Odisha expresses it's deep sense of gratitude to all our esteemed members.
That since 59 years of our Independence Orissa has been neglected to get an Institute of National importance. Higher education like IIT, IIM or Central University. Our demands have been turned down by an pretext which is unfortunate.
That, the University College of Engineering, Burla, set up in 1956 just after 2 years of establishment of IIT, kharagpur, which has proved it's allround efficiency to produce eminent technocrats, serving in the country and outside, has not been considered to be an IIT inspite of the request of our CM.
That, recently the Anand Krishnan Committee, appointed by the HRD Ministry of Govt. of India has recomended for upgrading 5 Engineering colleges of States like one in West Bengal( having IIT, IIM and centrally University), one in UP( having IIT, IIM and Central University), two in AP( having central University) and one in Kerala( having an IIM at Kazikote). This has not considered the case of UCE, Burla for even to be an IIEST having all infrastructureal facilities and fulfils all the criteria, fixed by the said committee for the same.
That, the concerted efforts of leaders, irrespective of parties, have brought achivements for us in the form of NISER and the people of Orissa want the repeatation in the assembly where the intelligent leaders find way for development of the State.
Therefore, we on behalf of the people of Orissa request your honor to be kind enough to have a deliberation on the issue to have an all-party resolution for a full-fledged IIT in the state and to make necessary resolution for declaring UCE, burla the Deemed university to opave the way for making it the IIEST of the State.

On behalf of Orissa.

Deviprasanna Pattnaik,Lalit Mohan Pattnaik, Santosh Tripathy, Prasanta kumar Samantray, Satya Siva Sunder Panda, Gadadhar Pradhan, Supriti Mishra, Jgannath Pr. Mohanty.

Note;- On 14th October'06 in the UCE Golden jublee function at Bhubaneswar, CM, Orissa has placed a demand with the Vice President of India to constitute a Parliamentary committee to suitably examine UCE, Burla and recomend for upgradation to an IIT.

To-gether we can make Orissa prosper. A Land prospers, only when it's intellectuals come forward.


This was originally posted by Lalit Patnaik in myodisa. Thanks to both.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Kalam to lay foundation of IIIT in Bhubaneswar

Kalam to lay foundation of IIIT in Bhubaneswar
Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar

With growing urban amenities, increasing number of technical institutions and numerous global and local corporate entities queuing up for investment in the State, the Government has decided to go for an International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) at Bhubaneswar.

President of India APJ Abdul Kalam is going to lay the foundation stone of the proposed 25-acre campus of the institute on November 29.

To cater to the booming IT industry and to meet the quality faculty requirement in the IT disciplines of engineering colleges an institution of this genre is a must to nurture academic research in cutting-edge technologies and industry sponsored research programme, said sources.

The IIIT would come up as a world class institute with a vision to contribute to the IT world by focusing on education and research, entrepreneurship and innovation, said sources.

The Institute will be run as a registered not-for-profit society funded jointly by the Government of Orissa and the IT industry, said sources.

Accordingly a society has been registered under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Subas Pani with members, which include Development Commissioner Rabi Narayan Bohidar, Industries Secretary Injeti Srinivas, Surendra Nath Tripathy, Secretary, Information Technology (IT), IDCO MD Ashok Kumar Meena, and Vishal Dev, Director IT from the Government side.

From the IT sector Subroto Bagchi, Chief Operating Officer of MindTree Consulting Group and Ardhendu Das, centre Head of Infosys, Bhubaneswar has been taken as members. From the education fraternity S Sadgopan, Director IIIT Bangalore and LM Patnaik, Professor of IISc, Bangalore has been included in the society.


President to lay foundation of International Institute of Information Technology at Bhubaneswar

Friday, November 24, 2006


NIT upgrade Bill ready for House: Indian Express

NIT upgrade Bill ready for House

The legislation is expected to help the 17 NITs become ‘centres of excellence’


HAVING got a green signal from the parliamentary panel on education, the Centre is readying the final draft of a proposedlegislationwhichwill empower the National Institutes of Technology — formerly known as Regional engineering colleges — to the level of IITs.

The National Institutes of Technology Bill 2006, referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry early this year, will be introduced in the Winter Sessionforpassage,HRDsources toldTheIndianExpresstoday. The report of the Standing Committee was tabled in the Parliament today.

The proposed legislation is expected to help NITs — there are 17 in all — to become “centres of excellence”, especiallyintermsofpost-graduate technical education and research. The Bill will also provide academic, administrative and financial autonomy to these institutes, similar to the seven IITs in the country.

The parliamentary panel, headedbyCongress’Janardan Dwivedi,hadproposedthatall NITs be brought under the Institutes of Technology Act (whichgovernsallIITs)butthe HRDministryhadrepliedthat there were differences between the two categories of technical institutes — while IITs had a specialised highlevel entrance exam, NITs have a region or state-specific focus. The panel, in its report, concluded:“Itbelievesthatthe NITs will develop and grow faster separately than with the IITs.” The panel, in its report, hasalsosuggestedabiggerrole for the state governments in the functioning of the NITs.

HRD officials said the Bill was being given final touches and the ministry would carry out the amendments before it reintroduced the bill in the Winter Session.


Kalam will lay foundation stone of IIIT


Nov 24, 2006
Change in Kalam itinerary
Friday November 24 2006 10:44 IST

BHUBANESWAR: President APJ Abdul Kalam’s visit to Orissa later this month will witness a last minute change. Instead of confining his trip just to Chandipur, the President will attend a couple of functions in the City on November 29.

Kalam would lay a foundation stone for the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) here and attend a function at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, sources said. As per the earlier programme, Kalam was to reach Bhubaneswar on November 28, fly to Chandipur straightaway. After attending the functions at Interim Test Range (ITR), he was to return to New Delhi via Bhubaneswar.

A preparatory meeting chaired by Development Commissioner RN Bohidar was held here on Thursday. Home Secretary TK Mishra and Director-General of Police Amarananda Pattanayak were present.


Sri Sri proposes varsity in State


Nov 24, 2006
Sri Sri proposes varsity in State
Friday November 24 2006 10:44 IST

BHUBANESWAR: Industries apart, Orissa, it seems, is also fast emerging as an attractive destination for setting up private universities. The latest in the fray being spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

The founder of the Art of Living Foundation (ALF) has evinced keen interest to set up a university which will not only teach Science, Arts and Commerce, but also impart programmes on performing arts and spiritualism.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is likely to sign an MoU with the State Government in this connection during his visit to the State next month.

The details of the project and its location would, however, be finalised later. Talking to mediapersons here on Wednesday, ALF member Debjoyti Mohanty said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had a special relationship with Orissa and its people.

That he is truly committed to the well-being of the people is also reflected by his decision to set up a vedic school at Puri and holding the golden jubilee celebration of the ALF, Eastern region, at Bhubaneswar, he stated.

The golden jubilee celebration will kick off on December 10 at Janata Maidan here. The guru will hold satsangs and interact with his followers.

Tickets can be purchased from the Bharat Petroleum outlets in the City.

They have been priced at Rs 500. Eminent artistes from the State and outside are also expected to perform at the celebration, Mohanty informed.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Plan panel nod to two more schools of architecture

Plan panel nod to two more schools of architecture
Akshaya Mukul
[ 23 Nov, 2006 0029hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

NEW DELHI: In what could be a major boost to aspiring architects and those keen to pursue pure sciences, Planning Commission has given in-principle agreement for two more schools of planning and architecture and an equal number of Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research(IISER).

The plan panel's move would also come as a relief to those fearing that OBC reservation would limit opportunities for general category students. While giving the green signal for more SPAs and IISERs, Planning Commission rejected the HRD ministry’s proposal to set up 20 Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) in the 11th Plan. The panel reasoned that such initiatives should come through public-private partnership.

In case of SPA also, the ministry had proposed four more institutes but the panel felt two would be enough in the next plan. However, the commission agreed with HRD ministry's demand for two more IISERs. Two IISERs are already functioning in Pune and Kolkata and a third is coming up near Chandigarh.

The two new IISERs will come up in central and south India. Locations have not yet been decided. "This will ensure that five IISERs are in place by the next plan. It will encourage science education and in the long run, will make up for the shortfall of qualified teachers for IITs and other engineering colleges," an official said.


Orissa record dismal in tribal welfare: NSSO

Orissa record dismal in tribal welfare: NSSO

Diptiman Chakraborty | Bhubaneswar

Despite various welfare schemes and reservation for tribals, literacy record of Orissa's tribal and other backward classes is at best dismal. As per the recently released National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) report on a 2004-2005 study of the employment, unemployment situation among the various social groups in the country, Orissa stands seventh in the list of the major States with the most number of illiterates per thousand in Scheduled Caste category of both rural and urban population combined. It has 493 illiterates in every 1,000 persons compared to only 156 in Kerala and 134 in Manipur. Even for neighbouring West Bengal the figures are much lower at 414.

Besides, the State has only 21 graduates and post graduate SCs of every 1,000 persons making it the 11th State in the list compared to 50 in Maharashtra and 34/1,000 even in neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

When it comes to the statistics of the Scheduled Tribes, Orissa is the fourth from below, preceded only by Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. It has 672/1,000 illiterates among the tribals, which means more than 67 per cent of the tribals are illiterates and this includes urban tribals as well.

If rural tribals are considered independently, the figures will be alarming. No doubt when it comes to tribal graduates and post graduates, Orissa has the lowest figures after Madhya Pradesh with only eight tribals per 1,000 reaching that level while it is four for MP. Compared to this even Bihar has 59/1000 STs getting higher education.

When it comes to OBCs, the State fares no better. With 330/1,000 it ranks within the top 15 States with high prevalence of illiteracy. The figures are 93 for Kerala while neighbouring W Bengal has 233 illiterates in this category.

However when it comes to OBC graduates an above, Orissa has a face saver with respectable figures of 41/1,000. Only Tamil Nadu, Bengal and Maharashtra are above Orissa with figures reaching 62, 48 and 46 respectively.

In general category Orissa has only 22 per cent of illiterates, where it betters than even the national average of 24 per cent. For AP the percentage is above 33 while Karnataka has more than 25 per cent illiterates in this class.

Orissa's figures, however, dip again when it comes to higher education among the general category. It ranks a dismal 15 among the major States with only 99/1,000 getting higher education of graduate and post graduate level, compared to the national average of 111. Even neighbouring Chhattisgarh boasts of 184/1,000 and Jharkhand figures well above Orissa at 151.

Huge hiatus between tribal and OBC education and the general class prevails in the State which makes it imperative for the Government both at the Centre and the State to take steps to bridge the gap. In no State the figures are fraught with such huge discrepancy. While the general class has 22 per cent illiterates it is nearly 50 per cent for the SC population and a whopping 67 per cent for the STs in the State.

It is high time the Government realised that education is one of the strongest weapons to dissuade the innocent tribals away from the lure of the Maoists who are constantly making forays into the peace of the State. Spread of education in the tribal belts could be a big blow for the Maoists in making further inroads by cashing in the ignorance of the poor tribals.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


C V Raman College of Engineering to seek deemed varsity status

C V Raman College of Engineering to seek deemed varsity status
Monday November 13 2006 11:15 IST

BHUBANESWAR: C V Raman College of Engineering, one of the oldest technical institutes in the city, will seek deemed university status.

Concerned over the inevitable competition from the entry of foreign universities in the state in the coming years, Chairman of the institute Sanjiv Rout said the deemed university status would give it a free hand and flexibility to face challenges.

‘‘We will have autonomy in reforming our course curriculum, increase quality of education, introduce new programmes and think of far-reaching initiatives which can keep us in the forefront of the changing realities,’’ he said.

Currently on a major expansion drive, the college has firmed up plans to introduce sought after subjects like PG programme in computer science, M Tech in Telecommunication and MBA from the coming academic session. The deemed university status would also be bestowed by then, he said.

‘‘We were also toying with the idea of introducing emerging courses having immense job potential, but we decided to wait for some more time as the awareness level was yet to pick up,’’ he observed. However, going by the exponential growth in the tourism industry, he said, tourism management programme will be imparted soon in collaboration with a foreign institute.

Its diploma institute is also set for a new beginning. The management has sought to convert it into a centre of excellence and has urged the Union Government to include it in its list of the possible institutes, which it proposes to convert into world class centres.

Today corporate India is increasingly looking at diploma holders to manage jobs of degree holders who are running after IT firms sacrificing there core disciplines. Therefore, raising standard of diploma holders has become inevitable, the chairman said. He said plans are afoot to open five such centres in the State including one at Duburi.

The college’s ambitious communication lab, for grooming and developing students soft skills, is also set to start operation soon.

While the British Council in Kolkata has extended its expertise, IIT Kharagpur is providing the technical inputs. In the coming years, Rout concluded, students of other institutes can also enrol here.


Govt. to set up IIT-style petro institute in UP

November 14,2006
Govt. to set up IIT-style petro institute in UP

NEW DELHI -- In order to train professionals for the entire hydrocarbon value chain, including upstream and downstream and to meet the manpower requirement in petroleum sector in future, the central government has decided to establish a IIT-like petro institute exclusively in Uttar Pradesh’s Peeparpur area.
The area which falls under Sultanpur district, would see an investment of Rs. 860 crore in the next 10 year. The Proposed institute would be named as Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology (RPIT).

According to Petroleum Minsitry, out of the total Rs. 860 crore earmarked for the project, Rs 150 crore will come from Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB), basically for capital expenditure. Companies like ONGC, IOC, BPCL, HPCL and Gail will jointly contribute Rs. 250 crore for the institute. However, Rs. 45 crore under the head will come as fees and other earnings of the institute. The balance of Rs. 416 crore for capital expenditure will be met through budgetary support.

The government in a later stage is also planning to rope in private oil companies such as Reliance, Essar and Cairn Energy.

According to sources, the government would soon introduce a Bill in Parliament to give institute the status of national importance. The institute would be one of the new schemes in 11th five-year plan. An in-principle approval has also already been granted by Planning Commission.

“The government sees massive manpower requirement by the sector in future. Additional workforce required by the hydrocarbon sector is expected to be 12,000 in 2010 and 23,000 in 2015, and the existing institutes are not equipped to meet the demand. The government considered capacity enhancement of select institutions such as Indian School of Mines and IITs, but these institutions are not exclusive in nature”, an official said.

The proposal of the institute has already drawn the support of the department of science & technology, ministry of human resource development, department of public enterprises and ministry of law & justice.

Source --




13:27 IST

The Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Arjun Singh, has urged Chief Ministers of 12 large States to initiate urgent policies and programmes so that the intake capacity in technical education institutions in relation to the State’s population comes on par with the national average, and their youth are “able to adequately benefit from the opportunities which are becoming available due to our fast-growing economy”.

A review of availability of seats in degree and diploma-level technical education courses, per lakh population, revealed that while for the country as a whole, 68 degree and 31 diploma-level seats were available in technical education institutions per one lakh population, both these figures were way below the national average in 9 major States. These States and the number of degree and diploma-level seats available in them per one lakh population are: Bihar (3 and 4), Assam (4 and 6), Jharkhand (15 and 10), West Bengal (24 and 11), Himachal Pradesh (26 and 13), Chhattisgarh (28 and 13), Uttar Pradesh (36 and 7), Rajasthan (38 and 6), and Orissa (55 and 26).

Besides, in Jammu & Kashmir and Gujarat, number of degree-level seats per lakh population is only 21 and 39, respectively, while in Madhya Pradesh, this figure for diploma-level seats is only 19.

Among the corrective steps suggested by Shri Arjun Singh to the Chief Ministers to address the deficiencies are:

The Ministry has also advised the All India Council of Technical Education to take special steps to promote expansion of Technical Education in these 12 large States.



Sunday, November 12, 2006


Moily committee recommendation worsens inequity?

Moily committee recommendation worsens inequity?
- it should be preceded by correction mechanisms.

Chitta Baral, Professor, Arizona State University.

How can it be?

The Moily committee was established to figure out ways to implement
additional reservations for OBC categories in various centrally
funded institutions across India in such a way that the number of
seats currently available for the general category students does not

The Moily committee has come up with a road map of extending the
capacity of the various centrally funded educational institutions
by 54%. For the existing institutions it gives an estimate of
additional expenditure so that these institutions can increase
their intake by 54% without affecting their quality parameters
such as student-teacher ratio.

The pages 84-86 of the Moily committee report – available in the
planning commission web site – lists the various centrally funded
institutions under its purview and estimated expenditure for those
institutions. We used that data to see how much the Moily committee
recommends spending in various states of India. In this we focused
on the HRD ministry funded institutions and did not consider the
medical and the agricultural institutions as they are funded by
other ministries. Moreover the existing inequity in medical spending
is being corrected through the establishment of 6 new AIIMS-like
institutions and upgradation of several existing institutions.

We found that the committee recommends spending Rs. 97.94 per person
across India. Among the states, the expenditure per person is
highest in Delhi (Rs. 1685.64) followed by Uttaranchal (Rs.
585.16), Tripura (Rs. 158.72), Himachal Pradesh (Rs. 128.3), Assam
(Rs. 127.52), Meghalaya (Rs. 122.92), West Bengal (Rs. 122.09),
Jharkhand (Rs. 117.48), UP (Rs. 110.99), Manipur (Rs. 109.43) and
Mizoram (Rs. 98.29). On the bottom end Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and
Sikkim have zero estimated expenditure, followed by Bihar (Rs.
13.13), Andhra Pradesh (Rs. 24.46), Rajasthan (Rs. 25.08), Gujarat
(Rs. 30.82), Orissa (Rs. 33.59), Kerala (Rs. 49.24), Madhya Pradesh
(Rs. 49.35), Maharashtra (Rs. 59.67), Haryana (Rs. 62.84),
Chhatisgarh (Rs. 70.51), Nagaland (Rs. 70.86), Punjab (Rs. 81.06),
Karnataka (Rs. 91.96), Tamil Nadu (Rs. 97.36) and Jammu & Kashmir
(Rs. 97.76). The spreadsheet that calculates these numbers is
available at

The above numbers are additional expenditure estimate in lieu of the 54%
increase in seats and do not include the regular expenditure. The
regular expenditures are not easily available as in the Indian
budget the expenditure for all IITs are given as a single number,
and the same is true with respect to the IIMs, the NITs, and the
central universities. Nevertheless, the above numbers give a good
idea of the later numbers.

In the past, news items such as Chetan Chauhan's November 4th
article in Hindustan Times gave some partial information of inequity
in state wise higher education funding and its impact. In that
article he says: "as many as 20 per cent of urban youth are enrolled
in colleges as compared to just 7.9 per cent in rural India. Orissa,
which gets dismal allocation for higher education from the Centre,
has only 4.1 per cent rural youth enrolled. Similar pattern is
observed in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. The
exceptions are the north-eastern states, where most universities are
funded by the Central Government, with overall higher education
enrolment figure close to 40 per cent." Using the Moily committee
numbers, for the first time an average citizen can get a clear idea
on how India has discriminated and continues to discriminate among
its states with respect to HRD spending on centrally funded
institutions. Thus, unless balancing mechanisms are used the Moily
committee recommendation further worsens the existing inequity.

Fortunately, there have been second hand indications that the HRD
ministry may take some balancing actions. In particular, three IITs
have proposed branch campuses with the aim to make them full-fledged
IITs with similar number of students within a few years: Besides a
proposal for a research campus in Kolkata, IIT Kharagpur has
proposed a branch campus in Bhubaneswar, Orissa; IIT Madras has
proposed a branch campus in Kerala; and IIT Bombay has proposed a
branch campus in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. We sincerely hope that the
HRD ministry formally approves and announces these initiatives at
the earliest so that subsequent approval of the Moily committee
recommendations will not be seen as worsening the inequitable
distribution of HRD money in centrally funded institutions. In
addition similar initiatives must be made with respect to Bihar,
Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, the other three big states at the
bottom of the HRD spending figure. The established IIMs, many of
which are having difficulty in finding adjoining space for
expansion, should follow the lead of IIT Kharagpur, Madras and
Bombay and consider establishing branch campuses in other states.
Finally, we hope that the planning commission and the HRD ministry
will notice the correlation and causal connection between the higher
education enrollment figure of close to 40 percent in the north east
states and the fact that most universities in those states are
centrally funded, and adopt a similar approach to the backward and
super backward districts of India. In particular, they should plan
the establishment of multi-campus (a la Delhi University and
Allahabad University) distributed central universities in backward
district clusters of India.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Centre's nod for IIIT, new varsity in West Bengal

Centre's nod for IIIT, new varsity in West Bengal

Kolkata, Nov. 7 (PTI): West Bengal, fast emerging as an IT destination, has received the Centre's nod for the setting up of an Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) and an university in North Bengal in the 11th Plan period, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said today.

"I wrote to HRD Minister Arjun Singh that we need an IIIT in the state besides a new university in north Bengal. He assured me that necessary funds would be made available under the 11th Plan," he said while inaugurating the second campus here of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur.

The Centre has funded the National Institute of Science Education and Research, the second after Bangalore, now operating in the city, while Anil Ambani of Reliance has agreed to set up an institute of communication technology in Kalyani near here, Bhattacharjee said.

Noting that his government is already taking help from IIT-Kharagpur in framing a programme for economic development of the backward districts of Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore, Bhattacharjee said he wanted the IIT to be a partner in development.

Pointing out that the state had problems of pollution, water management, river erosion and arsenic contamination of groundwater, he urged scientific institutions to take the fruits of research to the people.

"During my meeting with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia to discuss the 11th Plan proposals, I told him there was a need to not only improve indigenous technology, but also improve research and development," he said.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


NIIT University in Rajasthan (100 kms from Delhi on Delhi-Jaipur highway)



Orissa gets dismal allocation of higher education from center: NSS study

NSSO study shows widening urban-rural gap
Chetan Chauhan
New Delhi, November 4, 2006

The latest National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) findings put the gross enrolment ratio in higher education at just 11.4 per cent as against University Grants Commission claim of 13 per cent.

The NSSO clearly demonstrates a widening urban-rural gap in education, girl child and weaker sections not reaching the highest level of competitive education and dramatic fall in classroom attendance as students reach higher level of education.

With higher education infrastructure growing mostly in urban areas, as many as 20 per cent of urban youth are enrolled in colleges as compared to just 7.9 per cent in rural India. Orissa, which gets dismal allocation for higher education from the Centre, has only 4.1 per cent rural youth enrolled. Similar pattern is observed in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. The exception are the north-eastern states, where most universities are funded by the Central Government, with overall higher education enrolment figure close to 40 per cent.

The debate over reservation to socially weaker sections in admission in higher educational institutions gets an interesting backing from the report findings. The study says the forward castes are much ahead of SCs/STs and OBCs when it comes to enrolment in colleges. As compared to just 8.2 per cent for SC, 8.9 per cent for STs and 9.5 per cent for OBCs, the enrolment figure for forward castes is about 17 per cent. However, their enrolment at primary level is comparative with forward castes.

The social bias against the girl child is clearly evident from the NSSO findings. Though 79 per cent of the girl population enrol in schools only 7.7 per cent reach higher educational institutions. The enrolment rate of boys in colleges is almost double than that of girls even though the difference in admission between the two at primary level is just five per cent.

If the girl is born in the weaker section, reaching higher education becomes even more difficult. Only 4.9 per cent Scheduled Caste girls reach higher education, with girls in Other Backward Classes slightly better with 5.8 and as high as seven per cent in Scheduled Tribes. But among forward castes, the number of girls taking admission in colleges is as high as 13 per cent.

Earlier this week, UGC chairman SK Thorat at an ASSOCHAM seminar on higher education had called private participation to bridge these disparities.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


A knowledge hub: Brand Lucknow vision

A knowledge hub: Brand Lucknow vision

LUCKNOW: As a 'brand' Lucknow would be — "a knowledge hub". It is the vision statement of the state government, which has gone into an overdrive to prepare detailed project reports (DPRs). These DPRs have to be submitted to the Central government within a fortnight to avail funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewable Mission (JNURM).

The development comes at a time when Centre has cleared Lucknow's City Development Plan (CDP). Secretary, urban development, SP Singh said that the mission of the state government would be to make the city "most sought after liveable city in the country".

The vision, officials reasoned, seeks to lay a base for better civic amenities which would then act as a launching pad for positioning the city as a 'knowledge hub'.

Currently, the city boasts of some of the top schools, 11 engineering colleges, six medical colleges, including the Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) and King George's Medical University. Besides, there are 20 business schools, including Indian Institute of Management (IIM). The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur too being an hour's drive away.

In terms of research and development (R&D) laboratories there are 10 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) labs, various research institutes and a Bio-Technology Park. The city is also host to an international airport, 24 daily domestic and international flights, besides nine ultra-modern shopping malls of which two have already come up.

However, Singh said, all projects pertaining to better civic amenities would have to be completed in a time-bound manner, otherwise the city would miss the bus to development.

The Lucknow Management Association (LMA), one of the essential part of the state government think tank, is also jubilant over the development. The association has recently made a presentation before top government officials. It was this presentation which apparently became the vision statement.

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