Tuesday, November 01, 2005
A letter to the Indian planning comission members from an Indian origin professor in the US
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Date: Nov 1, 2005 11:48 AM
Subject: A letter to the Indian planning comission members from an Indian origin professor in the US
To: Esteemed Planning Comission Members of India
cc: PM, Smt. Gandhi, Members of the SAC-PM, Prof. Prabhat Patnaik, CM of Orissa, Chairman AICTE, various journalists and news media (in Orissa, India, and international), and various Oriyas.
I would like to bring to your notice the following article from Telegraph
which says that "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." It refers to the National Institute of Sciences which was originally planned for Bhubaneswar, Pune, Chennai and Allahabad and was later renamed to IISER.
Dear Sirs: I wonder if you considered the distribution of central universities, and institute of national importances (IITs, IIMs, ISIs etc.) across India? Many states have multiples of them while states like Orissa, Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh etc. have none. They happen to be backward in many indices. Please see http://iiser.blogspot.com/2005/10/unequal-distribution-of-higher.html for the distribution.
Do you think this is fair?
Do you think some states should have many of them while others have none, even though they (such as Orissa) have shown that they can nurture good institutions?
Do you think the way to improve backward states is to take away planned 500 cr higher education institutions from them?
Dear Sirs: It is a gross injustice that you took the dream (of NIS/IISER) away from the people of Orissa, which does not have a single central university, IIT, IIM, IISc, etc. and yet has on its own initiated the development of quality institutions such as Inst of Physics, Inst of Life Sciences and Xaviers Institute of Management.
Dear Sirs: You are supposed to watch out and plan for all of India; especially, since in India (unlike the US where each state has 2 sentaors) larger states have more MPs thus more power and smaller states have less power. With due respect, by approving the removal of Bhubaneswar from the list of IISERs, you have not done your job appropriately and have done grave injustice to Orissa, and perhaps to the fabric of India.
We sincerely hope you will make appropriate amends at the earliest, and if the political leadership (which so far has not considered it appropriate to reply to hundereds if not thousands of letters and emails sent to them over the last month) does not allow you to correct the injustice then you should consult your conscience about what to do. Please see http://www.iiser.blogspot.com about the details of your injustice and some thoughts on how to amend it.
B.Tech, IIT Kharagpur, Ph.D University of Maryland
(author of a 550+ page book published by the Cambridge University Press, area editor of an ACM journal etc.)
Department of Computer Science & Engg
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ 85287