Sunday, October 30, 2005


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.
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