Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Bhubaneswar: Lamenting the lack of any central institute of repute in the State, intellectuals from various walks of life have launched a campaign demanding the establishment of National Institute of Science (NIS) that was first proposed but later cancelled.
Agami Odisha, a non-governmental organization, and the Utkal University Teachers Association jointly organised a convention at the PG Council Hall at Vani Vihar on Sunday to chalk out next course of action. Over a 100 eminent people declared that the convention is the beginning of a movement for establishment of the institute.
”We will stage rallies, demonstrations, hunger strike and other non-violent form of protests to press our demand,” said eminent linguist Devi Prasanna Patnaik who presided over the convention.
The participanrts said the State neither has any central university nor any institute of national repute like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) or Indian Institute of Science (IISc). It also does not have any reputed autonomous science and technology institution funded by the Union Government. The campaigners felt that the State has often been a victim of negligible educational investment from the centre.
Apart from politicians, academicians, students and representatives of the civil society groups have also launched their campaign organising meetings, sending letters to the Prime Minister and President and posting messages on websites.
Several organisations of non-resident Odias are also protesting by launching a website www.baral.us/orissa.html in US on the issue.
Similarly over 2000 Odias have signed an online petition to press their demand at www.petitiononline.com, a site that provides free hosting of public petitions for responsible public advocacy.
Then HRD minister Murli Manohar Joshi had announced the setting up of four national institutes of Sciences (NIS) at Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Pune and Allahabad in December 2003. The state government had even identified 75 acres of land near Ghatikia village, on the outskirts of the Capital City for the proposed institution.
However, on September 28, 2005, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the setting up of Indian Institutes of Sciences for Education and Research (IISERs) in Pune and Kolkata. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has also written a letter to the Centre expressing his displeasure.