Monday, October 31, 2005


If I were the PM ...

If I were the PM I would correct the situation by immediately announcing another IISER in
Bhubaneswar, and splitting the 1000 crore between the 3 IISERs, and to deal with the
resulting reduced budget (from 500 crore to each IISER to 333 crore to each IISER),
combine some of the research institutes in Pune, Kolkata and Bhubaneswar with the
IISER, in a way that their research is not affected. For example, these institutes can be semi-autonomous attached centers of the IISER. Their faculty can initially help out in the teaching, but later they may go back to less teaching. The possible institutes in Pune,
Kolkata and Bhubaneswar are:

Agharkar Research Institute, Pune
Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune

Bose Institute, Kolkata
S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata

Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar
Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar

In fact I wonder, why the government did not do it this way. I.e., take advantage of the exisiting research institutions. These institutions have some of the best scientists in India and young people coming in contact with them would definitely get better mentored to research in science, which is the ultimate goal.

Seven MPs from Orissa, Including a Former CM and two Cabinet Ministers are Requested to fight against the injustice to the Orissa on NIS relocation.

Last week I talked to Seven Mps from Orissa, to discuss with them on the Gross Injustice done to our state by the recent decission of theCentral Govt. in relocating the NIS from Bhubanswar to Kolkata. The members include a fomer chiefminister of Orissa and two Former Cabinet Ministers from NDA Govt.

Shri Giridhar Gamang, INC Koraput,PARTY : Indian National Congress (INC)
Shri Mohan Jena, BJD Jajpur ,PARTY : Biju Janata Dal (BJD)
Shri Bhartruhari Mahtab, BJD Cuttack,PARTY : Biju Janata Dal (BJD)
Shri Jual Oram, BJP Sundargarh ;PARTY : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Shri Brahmananda Panda, BJD Jagatsinghpur, CONSTITUENCY : Jagatsinghpur (Orissa )
Shri Chandra Sekhar Sahu, INC Berhampur ,PARTY : Indian National Congress (INC)
Shri Arjun Charan Sethi, BJD Bhadrak ;PARTY : Biju Janata Dal (BJD) E-Mail :

I have discussed with them in detail about the issue and ask for their support. In particular the response from Mr. Jual Oram, Mr. Arjun Sethy, Mr. Mohan Jena, Mr. Brahmananda Pand and Mr. Chandra Sekhar Sahu was quite encouraging. May I request all our Odia friends during this Diwali time as a Gift to our beloved mother land Orissa, please do either write to all of our MPs, or talk to them asking for their support for this cause. They should forget their party affilation for the cause of Orissa, the state they are representing in the Parliament. Let them raise this issue on the floor of the house on the 1st day of the Parliamemt when it meet next, and should be initiating a walk out to protect the prestige of our state.

I wish all of you a happy diwali and request you to fight for this injustice.
Regards Dhirendra

Regional Imbalance in Terms of locations of Institutions of Higher Education in India.

An open letter by Saubhagya Laxmi Mohapatra.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Orissa sacrificed at the altar of the current government?

The current government would not have existed unless the MPs from West Bengal were alied with Congress. Did this contingent ask for IISER in return, sacrificing Orissa?

While West Bengal already had mega institutions such as IIT, IIM, ISI, and Central Univeristy in Vishwa Baharati, Orissa had none. Yet Orissa had on its own developed small but quality institution such as Inst. of Physics, Xaviers Inst of Management and Inst. of Life Sciences. So its not that Orissa would not have nurtured an IISER or an IIT. It just did not have the political muscle.

Condsidering that, taking into account the lack of such institutes in Orissa, the earlier government had announed setting up of a Nataional Institute of Sciences in Bhubaneswar, we reach the conclusion that Orissa was sacrificed at the altar of the UPA government.

This lays to rest the notion that Dr. Manomohan Singh and Smt. Sonia Gandhi look after the welfare of the country as a whole. As most other politicians, they only care about their gaddi (chair) and having power? What else would explain their snatching of a dream from a poor entity and giving it to a richer entity?

IISER has sufficient reasons to be in Orissa

On the Interest of people of India
Manoj Kumar Pradhan, PhD

I have completed all my education in India and understand the present status and trend of higher education in India. I have lived in Indian Institute Science, Bangalore for more than five years and convinced importance of upcoming IISc/NIS/IISER on the future development of India.

It was a moment of great pleasure to know from the ex- HRD minister during 2003 that we will have more Institutes like IISc/IITs. As a student, I was particularly impressed that our country is really progressing and we will have better position among the scientific community world over. This change was mostly because of consistent growth in the country’s economy and second but most important reason being the participation of greater educational mass in the politics and administration. For some time now, our great statesmen have great deal of experience of class room, research laboratory, financial institution and the functioning of public sector / industry.

Then of course, enough thought was given as per the locations of the proposed institute are concerned; it was decided to be at Allahbad, Bhubanswar, Chennai, Pune. This was reported by many leading news papers. The people of India unanimously supported the proposal and were much happy over the decision. No body was particularly dissatisfied, no online petition, no judicial plea, no public agitation, since then.

The present situation now has made it clear to us; (though the present government tries to confuse the public as much as possible) the institute has been renamed from NIS to IISER and its location has been changed from Bhubanswar to Kolkata. This has resulted in great public dissatisfaction and people of Orissa feels betrayed. Following India's independence, Orissa has been severely neglected by the central government in New Delhi. The government, which typically has been formed by the congress party, has made shockingly little investment in transportation, infrastructure and education in Orissa, which is why Orissa lags behind the other states.

On this context, I would like to bring following issues to your kind notice, which is in the interest of our nation;

1. Why our present government would change the name of the institute and its proposed location? This is not fair.

2. Why our Governance is not so transparent when we planned to progress and reach the economy and science of the developed country?

3. It would be fair and logical to think to locate these Institutes in the states where there is no such establishment. We can learn this very well from developed nations.

4. As per the history of IISc, Bangalore, it was the untiring effort and futuristic vision of late J N Tata and later by TATA sons. Jamsetji Tata has taken the help of nobel laureate W. Ramsay to decide the location of the institute; it was not decided by any political pressure or any thing. The institute (IISc Bangalore), which survived for almost a century now, and produced many pioneer and visionary; the institute fraternity very well remember its objectives. It is important to note that the success of IISc is mostly due to support of great politician and petty politics never enter here.
Why the locations of proposed NIS/IISER cannot be taken by third party? The situation however has changed, we need not have to ask the expert from other country since we have placed ourselves, some where so far, science is concerned. Then, at least, why a public opinion cannot be taken before making such a decision?

5. Why the decision on the proposed institute is taken just before the assembly election in West Bengal? The objectives of NIS/IISER are much above the horizon of politics.

6. The state capital of Orissa, Bhubaneswar, a well planned city with modern facilities, is attractive for many industries including information technology. Why this cannot be a location?

7. What are the advantages of having NIS/IISER in West Bengal where there is an IIT and many other institutions funded by the central government are already located?

May I therefore request you to kindly take your personal interest to look into this matter and convey your valued suggestion to the government.

A citizen of India
Zürich, Switzerland


Why did not Orissa submit a proposal for NIS/IISER?

Most likely, because no one asked to.

Earlier, Orissa had sent a proposal for an IIT, and it is probably gathering dust somewhere.
I was a little bit involved in this proposal, and it was an innovative one.

I have myself seen the Orissa government's proposal for an IIIT. IIITs were made in
HRD minister's home states. I was told, Orissa was the first one to propose. (I don't know
if it is true or not)

So, if someone says that IISER was moved because WB had a proposal and Orissa did not;
thats just a ruse.


Nevertheless, if the PM or HRD minister need a proposal from Orissa, I am sure a good
one can be written fairly quickly. I would happily volunteer for it, and if someone gives me the charge, I can guarantee to develop the scientific and education aspects of the proposal in a week.

The West Bengal side of the story -- sanitized version of a hijack and gloating over it

A snippet from:

Science on revival route- New centre to offer integrated, inter-disciplinary studies '


On Sunday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will lay the foundation stone of a national institute of science education and research at Salt Lake. Riding an investment of Rs 500 crore, it will be the single largest education project in Bengal since the Indian Institute of Management, Joka, opened in 1961. Yet, two years ago, when a group of Pune-based scientists first mooted the idea of a new-age centre for science education and research to stem the brain drain to disciplines like management, Calcutta featured nowhere on their radar screens. Pune was the preferred location.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) later recommended setting up four national centres in Allahabad, Chennai, Pune and Bhubaneswar.

Calcutta became a contender after chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee mounted a campaign early this year. Backed by the Prime Minister, Bhattacharjee submitted a detailed proposal to the Centre.

“Delhi agreed to include Calcutta and in March 2005, asked the state government to prepare the groundwork for setting up the institute,” education department sources said.
In July 2005, the Planning Commission, after examining the ministry for human resource development proposal, recommended that instead of five cities, only Calcutta and Pune should house the centre.

“Buddhababu’s achievement lies in the fact that he could place Calcutta above all other locations,” said Satyasadhan Chakraborty, state higher education minister.

--- more ---

Chitta's comment:

Did the central government ask the original four to submit a detailed proposal? In other words did they ask Orissa to submit a proposal, and then decide based on the various proposals. I doubt it?

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee mounted a campaign ...

Backed by the Prime Minister ...

This all boils down to the muscle of the much larger contingent of MPs alied with the central government from West Bengal. If the PM is so concerned about regional balance as he mentions in one of his speeches, why did not he engage with Orissa which was the only one in that list that does not have an IIT/IISc/IIM/IIIT etc. After reading this, I am sorry to say that I have lost all respect for Dr. Manomohan Singh.


Nevertheless, Orissa government should prepare a good proposal for an IISER, an IIT, and a KBK central university and regularly pursue them.

They should ask the directors of Institute of Physics and Institute of Life Sciences to make a
proposal for an IISER asap. They should also revive the IIT proposal that was made in
Dec 2003-Jan 2004 and keep pushing.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


A short press release

National Institute of Sciences stolen from Orissa by renaming it to IISER?

Chitta Baral, Professor, Arizona State University

While celebrations are going on in Kolkata and Pune, people of Orissa (a state in India)
and Orissa origin all over the world are greatly disturbed by India's UPA
government's actions where it used a subterfuge to change an announced
for mega-educational institution called National Institute of Sciences in
Bhubaneswar, Orissa and shifted it.

They look at the UGC report and a Govt of India press release that mentions
the establishment of a National Institute of Sciences in Bhubaneswar,
Pune, Chennai and Allahbad, and the current IISER announcements about Pune
and Kolkata and wonder how could the central govt steal such an institution
from Orissa, a state without a single mega higher-education institution
such as an IIT, IIM, IIIT, IISc, central university, etc.

Greatly outraged by the above, they have taken the modern Internet age
methods to protest against this; by letters, emails, blogs, news groups, rather than by
the disruptive bandhs, rasta rokos, and rail rokos, that is so common in India.
So far hundreds, if not thousands, of letters protesting against this injustice
has been sent from all over the world to the Prime minister of India. Close to 2000
people have signed an on-line petition and a group blog
with up-to-date news about this protest is well visited.

Such protest is new to India, and it remains to be seen if it has any impact on the
current and future decision making in India's central government. So far there is no
report of anyone receiving a reply to their letters. While most
ministries of the Indian government try to be fair and aim for regional balance, the
human resources ministry which creates and funds the mega educational
institutions has often made its decision based on where the HRD minister comes
from or which state has a choke hold on the central government.

Regardless, the use of the Internet in this mass protest is a first for India and perhaps
it will have a lasting impact on the Indian democracy and decision making
in its central government ministries.

What do we expect from the PM, Smt. Gandhi and HRD minister? NIS/IISER and Beyond.

Suppose the Prime minister and Smt. Gandhi wake up and rekindle their conscience and outlook to see beyond immediate political gains and try to be fair with respect to the HRD budget; what would be the right thing for them to do? Suppose the planning comission also gets conscience and tries to not become a rubber stamp then how should it plan?

Following are some steps (some short term, some long term) that will not only result in a regional balance, but also result in India becoming a science and technology power house.

1. They should immediately undo the wrong with respect to the NIS and IISER. In particular, they should immediately add an IISER in Bhubaneswar to their list of new IISERs, and have an open discussion about the previously announced locations of Allahbad and Chennai.

2. They should look at the distribution of central universities, institutions of national importance etc (such as the one compiled at ) and use that to establish any new or upgraded Indian Institute of Sciences, IITs, etc. In particular, in regards to the plan for upgrading exsiting institutions to IITs they should consider the NITs and keep regional balance in mind. See for more thoughts on this.

3. The past governments have done well in establishing central universities in the north east. The current government should look at the current deprived regions in India, especially in the mountainous region of central India with a very high adivasi population. This region is very underdeveloped and has bad infrastructure and as a result one sees activities and groups such as the Naxalites and the PWGs. The central government should focus on infrastructure development in these areas in AP, Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh. Establishment of comprehensive central universities should be an important part of this infrastructure development.

4. They should consider broadening the exisiting autonomous science and technology institutions (such as the ones in )
and many others (such as the ones listed in )
to full-fledge institutions like IITs or IIScs, not immediately but through a gradual plan.
This will balance the steps in 1-3, as steps 1-3 will mostly be with respect to neglected cities
and states, while step 4 will be with respect to metros and larger cities. This is important because we can not forget the metro and big cities while only focussing on the rest. We should not do the opposite (i.e., focussing on the metros and big cities and forgetting the rest) either, which is what is happenning now.

5. They should push the existing mega-institutions like IIT and IISc to develop research centers outside of their current location, and have a plan to gradually develop those centers to independent IITs/IIScs/NITs over a period of 15-20 years.

6. They should look at the distribution of exisiting undergraduate engineering colleges, and make sure that there is a quality institution imparting Masters and Ph.D degrees (such as an IIT, IISc, etc.) near large clusters of exisiting undergraduate colleges. This will tremendously help in improving the quality of the nearby engineering colleges, as they can now send their faculty for higher degrees locally, they can recruit faculty from among the graduates of these quality institutions, their students can do summer training in these institutions, etc.

A memorandum to the PM by retired experts

Memorandum signed by:

Smt. Sabitarani Kanungo, former president, state selection board, Govt of Orissa

Er. Piyush Kanthi Kanungo, former engineer in chief and secretary works, Govt of Orissa

Er. Madan Mohan Kamila, former engineer in chief, roads and buildings, Govt of Orissa

Dr. Bimalendu Mohanty, former vice Chancellor, Utkal Univ of Culture

Sri Hemant Kumar Das, former director of treasuries, member, Orissa Public service comission

Dr. Basant Kumar Dash, former director, Orissa state Forensic science laboratory

Professor Dr. Gokulananda Das, former vice Chancellor, Utkal University

Professor Dr. Niranjan Panda, former Dean OUAT, former vice Chancellor, Sambalpur University

Er. Ranjit Kumar Das, former chief engineer, Irrigation and flood control, Govt of Orissa

Dr. S. K. Roy, former director Veternary services, Govt of Orissa

Prof. Dr. Gunanidhi Sahoo, former director, higher education, Govt of Orissa

Prof. Dr. Basudev Sahoo, former professor, Ravenshaw College

Dr. Dinanath Pathy, author and artist, former secretary, National Lalit Kala Academy

Dr. Rabinarayan Mohanty, former director of Agriculture and Food processing, Govt of Orissa

Shri Sashibhusan Mohanty, former joint director of Agriculture, Govt of Orissa

Sri Ramachandra Samal, former director of mines, Govt of Orissa

Dr. Hemanta Kumar Mohanty, former professor, OUAT

Prof. Dr. Chitaranjan Parija, former Principal, VSS Medical College, Burla

Er. Raj Kishore Sahoo, former chief executive, Govt electrical division, Govt of Orissa

Sri Narayan Patra, former auditor and judicial commentator, Govt of Orissa

Major (Dr.) Kumudini Baral, former Director, Orissa Girls NCC

Shri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, President Mass Mind


Pdf-to-txt converted memorandum (with many conversion errors)

Dear Esteemed Prime minister:

To the Consultative Committee of our Parliament addressed to Ministry of Human Resources Development, on the 9th December 2003, the then HRD minister Professor M. M. Joshi had revealed that the Union Govemment had decided to establish four National Institutes of Sciences (NIS) at Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Pune and Allahabad. This is documented besides records of Parliamentin link -[1] provided in the footnote.

Sir, when the above decision was awating execution, as a report in www. at 0/07/under-whose-spell-the-prime-minister-hasdone~U (vide Footnote link[2]) indicates, you have passed orders for setting up of Indian Institufe of Science for Education and Research (IISER) one each at Kolkata and Pune respectively, in total disregard to the pending NIS for Orissa. For ready reference we give link No. [3] in the Footnote.

The aim of the National Institute of Sciences that Professor Joshi had announced in December 2003 is the same as the proposed IISERs. Thus, we are at a loss to undelrtand how Bhubaneswar was ignored while clearing the IISER for Kolkata.

Sir, It is extremely unfair on part of the Central Govemment to have obliterated the decision for establishment of a NIS af Bhubaneswar without taking Orissa's aspirations into consideration.
We are providing in the footnote some further e-links for your kind perusal. From them you can see that Onssa does not have any central univelSity [Link No.4], or any institution of national
importance, such as IIT, ISI, etc. [Link No.5], any reputed centrally funded institute such as an
IIM, or any centrally funded IIIT or IIITM. It also does not have an autonomous science and
technology institution of the department of science and technology as listed in footnote link No.[6]. Therefore, for a balance growth of academic infrastructure for education and research in science, the Central Govemment had decided to establish a NIS at Bhubaneswar. The September orders of the PM to shift the same to Kolkata not only deepens the regional imbalance but also chills the hope and aspirations of the people of Orissa.

Sir, It Is unacceptable that the Prime minister of India changes an educational Investment
decision made by an earlier govemment, especially related to a state like Orissa, which has very
little Central Govemment Investment In higher education, even though It has the background to justify establishment of NIS or Its new Avatar IISER. (link [7], [8] and [9] given in the Footnote).

We suspect, the 2003 decision of Govemment of India to give Orissa a NIS was kept concealed
by vested interests while persuading the PM to clear IISER for Kolkata. Had It not been so, we
are sure, the PM would never have done this gross injusuce to Orissa. Netizens of Orissa with high reputation In the field of science and technology, culture, literature, social service and mass communication belonging to 'My Odlsha' group of 'ODIA SAMAJA' have collectively e-mailed you an appeal to please ensure that the National Institute of Science offered originally to Orissa Is not obliterated.

In submitting this memorandum to you, we fully endorse the ODIA SAMAJ appeal and sincerely request you to please withdraw your September decision and in the altemative, to at least add back Bhubaneswar to the list of IISERs, thus bringing back dignity and a sense of fair play to the Government of India.

The e-lInk references:
[2].http://orissamatters.comlnewsnndex.phpf2005/1 0/07/under-whose-spell4he-prime-mlnlster
[3] htlp:f/plb.nlc.infrelease/release.asp?reHd= 12305
[6]. htlp://
[7]. htlp:f/www.pubHc.asu.eduf-cbaraliorissa/nls-why.html
[8]. htlp:/
[9]. http1/"dex.php/2005/10/13/why-an-nisiiserit..mould-be-estat;;stJed/

Sincerely, Bhubaneswar, 20 Oct-05

IISER issue needs support from all the Oriya bigwigs

Dear Oriya friends
We talk and dream really big to make a difference at least in bringing back the NIS (either as such or as its step sister: IISER form), which will probably be the triumph of the year. But the real point lies is that nobody (READ Netas) really listens to the "Aam Janta," unless we let the influence of power speaks. "Pen is mightier than sword," remains valid only in papers, and the voice really needs to speak (either in press or in parliament), by those who can really shout till they are heard, with these Aam Janta at their back (as their backings).
I really feel great about (touching) 2000 Oriyas, being concerned for the prevailed injustice to Orissa, by signing the online petition. But at the same time why not all the bigwigs (Oriyas of course), from the corporate world, PSUs, intellectual world (for which the fight is all about), media personnel (both sound and electronic) and never the least our mighty politicians (whose efforts can really be countless, if they exercise it in true sense), join hands to exercise their pen, mind and voice, for this great cause.
A few netizens can certainly make a difference, but spreading this message electronically. But the need of the hour remains as strong as: excessive media galore to the issue mostly at national level, and making the injustice public, outside Orissa, as well as a lot of hullabaloo in the parliament, which makes the GoI to rethink its decission, which is taken hurriedly and due to (needless to mention political) pressure.
All those Oriyas, who can really contribute for the cause, are hereby beseeched to kindly give in something (their expertise in respective platforms), which is at their ready disposal.

Friday, October 28, 2005


The IISER fiasco: don’t let it be a missed opportunity

The IISER fiasco: don’t let it be a missed opportunity

Priyadarsan Patra
Portland, OR.
October 2005.

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Second Inaugural Address, 1937.

Much has been said about the fairness, culpability and the promises about establishing a National Institute of Science in Orissa. From a different perspective, I would argue that such an institute is critical to the development and international competitiveness of the region and the nation as a whole. A World Bank report says: Tertiary (read higher) education is more than the capstone of the traditional education pyramid; it is a critical pillar of human development worldwide. In today’s lifelong-learning framework, tertiary education provides not only the high-level skills necessary for every labor market but also the training essential for teachers, doctors, nurses, civil servants, engineers, humanists, entrepreneurs, scientists, social scientists, and myriad personnel. “It is these trained individuals who develop the capacity and analytical skills that drive local economies, support civil society, teach children, lead effective governments, and make important decisions which affect entire societies. Universities are clearly a key part of all tertiary systems, but the diverse and growing set of public and private tertiary institutions in every country—colleges, technical training institutes, community colleges, nursing schools, research laboratories, centers of excellence, distance learning centers and many more—forms a network of institutions that support the production of the higher-order capacity necessary for development.”

The state of Orissa is one of the most economically disadvantaged states in India. Research carried out by a joint team from PRAXIS – Institute for Participatory Practices and Action Aid, Bhubaneshwar and supported by DFID, profiles some of complex inter-linkages between subsistence agriculture, drought, land alienation, indebtedness and migration in Orissa. In another study, speaking of the first Human Development Report of India, T.K. Rajalakshmi says, “One very important indicator that reflects the state of economic well-being is per capita consumption expenditure. It is well accepted that the distribution of consumption expenditure between food and non-food items reflects the economic well-being of the population. Poor households are expected to spend substantially on food items as against non-food items…While there has been some decline in this category, in Assam, Bihar and Orissa, the share of food items out of the total expenditure remained rather high.” Orissa is no doubt a major state interms of population and size, and the abundance of natural resources, yet, the table below shows a glaring disparity in its human capital and ecomic state of development. The market economy of today transforms a large nation such as ours (India) into a true microcosm of the globe, where each region must compete and fend for itself – a country within a larger country -- except that a lot of fiduciary, regulatory control and power is concentrated in and arbitrated by the Central Government. Hence, equity and thoughtful strategy is every so important for a balanced, sustained, and satisfying growth of the human capital.

Human Development Index Value 2001 (calculated only for fifteen major states)
Human Development Index Rank 2001 (out of 15)

Human Development Index Value 1991
Human Development Index Rank (out of 32)

Human Poverty Index 1991
Human Poverty Index Rank (out of 32)

Gender Disparity Index Value 1991
Gender Disparity Index Rank (out of 32)

Institutes of higher education have a few primary and inter-related purposes, such as (a) To meet the learning needs and aspirations of individuals through the development of their intellectual abilities and aptitudes. Higher education equips individuals to make the best use of their talents and of the opportunities offered by society for self-fulfilment. (b) To provide the labour market, in a knowledge-driven and knowledge-dependent society, with the high-level competencies and expertise necessary for the growth and prosperity of a modern economy, starting at the regional on to the national level; to teach and train people to be successful in entering the learned professions, or to pursue vocations in administration, trade, industry and the arts, etc.
The perception of the growing importance of institutions of higher education and research means that economic development policy-makers are increasingly attempting to draw universities and colleges into their strategies. Research lays the long-term foundations for innovation, which is central to improved growth, productivity and quality of life. This applies not just to scientific and technical knowledge. Research in the social sciences, and in the arts and humanities can also benefit the economy – for example, in tourism, social and economic trends, design, law, and the performing arts – not to speak of enriching our cultural enrichment. There are certain native products, flora and fauna, regional skills and expertise that need be leveraged by a geographically close and locally identifiable instiute of research excellence.

There are many different ways an institute of higher education and research can contribute: involvement in local and regional partnerships; links with local business and industry through targeted training and research consultancies; the establishment of research incubators, of science parks, of quasi autonomous R&D companies and the commercialisation of research via spin-off companies and patents; student placements in local businesses and the tying of student projects to the needs of businesses and local community groups; and through its wider role as part of a network of knowledge industries, a feature which itself is used in local and regional promotion to attract out-of-state and overseas inward investment.

A final thought: there is already strong evidence of socio-ecomic benefits of linkages though integration of a new institution of higher learning into a regional development strategy. Take for example the young University of Oulu in Finland which has become one of the best universities in all of the Nordic countries despite being located in a remote area close to the Arctic Circle. The rural region of Oulu has been transformed into a high-tech zone where a symbiosis exists among several winning companies such as Nokia, the science parks dedicated to applied research in electronics, medicine and biotechnology, and the 13,000-student university.

Constructing Knowledge Societies: New Challenges for Tertiary Education. A World Bank Report. 2002.

1870 people signed the petition so far


What are the other parties (Congress, CPI, CPI-M, OGP, etc.) in Orissa doing about this?

We have discussed a lot about what the Orissa government has done and not done about the shifting of NIS. We have heard the CM writing to the PM, and meeting the HRD minister about this, we think he needs to do much much more and we are bothered by the lack of intensity in his way to deal with this.

One thing that is equally bothersome is that we have not heard anything from the parties, such as Congress, CPI, CPI-M, etc. which are in power at the center. No statements from the Orissa MPs and MLAs from these parties, as well as general members of these parties, are reported in the press.

Don't they care?

Are they only interested in pleasing Smt. Gandhi so that they can get the upcoming minister slot and don't want to rock the boat?

Shouldn't they use their membership and proximity to the Indian government to make the case for Orissa publicly?

Thursday, October 27, 2005


A call for action -- by Sudarsan Das of Agami Orissa

Dear All,

It was almost decided to open one NIS in Orissa in a high level committee of UGC in which the then Vice Chancellor of Utkal University, Prof Pandav Nayak was present. Orissa Govt, in due course of time communicated to the MoHRD and UGC regarding their commitments for fulfilling necessary requirements, including provision of 25 acres of land for the proposed Institute, which was identified near Ghatikia, Bhubaneswar. It was almost certain that Orissa would be getting one central Institute after a long waiting-cartainly a kind of 'feel good' feeling for every Oriya. But to the dismay of all this has been shifted to West Bengal as IIS, as cameout in a recent notification of MoHRD, GoI.

Just think......

Had it been a case with West Bengal, what would have happened? Don't you think by now the MPs of WB cutting across party line would have planned how to rock the parliament session----intelectuals ignoring their affiliations would have come up to do a SOT analysis to jusitfy the case as to why 'it should not be shifted'----students and their union leaders would have closed down their colleges/universities in protest---common men would have jumped to the street with "MICHHILs" and slogans "kendrer eei annyay chalbenaa". But what is happening here in Orissa on this issue. Yes! after the notification of the shift we saw news items condenming 'such move of the centre'.....there are some protest statements from few corners.....e-mail-signature campaign by some people(Mainly by NROs)-----andyes! I forgot, protest lodged by our Hon'ble CM before Hon'ble Minister MoHRD.

That's all. With due respect and appriciation to what ever has been done so far, we would like to ask "Is it enough- enough to make our voice of protest heard at Delhi to reverse the decision of the centre or to get back the NIS in Orissa? Do you think something else is to de done in this regard?". To discuss on the above questions, Agami Odisha has organised a seminar on 6th of November at PG Council Conference Hall of Utkal University at 3 PM. People from cross sections are being invited to the seminar. May we expect our members, concerned/distrubed over the issue would come forward to make the seminar successful and suggest us the future course of action, which could be initiated in near future. Members who are staying out side may also help in asking their friends to participate in the seminar, besides whatever campaign they are doing in e-mails in different forums.

Sudarsan Das


Chitta's comment: For future course of action please focus on non-violent and enconomically non-harmful methods of protest. I.e., no rasta roko, rail roko, bandh etc. Rather protest in some creative way, such as painting the various colleges. That will attract lot more national press and will benefit the cause more.

Subterfuge part II

The above articles appeared after Orissa CM's recent visit to Delhi and his meeting with the HRD minister Arjun Singh. These articles bring up, for the first time, something called
"Regional Centre of Studies in Integrated Sciences" and another thing called "National Institute of Science framework". Lets consider the following from the statesman article.

"The Union minister also assured to review the matter relating to the establishment of the Regional Centre of Studies in Integrated Sciences under the National Institute of Science framework. It may be noted that the then NDA government had announced establishment of regional centres of National Institute of Sciences at six places across the country including Bhubaneswar. However, the UPA government has recently decided to set up a regional centre of NIS at Kolkata, fuelling speculations that the proposed Bhubaneswar centre would be shifted to Kolkata."


It seems the central HRD ministry is trying to confuse the Orissa CM and people of Orissa.
The article at
clearly mentions the establishment of four National Institutes of Sciences at Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Pune and Allahabad and the article and the article at
says "four national-level institutes are also being established at Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Pune and Allahabad".

So the use of the phrase "NIS framework" and "Regional Centre of Studies in Integrated Sciences(RCSIS)" are to confuse the issue.

The basic issue is simple. The NDA government had announced the setting of up 4 National Institute of Sciences for promoting science research. The current goverment with the same aim of promoting science research, created the new name IISER so that it could change the locations. Now it is trying to create confusion by terms such as RCSIS, and NIS framework.

Are we so gullible? Does the HRD ministry considers Oriyas to be stupid? Is the CM Naveen Patnaik so gullible? Can't he see what is being done? How could he listen to this nonsense and parrot what he was told to various news media? Where did "6 regional institutions" come from?
How come as of today there is no officer designated, in
to provide information regarding NIS and IISER. Is not this violating the Right to Information act?

If the HRD ministry is saying the truth and not trying a subterfuge it should immediately release all materials related to IISER and NIS to the press and to this blog.

Right to Information -- HRD Ministry

I am not from Orissa. Why should I care?

Although this site has focussed on the injustice done to Orissa, this is a matter of national significance. For India to really shine all corners of it have to shine. There has to be a regional balance. There can not be pockets of corner where people are well off while other pockets where people are deprived. The central governments actions so far in regards to higher education and research has been anything but regionally balanced. As one can see from the following links

some states have too many of the mega high-budgeted institutions while the others have none. Moreover, it seems that the decision making regarding such mega high-budgeted institutions have been done based on politics rather than on regional balance. This is unique with respect to the various Indian ministries. The roads, railways, ports, health programs etc. etc. are all done openly and fairly; while centrally funded IIITs were made based on the home state of the then HRD ministers. Similarly it is not at all clear why the IISERs were decided to be in Pune and Kolkata when both state have IITs, while a better location in East would have been Bhubaneswar and a location in NWest would have been Jaipur. (This is especially intriguing when one considers that the previous government had already announced Bhubaneswar as one of the locations of the National Institute of Sciences.) NeitherOrissa, nor Rajasthan have any central universities nor any IIT, IIM, IIIT etc. Many speculate that the contingent of MPs from West Bengal who are allied withthe UPA government bullied the government to have the earlier announced Bhubaneswar location change to Kolkata.

Is that how we see the India of the future? States with larger contigent of MPs allied with the central government hijacking mega educational investment projects from smaller states, and/or states whose MPs are not allied with the center? Today it is Orissa, tomorrow it would be anothere state. In this global age such bullying and unequality will not stay hidden and will cause great resentment among people of the states that are ignored. As a result there will be regional tension. This must STOP and STOP NOW. The Prime minister and Smt. Gandhi should force the HRD ministry to come clean and make ammends right NOW. Modern India should not and will not tolerate such backhanded deals that will harm the Indian fabric.

Hence, even if you are not from Orissa, as an Indian, with interest of India's growth as a whole in your mind, you should care. You should join this protest and let it be known to the powers to be (PM, HRD M etc.) that you won't tolerate this disruptive and politically motivated decisions. You and we should not let this injustice slip. It has been happening over the years, but no MORE.

Unequal distribution of higher education institutions across India

State/Region wise distribution of Central Universities, IITs, IIMs, IIScs, IISERs, etc.

Andhra Pradesh: Central University of Hyderabad, Maulana Azad Urdu University

Assam and North-eastern states: IIT Guwahati, and several central universities (Assam University, Nagaland University, Tezpur University, North-Eastern Hill University and Mizoram University.) IIM in Shillong has been announced.

Delhi: IIT Delhi, Delhi University, JNU, Jamia Millia Islamia

Gujurat: IIM Ahmedabad.

Jharkhand: Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad.

Karnataka: IISc, Bangalore and IIM Bangalore.

Kerala: IIM Kozikhode.

Madhya Pradesh: IIM Indore, IIITM Gwalior, IIITDM Jabalpur

Maharastra: IIT Mumbai, Hindi Vishwavidyalaya Wardha, IISER Pune just announced

Pondicherry: Pondicherry University.

Tamil Nadu: IIT Chennai.

West Bengal: IIT Kaharagpur, IIM Kolkata, Indian Statistical Institute and Viswa Bharati University. IISER Kolkata just announced.

Uttarakhand: IIT Roorkee.

Uttar Pradesh: IIT Kanpur, IIM Lucknow, Aligarh Muslim University, Benaras Hindu University, and Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow

Missing states: Bihar, Rajasthan, Orissa, Punjab, Haryana, J & K, Himachal Pradesh, Chhatisgarh




I am deeply concerned by this. What should I do?

1. Please sign the petition at

But a petition itself may not have that big of an impact. Please do as many
of the following as you can. In the least case, please do 2.

2. Send a letter or a fax to the PM with copy to Smt. Gandhi.
For a sample letter and address of where to send, please see

3. Participate in by regularly visiting it to get updates, sending new information that does not appear there (including information on what you or your group has done), by writing in the comments section, etc.

4. Contact national media in India and tell them about this and request them to cover this. For example, send emails, and letters to editors. Send in op-ed piece to media. etc.

(Ours is a unique protest in the Indian context
and the cause is genuine. Finally even though we are particularly
concerned with respect to Orissa, this is a matter of national significance
as the HRD ministry over the years has based its mega investment decisions, on politics rather than on fairness. As a result, while some states have multiple central universities and/or institutions of national importance such as IIT, IIM, IIIT etc., others like Orissa and Rajasthan have none. This is unique with respect to the various Indian ministries. The roads, railways, ports, health, etc. etc. are all done openly and fairly; while centrally funded IIITs were made based on the home state of the then HRD ministers. Similarly it is not at all clear why the IISERs were decided to be in Pune and Kolkata when both state have IITs, while a better location in East would have been Bhubaneswar and a location in NWest would have been Jaipur. Neither Orissa, nor Rajasthan have any central universities nor any IIT, IIM, IIIT etc. Many speculate that the contingent of MPs from West Bengal who are allied with
the UPA government bullied the government to have the earlier announced Bhubaneswar location change to Kolkata.)

5. Urge your friends who you think may be concerned (and who have web access) about this to read this site and do 1, 2 , 3 and 4.

6. Contact your friends and family who may not have access to Internet and tell them about this, send them details on this and request them to do 2 and 4.

7. Think of anything else that you can do for this cause, but without involving violence or econmically harmful practices such as rasta roko, bandhs, rail roko, etc.

For example, if you are a group of people then you can do some innovative form of protest that is beneficial to the society and at the same time attracts the media attention due to its innovative ness. Some examples are given in

If you are a journalist/columnist/etc. you may consider writing about this. See for some story lines.

Cabinet approval of IISER at Pune and Kolkata

Thanks to Saubhagya for pointing this out. Reports on IISER

Union Cabinet approves IISER in Pune and Kolkata

Issue of NIS/IISER in Bhubaneswar

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Coverage of this in

Eminent personalities in Orissa send a memorandom to the PM

A snippet from
an alert periodical of Bhubaneswar ‘Pratisruti Plus’ carried the first story in its latest edition
giving link to this website. The exposure developed into consequential stir.
Eminent senior citizens, who have served the State in top positions with acknowledged expertise in their respective fields, have collectively preferred a memorandum to the Prime Minister urging upon him to honour the earlier decision, placed before Parliamentary Committee by the then Central HRD Minister Mr. M.M.Joshi for establishment of a National Institute of Science (NIS) at Bhubaneswar. Headed by Prof. Sabitarani Kanungo, former President of State Selection Board, the signatories include former Works Secretary P.K.Quanango, former Vice-Chancellors M/s Bimalendu Mohanty, Gokulananda Das, Niranjan Panda, Former Engineer-in-Chief M.M.Kamila, former Director of Treasuries Hemant Kumar Das, former Director of Higher Education Gunanidhi Sahoo, former Director of Forensic Science laboratory B.K.Das etc.

Orissa High Court calls for documents on IISc coverage so far

150 New York-New Jersey Odias : Signed Petition - Sent to Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi

Non Resident Oriyas in New Jersey and New York area signed a petition to the Prime Minister of India, expressing their anguish over the decision to relocate a proposed, prime institute of science and technology (branch of IISC) from Bhubaneswar. A copy of the petition is sent to the Office of Chief Minister Orissa and Sonia Gandhi. Whole communty feel strongly on this betrayal by the Central Government to the cause of Orissa.
Every Odia world wide should fight against this injustice.


NIS Issues : Govt. Of Orissa is Under Pressure


Letter sent from myodisa with 133 signatures

A letter to the prime minister was sent by myodisa (
on the NIS issue. The letter had 133 signatories.

Orissa High Court Issues Summon to both State & Central Govt on NIS Issue


Message from Jual Oram, MP

From: "jual oram"


Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 12:07:33 +0530

Subject: RE: We would like to hear from you more , Debasmita wrote to Mr Oram(Dead Government-Failed Chief Minister)

Dear Sachi babu,

Kindly forward my reply to Shri Debasmita mishra and other friends.

I am shocked that the UPA government is shifting the institution from Orissa that was planned during our NDA government. Thanks to Orissa press that they have brought it to our notice. Besides I must thank to Shri SACHIDANANDA SATPATHY who started an on-line debate on issues related to the development of Orissa. Honorable chief minister has already taken up the issue with the union government and I assure you, we the MPs of Orissa will not remain silent .We will definitely raise this in the coming parliament session. I have some ideas how to develop our home state ORISSA. I would definitely share it with you at appropriate time. However you may have a look to thefollowing stories that had highlighted some of the work when I was in theunion cabinet in the last government .

With kind regards.

Jual oram

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Another laudatory effort by the CM

Increased consciousness on the part of the CM

Perhaps the NIS campaign has made the Orissa government more conscious about higher education and research. The following recent effort by the CM is laudatory.


Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday met the Minister of Orissa (Independent) for Science and Technology and Ocean Development Kapil Sibal and urged him to set up the National Institute for Advanced Materials and Applications (NIMA) for the State which may me located in Bhubaneswar.

He stated that the huge mineral deposits, including atomic minerals (rare earth), concentration of mineral based industries especially in the areas of steel and aluminum, and a robust network of technical institutes in Bhubaneswar such as Institute of Physics, the Institute of Material Sciences, Biju Patnaik University of Technology, OUAT and Utkal University make Bhubaneswar an obvious choice for such an institution.

Chief Minister handed over a copy of the detailed project report which involves a one time capital cost of around Rs 78 crore and recurring expenditure of around Rs 7 crore per annum.
According to the sources said Mr Sibal appreciated the proposal and agreed to start work in that direction in the existing Institute of Material Science at Bhubaneswar.
Mr Patnaik also met the Union Minister of Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Sharad Pawar and congratulated him for the decision to set up a National Fishery Development Board.

Mr Patnaik highlighted the enormous potential of the State in the fishery sector. Since the proposed Board would focus on aquaculture, Bhubaneswar which already hosts the Central Institute for Fresh Water Aquaculture, would be the ideal location for the proposed unit and assured required infrastructure support would be provided from the State Government.

Orissa CM demands RCSIS in state (Pragativadi- 25th Oct)

Orissa CM urged HRD minister to expedite the establishment of RCSIS in Bhubaneswar

Samajwadi Party protest against the transfer of NIS


Hallmarks of IISER

IISER: Flexibility, Inter-disciplinary Approach Hallmarks Of Indian Institute Of Science Education And Research, says NCL Chief Sivaram. more....

Can Orissa miss it ?


What was stolen?

Science Institutes in Kolkata and Pune to cost Rs 500 crore each

New Delhi: The Centre today announced its proposed Science Institutes of international standard, coming up at Kolkata and Pune at a cost of Rs 500 crore each, would commence academic session from 2006-07 ...

Articles in Pioneer and NewIndPress

From these news articles, it seems the subterfuge is continuing.
While IISER is gone ahead, the NIS (referred to as RCSIS --
Regional center of studies in integrated sciences under the NIS framework)
is still being reviewed.

We should continue our protest and not get side-tracked by this subterfuge.

Article in Dharitri on 22nd Oct 2005


The Statesman article is confusing? Is it on purpose?

I am not sure what to make of the article in Statesman today.
See the article below. I have become a bit cynical now. Are they trying some more renaming and trying to placate Orissa with a regional center? We need to continue our protest until an NIS/IISER/IISc is established in Orissa.



Central university in KBK demanded

Statesman News ServiceBHUBANESWAR, 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.

The Union minister also assured to review the matter relating to the establishment of the Regional Centre of Studies in Integrated Sciences under the National Institute of Science framework. It may be noted that the then NDA government had announced establishment of regional centres of National Institute of Sciences at six places across the country including Bhubaneswar. However, the UPA government has recently decided to set up a regional centre of NIS at Kolkata, fuelling speculations that the proposed Bhubaneswar centre would be shifted to Kolkata.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Article in Samaja on 25th Oct 2005


Articles on this in the media

36 people from Phoenix area signed the petition

On Oct 15th thirty six people in Phoenix area signed several letters to Prime minister
Dr. Singh. The letters were mailed to Dr. Singh and copies of it were mailed to
Smt. Sonia Gandhi.

Nov 6 convention details

Dear all,

Please note the following details about the forthcoming convention on NIS.

Venue of the meeting : P.G. Council Hall, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar

Date: 06.10.2005

Time: 3 p.m.-6 p.m.

On behalf of Agamee Orissa

Naveen mentions NIS to Arjun Singh

Perhaps the news about NIS in the following has some causal connection
with the letter writing campaign. We should continue our protest until
NIS becomes a reality.



Central university in KBK demanded

Statesman News ServiceBHUBANESWAR, 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.

The Union minister also assured to review the matter relating to the establishment of the Regional Centre of Studies in Integrated Sciences under the National Institute of Science framework. It may be noted that the then NDA government had announced establishment of regional centres of National Institute of Sciences at six places across the country including Bhubaneswar. However, the UPA government has recently decided to set up a regional centre of NIS at Kolkata, fuelling speculations that the proposed Bhubaneswar centre would be shifted to Kolkata.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


News reports on this in Orissa newspapers

Nov 6th: 1-day convention on this at Utkal University


Dear All,

Thank you very much for the response to the proposed programme of Agamee Odisha on NIS issue. A meeting of a group of people, who support the cause, had sat inbetween to decide about the one day convention. It was unanimously agreed upon that the convention should be organized on 6th November 2005. The reason for this is the assembly would be in progress during that time and the issue coulddraw the attention of legislators.However, we would earnestly request all our members to participate in still higher number more vigorously to make the convention a huge success.

Thank you all

S. M.

Petition on this -- 993 signatures to date


Appeal to fellow Oriyas:

Dear Oriyas:

Perhaps it may have skipped your notice but recently the central government has announced the establishment of 2 Indian Institute of Science (Education and Research)-IISER in Pune and Kolkata. In December 2003, a UGC plan to establish 4 similar institutes at Pune, Bhubaneswar, Allahbad and Chennai were announced by the then Human Resources Development Minister of India. Based on the new announcement by the PM, where nothing was said about Bhubaneswar, it seems that Orissa has been deprived of an Indian Institute of Science. Unlike in the past when we heard rumors about how the first IIT was moved from Orissa to Kharagpur, this time we have *proof* in the Internet where the press announcement as well as UGC's announcement about Bhubaneswar is available even today. In USA this is referred to as daylight highway robbery. The detailed proof and other pointers on this are available under the links part
of this blog.

What is the big deal of having or not having an Indian Institute of Science in Bhubaneswar?

For a short answer one needs to look at Bangalore. Currently the only Indian Institute of Science is in Bangalore and it has had tremendous impact in Bangalore's rise as the hub of hi-tech in India. An institute like an IISc has strategic impact on the region where it is located. Note that Google and Yahoo with several billions of dollars in market capitalization were founded by Stanford University students. These companies employ thousands, all in the vicinity of Stanford. Many such examples of impacts of top notch educational and research institutions on the world as well as the local area abound.

In general, since independence, the central government of India has grossly neglected Orissa with respect to higher education and research institutes. Orissa does not have a central university, an IIT, IIM, or even an autonomous science and technology institution.
(Yes, an announcement for an AIIMS-like institution was made. We are thankful for that. But nothing has happened in the ground. Also, an AIIMS is not a broad higher education institution.) Perhaps because of that Bhubaneswar was initially chosen as one of the sites for an Indian Inst of Science (then referred to as National Institute of Science). In contrast, West Bengal and Maharastra, the two states where the IISERs have been proposed have institutions of national importance such as IITs (Kharagpur and Mumbai), an ISI (Kolkata), an IIM (Kolkata), an AFMC (Pune), a central university (Shanti Niketan) and 3 autonomous science and technology institutions in Kolkata and 3 in Maharastra.

Although one can find some fault with our own state governments (in the present and past), this is not the time for that. This is the time for all Oriyas, whether we are congress supporters, or BJD or BJP, or CPI(M), or CPI or AGP, or JMM, etc., to unitedly oppose the injustice that has happened to us, and let our voices be heard by all of India. The state opposition parties, many of whom are aligned with the central government (such as Congress, CPI and CPI(M) ) need to vehemently protest to their central party members and central ministers about this and the state government needs to do all it can, needs to raise the issues in all possible forums, and not rest until the injustice is undone. A letter or two from the CM is not quite enough, and so far there has not been any report of our MPs in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha doing anything about it.

At the same time, to strengthen our politicians and representatives hands, and perhaps even the PM's hand, who may have been handcuffed by coalition bullies, let us protest in a non-violent and non-harmful way against this injustice. Let us show India how a proper protest is done in a `poor' but educated, thoughtful, and peaceful state. Let us all write letters to the PM, the President, and the Congress president about this. Let us write to all national newspapers (Times of India, Hindustan times, Indian Express, The Hindu, etc.) about this injustice, the inherent problem associated with our democracy where states with more muscle (such as with larger contigent of ruling party or allied MPs) bully the weaker states, so that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and the need for real statesmen (and women) who rise above narrow political partisanship and think about all of India, not just about the states ruled by their party or their coalition partners. If nothing else, please cut this page from the newspaper, sign your name and address, add additional lines of your thought and mail it to the following addresses:

Dr. Manmohan Singh South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi, India-110011. Telephone: 91-11-23012312. Fax: 91-11-23019545 /91-11-23016857. email:

Smt. Sonia Gandhi President: INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS 24, Akbar Road, New Delhi – 110011 , INDIA TEL : 91-11-23019080 FAX : 91-11-23017047 email:

(Since many people may not read this particular newspaper, please also put a copy of this letter in your notice board, school wall, office wall, etc., so others know about this gross injustice and the 21st century version of the Gandhian way to protest about this.)

Please also sign the petition at
(Note: Just signing the petition is not enough has hard copy letters and faxes have a much greater impact.)

We are not begging here. Our state (different governments) has in the past initiated and helped in the establishment of first class institutions like the Xavier Institute of Management and the Institute of Physics. But it can not on its own establish an IIT or an IIM or an IISc or a central university. It just does not have the authority. For that reason, it is outrageous that the center has robbed a `poor' state. The PM and everyone involved in this decision should be ashamed of what they have done and if they have any conscience, revise their decisions immediately. We are happy that Kolkata and Pune will have an IISc, but please do not rob poor Orissa for that. Please do not take away the promise from someone who does not have anything else. Please give us back the IISc that
was announced. Please let our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, stay in Orissa and not move to Bangalore or Kolkata or San Jose, USA, because of lack of opportunities.

Until then we Oriyas should not and will not rest. Let us all promise to keep writing to the PM and Smt. Gandhi (president of the ruling party) until this injustice is undone. Our peaceful nature is not our weakness but our strength and resolve. Like Gandhiji we should promise to show our strength and resolve by protesting, but the right way. No violence. No harm to people, property, or the economy. We do not want any harm to mother India. (i.e., No Rasta Roko, No Rail Roko, etc.) Only letters faxes and emails. Remember, the pen is mightier than the sword.

Hundreds of thousands of letters do have impact. They will haunt the PM until he corrects his mistake. But we can not think that others will do it, I don't need to do it. That way we only end up telling our grandchildren or great grand children that yes there was a
proposal for an IISc in Bhubaneswar but we got cheated. They will be ashamed that we were cowards. That day should never come. Everyone of us needs to take the leadership in this protest and get signatures and addresses from his/her neighbours, friends, and
families and send the letters with our signatures to the PM, President and Smt. Gandhi.


Chitta Baral
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ USA.

(An Oriya who grew up in Bhubaneswar and is disheartened, outraged and has tears in his eyes because of this gross injustice to his mother Orissa.)

Subterfuge adopted to steal an announced National Institute of Sciences (IISER) from Bhubaneswar, Orissa?

Subterfuge adopted to steal an announced National Institute of Sciences from Bhubaneswar, Orissa ?-- non-harmful protest urged against the punishment/reward strategy of the center.


On 9th December 2003, the then HRD minister Professor M. M. Joshi had announced that UGC has established steps to initiate four National Institute of Sciences (NIS) at Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Pune and Allahabad. This is documented in the UGC web document [1] and the press release [2] by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Science & Technology, dated 10th December, 2003. As of today (Oct9' 2005) both are available in the Internet. (Local copies of both have been stored in case the government removes the above links.)

But on September 28, 2005 [3], Prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh announced the setting up of two Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) at Pune and Kolkata, respectively.

The aims of NIS and IISER are the same; so much so that the West Bengal CM referred in [4] to the announced IISER in [3] as NIS. Thus it is evident that Bhubaneswar, Orissa (and Chennai and Allahbad) have been robbed of the announced NIS, and the renaming is used to subterfuge this. This may not be as big a concern to Chennai and Allahbad as they have an IIT and an IIIT respectively, and IIT Kanpur is in the same state as Allahbad. But it is a big loss to Orissa.

Unlike Maharastra and West Bengal, where the IISERs are proposed, Orissa does not have any central university [5], any institution of national importance [6] (such as IITs, ISI, etc.), any reputed centrally funded institute such as an IIM, or any centrally funded IIIT or IIITM. It also does not have an autonomous science and technology institution of the department of science and technology as listed in [7]. In contrast West Bengal has an IIT in Kharagpur, a central University in Shanti Niketan, two additional institutes of national importance in an IIM and an Indian Statistical institute (ISI), and three autonomous science and technology institutions [7], all in Kolkata. Similarly, Maharastra has the Armed Forces Medical College(AFMC) in Pune, an IIT in Mumbai, and three other autonomous science and technology institutions [7]. Pune and Kolkata are wonderful cities and we are happy that they will have IISERs. But Bhubaneswar need not have been robbed for that.

It is ironic that within a day of the PM's announcement of IISER at Pune and Kolkata (i.e., the stealing was subterfugely announced), he also addressed [8] the regional imbalance issue in terms of educational institutions and said "I trust our government as well the state governments will take note of these findings and evolve policies to remedy these regional imbalances."

Dr. Manmohan Singh and anyone else associated with this injustice to Orissa should feel ashamed of themselves for robbing a poor state like Orissa, whose only centrally funded broad educational and research institution would have been this NIS/IISER. (An AIIMS-like institution in Bhubaneswar has been announced but it is not a broad educational and research institution as an IIT, IISc or a central University.) Based on the great impact the only IISc has had on Bangalore, such an institution in Bhubaneswar would have had significant impact on Bhubaneswar and Orissa and it is a gross injustice that a subterfuge was adopted to take this away from Orissa.

Moreover such deceitful change of announced-for venues by a new government, appears to be a punishment to people of states whose government is not allied with the government at the center, as is the case with Orissa and a reward to the states whose government is allied with the center (such as West Bengal). This is detrimental to Indian democracy and unbecoming of statesmen like Dr. Singh and Smt. Gandhi to be part of such a decision.

In light of this a letter writing protest campaign has been initiated, without any response yet. Hundreds if not thousands of letters have been sent to the PM and Smt. Gandhi and more and more letters are being sent everyday. All details of the above injustice to Orissa, the benefits of such an institution that Orissa will now be deprived of, and Bhubaneswar and Orissa's ability to nurture, and past record in nurturing, high quality educational and research institutions are compiled at [9:].

We urge everyone who is outraged by this deceptive stealing of the earlier proposed NIS from Orissa, and the ramification of its cause to the Indian democracy to do whatever they can (without any violence, or disturbance to other citizens or their properties, or to the economy)-- such as write letters, to bring this to the notice of the PM, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, and the press (local as well as national) and urge them to play a role in stopping this robbery and mockery of democracy and to announce the establishment of an NIS/IISER/Indian Institute of Science in Bhubaneswar at the earliest. The addresses of Dr. Singh and Smt. Gandhi are given below.

Dr. Manmohan Singh South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi, India-110011. Telephone: 91-11-23012312. Fax: 91-11-23019545 /91-11-23016857. email:

cc: Smt. Sonia Gandhi President: INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS 24, Akbar Road, New Delhi – 110011 , INDIA TEL : 91-11-23019080 FAX : 91-11-23017047 email:




[4]. last but one paragraph.

[5]. List of central Universities, (NONE in Orissa)

[6]. List of Institute of National Importance from (NONE in Orissa)

[7]. List of autonomous Science and Technology Institutions from (NONE in Orissa)




A case for Bhubaneswar: Why an NIS or IISER should be established in Bhubaneswar


By: Chitta Baral, Arizona State University

India is economically shining as a whole. But it is falling behind in science and technology, especially in research. According to [1], the best Indian university, IISc Bangalore is grouped at 300-400 internationally. The next best, IIT Kharagpur is grouped 400-500 internationally. Within Asia they are grouped 37-65 and 66-93respectively. For a long time India had 5 IITs and one IISc. Since then even though one new IIT has been established at Guwahati and University of Roorkee has been made to an IIT, with large population increase and with India falling behind in Science, there is a need for more IISc (and possibly even IIT) like institutions. Moreover with India's economy doing well now, India can financially afford to create several more IISc like institutions. The Indian government, scientists and academicians all are aware of the above and thus there are plans to create more IISc like institutions. In this context on 9th December 2003, the then HRD minister Professor M. M.Joshi had announced [2,3] that UGC has established steps to initiate four National Institute of Sciences (NIS) at Bhubaneshwar, Chennai,Pune and Allahabad. Recently [4], Prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh announced the setting up of two Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), which are the same in all but nameto the NIS, at Pune and Kolkata, respectively.

Since it is a consensus that India needs more high quality institutions like or better than the existing IISc, one of the important questions that arises is where should these new institutions be established. Two main principles, with some possible tension among them, need to be followed in the determination of locations.

1. For all around growth of India the institutions need to be distributed across the country. (In this regard recently PM Dr.Singh, in [5], addressed the regional imbalance issue in terms ofeducational institutions and said "I trust our government as wellthe state governments will take note of these findings and evolve policies to remedy these regional imbalances.")

2. The institutions need to be located in places where it will have the largest impact and where it will benefit India as a whole the most. (i.e., the biggest bang for the buck.)

Based on the marginal utility principle where the marginal satisfaction of eating a second rosogolla is much less than eating the first rosogolla, it is clear that biggest bang for buck of a newNIS/IISc will be in a location or state which does not have such an institution yet. But among these places the following criteria becomes important:

3. The institution should be located in a place that can nurture it locally, that has the promise to nurture it locally and thatbenefits the local population also, so that the local population has vested interest in supporting such an institution.

Finally, because of the urgency of establishing such institutions, we need to consider the issue of:

4. Whether the location and the local and state government can help in the quick establishment of such an institution?

We will argue here that Bhubaneswar, Orissa satisfies all the above criteria, and if they are all taken into account it comes out in the top among all cities in India.

(1) Currently Orissa does not have a central university [6], an institution of national importance (such as IITs, ISI, etc.) [7], a reputed centrally funded institute such as an IIM, or a centrally funded IIIT or IIITM. It also does not have an autonomous science and technology institution [8] of the department of science and technology.

(2 and 3) We will address the issues 2 and 3 through two points.
(a) Orissa government and the people of Orissa have helped create several top notch institutions in Bhubaneswar, Orissa which do world class research; and (b) An IISc/NIS in Bhubaneswar will tremendously benefit the local population, thus they will have a vested interest in nurturing it.

(a) Orissa government and the people of Orissa have helped create several top notch institutions in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. Notable among them are the Institute of Physics, the Xaviers Institute of Management and the Institute of Life Sciences, all in Bhubaneswar. We now describe these institutes using phrases from their web pages.

The Institute Of Physics, Bhubaneswar is an autonomous research institution funded jointly by the Department Of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Government of Orissa. The Institute was officially established in 1972 by the Government of Orissa [9]. Research at Institute of Physics is top notch by international standards. Its alumni [10] have gone on to many good institutions all over the world. Many of its faculty and students have preferred it over anIIT. Its annual report [11], publication list [12], faculty vita, and alumni biography [10] are testament to the quality of this institution in Bhubaneswar.

The Xaviers Institute of Management [13] owes its origin to a Social Contract between the Government of Orissa and the OJS (Orissa JesuitSociety). It was established in 1987, and ranks among the top business schools in India [14]. This year's Outlook magazine ranks it 8 in the country among various business schools, including theIIMs. It has faculty with Ph.Ds from top business schools such asUniversity of Massachusetts, and Stern School of Business, NYU, NewYork. It also has a fellows program which is equivalent to Ph.Ds.

The Institute of Life Sciences, an initiative by the Govt. ofOrissa, Department of Science and Technology started a decade back. On August 2, 2002 it came under the administrative and financialcontrol of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. It was dedicated to the nation on July 15, 2003 by the Prime Minister ofIndia with a declaration to develop it as “National Centre ofExcellence” engaged in research on various areas of modern biology. The researchers of this institute publish often in international journals [15].

To reiterate, the above three institutions were created by the foresightedness of the Government of Orissa, and are now premier research institutions, albeit with limited focus, but doing world class research and teaching. Besides these three there are several other research institutions in and around Bhubaneswar that do very good and useful research. This includes the Regional Researchlaboratory (RRL) [17] in Bhubaneswar, the Regional medical research center (RMRC) [18] (see page 123 – 125) in Bhubaneswar, the Central Rice research institute (CRRI) [19] in Cuttack , the central institute of fresh water aquaculture (CIFA) [20,21] in Bhubaneswar, and the national institute of rehabilitation training and research[22] in Olatpur. In additions two fledgling institutions, the Institute of Material sciences [23] and the Institute of mathematics and application [24] have been established by the Government of Orissa and are in their beginning stages.

The above illustrates, how Bhubaneswar and Orissa have established and nurtured top notch research and educational institutions. Thus one can extrapolate and conclude that with high probability an NIS/IISER in Bhubaneswar will be very successful and well nurtured. Nevertheless, as we mentioned earlier, it is important that an institution like NIS/IISER should have some significant benefit to the local population, lest the local population feel alienated by it.

(b) In the greater Bhubaneswar area (which includes Puri andCuttack) there are now 2 state funded and 19 private engineering colleges. An NIS/IISER in Bhubaneswar will benefit these institutions as a place where the faculty of the local colleges can pursue higher education (without moving away and thus negatively affecting their parent institutions), the local colleges can recruit high quality faculty from among the NIS/IISER graduates, and the students of the local colleges can pursue summer research and training at the NIS/IISER. Besides Bhubaneswar and its vicinity have a large range of industries with many more industries set to come. This includes metal based industries such as NALCO and the Kalinganagar complex to software companies such as Infosys and Satyam, and planned operations of TCS, and Wipro. There will be significant synergy between these industries and the proposed NIS/IISER in terms of joint research, students of NIS/IISER pursuing practical training at the industries, and employees of the industries pursuing higher degree at the NIS/IISER. In addition Orissa has two STPs (at Bhubaneswar, Rourkela), and one more STP inBerhampur in the making, which will provide opportunities to the graduates of the NIS/IISER to incubate start-up companies. Thus, with great benefit potential of an NIS/IISER to the local population and the benefit to the NIS/IISER from existing infrastructure, Bhubaneswar is an ideal place for establishing anNIS/IISER.

Now moving on to the final point, because of the urgency anNIS/IISER can be immediately started in Bhubaneswar by using some of its existing infrastructure.

(4) In particular, the Institute of Physics and the Institute ofLife Sciences can be the starting point of an NIS/IISER. The picturesque Institute of Physics campus can be used to start anNIS/IISER right away. As mentioned earlier, Bhubaneswar also has the beginning of an Institute of Material Science, and an Institute ofMathematics and Applications, which may be folded into an NIS/IISER. If an NIS/IISER is started in Bhubaneswar, the Institute of Physics and Institute of Life Sciences faculty can form the initial corefaculty and teach the first classes until the institute hires additional faculty. The researchers at Regional medical research center, and Regional research laboratory can also chip in.

Conclusion: In summary, Bhubaneswar is the best in the country with respect to the various criteria necessary for the next location of an NIS/IISER. It is clear that for that reason, in December 2003,the then HRD minister Professor M. M. Joshi had announced [2,3] that UGC has established steps to initiate one of the four National Institute of Sciences at Bhubaneswar. Unfortunately, for some reason the recent announcements for IISER did not include Bhubaneswar. Although this injustice needs to be corrected for many other reasons, by its own merit, as we elaborated in this article,Bhubaneswar, Orissa deserves an NIS/IISER immediately and we sincerely hope the central government will agree with us and pursue this at the earliest.

Postscript: All or most of the above arguments also hold for establishing a new IIT in Orissa. But since that does not seem to be in cards at this time, we do not elaborate on it. Also, in our arguments we have focused on the key issues and do not mention many other synergies such as the existence of other fine universities(Utkal University, and Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology) in the Bhubaneswar area.






[6]. List of central Universities (NONE in Orissa)

[7]. List of Institute of National Importance
(NONE in Orissa)

[8]. List of autonomous Science and Technology Institutions
(NONE in Orissa)

















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