Sunday, October 23, 2005
Subterfuge adopted to steal an announced National Institute of Sciences (IISER) from Bhubaneswar, Orissa?
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  and the press release  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 , 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  to the announced IISER in  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 , any institution of national importance  (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 . 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 , 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 . 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  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: http://www.orissalinks.com].
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: http://pmindia.nic.in/write.htm
cc: Smt. Sonia Gandhi President: INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS 24, Akbar Road, New Delhi – 110011 , INDIA TEL : 91-11-23019080 FAX : 91-11-23017047 email: email@example.com
. http://www.telegraphindia.com/1051004/asp/bengal/story_5317968.asp last but one paragraph.
. List of central Universities http://www.ugc.ac.in/inside/utype.php?st=Central%20University, http://www.education.nic.in/htmlweb/autbod.htm (NONE in Orissa)
. List of Institute of National Importance from http://www.ugc.ac.in/inside/utype.php?st=Institute%20of%20National%20Importance (NONE in Orissa)
. List of autonomous Science and Technology Institutions from http://dst.gov.in/autonomous/autonomous_index.htm (NONE in Orissa)