Monday, November 28, 2005
On central government's affidavit
1. The press release of the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Science & Technology at
"... The meeting was also informed of the steps initiated to improve the quality of teaching and research. It was informed that at post-graduate level a credit-based, modular approach is being introduced. UGC has recently upgraded monetary support at individual, group and department levels and has opened for colleges such incentive schemes as were earlier confined to universities. While five universities were identified this year, with potential for excellence, viz. Chennai, Hyderabad, Jadhavpur, Pune and Jawaharlal Nehru Open University, five more universities will be identified next year to promote excellence among universities especially in matters of research. Four national-level institutes are also being established at Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Pune and Allahabad. ..."
2. Similarly the following UGC document from the UGC site
"... Dr. Joshi also informed the members about the steps initiated by the UGC for improving the relevance and quality of teaching and research, such as introduction of utility-oriented programmes along with the traditional degree; identifying the universities with potential for excellence; to establish four National Institutes of Sciences at Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Pune and Allahabad; monitoring the universities using parameters for academic performance, research performance and governance and providing incentives to universities and colleges scoring high on these parameters. ..."
3. When we extract the relevant sentence from (1) above we have:
Four national-level institutes are also being established at Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Pune and Allahabad.
4. When we extract the relevant phrase from (2) above we have:
Dr. Joshi also informed the members about
the steps initiated by the UGC to establish four National Institutes of Sciences at Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Pune and Allahabad.
Starting with the above statements attributed to the HRD minister of the previous government and the decision of establishment of IISERs at Pune and Kolkata by the current government, one can draw their own conclusions.
I am not a lawyer and am not privy to the exact documents of the government other than the above mentioned links in government's own web pages. But it is clear from the above documents that "steps initiated to establish four National Institutes of Sciences at Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Pune and Allahabad" changed to the decision of establishment of IISERs (which are basically NIS renamed) at Pune and Kolkata by the current government. This may or may not be a legal violation by the government (that the courts can sort out) but considering that Orissa does not have any institution of national importance (such as IIT, ISI, etc.), central universities and not even autonomous science and technology institutions, by not having Bhubaneswar in the list of IISERs and having Kolkata (a fine city) there
(West Bengal already has institutions of national importance such as an IIT, IIM, ISI, a central university and 2 autonomous science and technology institutions) this government has further widened the disparity and imbalance in top quality higher education opportunities and access. On what basis can the government, the SAC-PM and the planning commission justify this?