Saturday, October 29, 2005
A short press release
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 http://iiser.blogspot.com/
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.