Sunday, November 06, 2005
People’s Convention demands establishment of National Institute of Science in Orissa: minutes of the meeting on Nov 6th at Utkal university
The objective of the convention was to demand for the establishment of NIS in line with the announcement on 9th December 2003 by the then HRD minister Dr. M. M. Joshi to establish four National Institutes of Sciences (NIS) at Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Pune and Allahabad. As a part of this initiative and by the directives of the UGC, Orissa State Government in association with Utkal University, had even allotted land for this Rs. 500 cr. project. However, quite contrary to these steps and declarations by the centre, recently on September 28, 2005, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh has announced the setting up of Indian Institutes of Science for Education and Research (IISERs) at Pune and Kolkata, respectively. The aim of the National Institute of Sciences, that Dr. Joshi had announced in the past, is the same as the currently proposed IISERs. Particiapants in the convention unanimously felt that this was an unfortunate incident and a grave injustice to the state of Orissa.
The convention had a participation of more than 150 participants mainly comprising of the academicians, intelligentsia, activists, students & student leaders, political representatives, ex-bureaucrats and so on. Padmashree Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanaik presided over the meeting and it was coordinated by Dr. S.K.Tripathy (Secretary, Utkal University Teachers Association). Other dignitaries on the dais were Padmabhusan Dr. Trilochan Pradhan (Ex Vice Chancellor, Utkal University & Ex-Director, Institute of Physics), Mr. Sahadev Sahu (Ex-Chief Secretary, Govt. of Orissa), Mr. D.N.Roy (Ex- DG, Income Tax), Mr. Abasara Beuria (Ex-Ambassador), Prof. Sachidananda Tripathy (P.G.Council Chairman & Syndicate Member, Utkal University).
The meeting started with a welcome note by Dr.S.K.Tripathy. Mr. Sudarshan Das talked about the objective of Agamee Odisha. Ms. Supriti Mishra presented the facts about the establishment of NIS and proposed a future plan of action for comments and suggestions from the House. Some of the participants who placed their views on the issue were – Prof. G.B.N. Chainy (Utkal University), Prof. Ashok Pattanaik (Utkal University), Mr. Priyadarshi Mishra (Secretary, BJD), Mr. Ranjan Mohanty (Social Activist), Ms. Kasturi Mohapatra (Social Activist), Mr. Lalit Mishra (Social Acivist), Ms. Namrata Chadha (Member, Women’s Commission), Prof. Dhanada Mishra (Principal, JITM), Mr. P.P.Sahu (Student Leader), Mr. Chinmaya Jena (Student Leader), Mr. Ramakrushna Panda (All India President, AISF), Mr.Biswanatha Gouda (NRO), etc.
The following decisions were taken in the convention:
1. Organizing a students’ convention on 20th Nov. 2005.
2. Lobbying the MLAs, irrespective of their party affiliation, to press upon a common resolution for setting up of the NIS in Orissa in the coming winter assembly session.
3. Lobbying the M.P.s to raise the issue in the ensuing winter Parliament session.
4. Submitting a memorandum to the Hon’ble Prime Minister on the issue in a delegation from Orissa.
5. Organizing a peaceful rally of the senior citizens to the Governor’s House and submitting a memorandum on the issue.
6. Postcard signature campaign on the issue (people can also send postcards with their signatures individually).
In addition, two committees were also constituted. The first one is a technical committee under the chairmanship of Prof. Trilochan Pradhan with Prof. G.B.N. Chainy as the convener, and Prof. Dhanada Mishra and Dr. D.K.Roy as members. The second one is a steering committee, under the chairmanship of Padmashree D.P.Pattanaik and 25 other members.