Sunday, October 30, 2005
IISER has sufficient reasons to be in Orissa
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