Friday, November 25, 2005
House to knock on PM door over NIS : Times of India (Bhubaneswar edition) on November 24th
Times News Network
Bhubaneswar: The Orissa Assembly on Wednesday decided to send a House committee to the prime minister to press for the National Institute of Science (NIS).
The UPA government had decided to shift the proposed institute to
Kolkata from the state capital. The House took the decision in response to a proposal by the higher education minister Samir Dey.
Dey through a call attention motion, placed the present status of the Rs 50 crore project mooted in 2002 during the NDA government. The project was scheduled to be implemented in five years under the Utkal University. The Centre’s decision was communicated to the
vice-chancellor of the university by the UGC chairman in a letter dated July 23, 2003.
The NIS (Bhubaneswar) was one of the four such centres proposed in the country to boost higher studies in pure science as a part of long term strategy to fill the vacuum in research in fields of science, particularly in nuclear energy, space technology and bio-technology. The three other centres were proposed for Chennai, Pune and Allahabad.
The state government had identified 75 acres of land on the outskirts of the city and intimated the UGC on December 12, 2003 on the matter. Dey said the departmental secretary was later sent to New Delhi to hold talks with the UGC.
The fate of the project however, took a turn after the UPA government in August decided to set up the project in Kolkata.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has since then written three letters to the PM. A PIL has been filed in the Orissa high court challenging the Centre’s decision to shift the project. The court has ordered an interim stay on the shifting of the project and directed to furnish detail information.
The NIS issue has also caught minds of thousands of Oriyas, settled in various states and even abroad, who have launched a campaign to elicit public opinion for putting a pressure on the Centre to change the decision.
Dey said an institution like NIS was necessary for Orissa as it had no major educational institutions like Indian Institute of Technology or Indian Institute of Management.