Wednesday, December 28, 2005
By Deepak Kumar Rath
Since the formation of the UPA government, Orissa has always been facing bottlenecks on every front while raising any demand for the development of the state from the Congress-led government at the Centre. Instead of starting any new project for the state, the Centre appears to be intentionally dumping the already declared projects by the NDA rule one after another.
First, the UPA government decided to stop the vast project of starting a branch of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the state. Although the state government had provided land for the medical institute, the Central health minister maintained a studied silence over the further development of the project. It is to be noted that the state has a very poor health care system and has only three old medical colleges, which are totally insufficient to cater to the large number of patients. If any private institute plans to open any medical college and hospital in the state, the Centre appears to be reluctant in giving permission despite state government’s positive attitude. Recently, Dr Prasanna Patsani, MP, Bhubaneswar, raised the issue in Parliament that if the UPA government does not want to work on the dream project of the previous NDA government for starting AIIMS’ branch in Bhubaneswar, it should at least grant permission to the private institutes to start medical colleges in the state.
The state’s sorry-state-of-affair does not end here. During the NDA regime, the National Institute of Science (NIS) was announced to be set up in Bhubaneswar. On April 9, 2003, the UGC had taken a decision to establish four centres for studies in integrated sciences at Allahabad, Bhubaneswar, Chennai and Pune. Some work had started in this regard. But after the change of government at the Centre, nothing has been done in this matter and the UPA government is playing with the sentiments of the people of the state. The Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, in its meeting held on March 4, 2005, recommended creation of two new institutes devoted to science education and research at Pune and Kolkata. The UPA government taking some flimsy pleas recommended setting-up of two institutes at Pune and Kolkata. This was an injustice towards Orissa to shift the NIS from Bhubaneswar to any other state. Therefore, a large number of demonstrations by different political outfits, students and social organisations were carried out in the state capital. During the last monsoon session of Parliament, Member of the Rajya Sabha from Orissa, Shri Rudra Narayan Pani raised the issue in Parliament. In the current winter session, all the state MPs of both from the BJP and BJD raised the issue in the Lok Sabha. Recently, all the MPs from Orissa and all the organisitations fighting for the cause of Orissa organised an agitation in front of Parliament under the leadership of former HRD Minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi. Orissa BJP President Shri Jual Oram, BJP Yuva Morcha National President Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Rajya Sabha Member Shri Rudra Narayan Pani, student leader Shri Jatin Mahanty and others participated in the agitation and vowed to restart the NIS in Bhubaneswar.