Monday, January 02, 2006
Hindustan Times on Nov 29: Arjun on detox drive, cries Orissa
Bhubaneswar, November 29
The HRD ministry's move to shift a proposed science institute out of Orissa has left the state government crying foul. The NDA government says the state is at the receiving end of Arjun Singh's "detoxification drive".
In 2003, the UGC had announced the setting up of a National Institute of Science (NISc) in Bhubaneswar. It had described the institute as one with "an emphasis on getting the best minds for research and development". But now, the ministry has submitted an affidavit in the high court saying the UGC has no authority under the UGC act to set up such an institute. The affidavit also said "The scientific Advisory Council to the PM this year recommended the creation of new institutions to be called Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and the center has decided to locate them in Pune and Kolkata." That got the state government all worked up.
How can the center move such a prestigeous institute out of Orissa to more "politically right" states like Bengal and Maharashtra, asked government sources. Tourism minister Suryanarayan Patro, the man who got the land allotted for NIsc, told HT: "The ministry's action is unacceptable. It's part of their detox process which discriminates against some states due to certain inexplicable reasons."
While announcing the decision to set up the science institute, then UGC chairman Dr Arun Negavekar had written to the utkal University vice-chancellor saying the "Comission has decided to establish four NISc centers (at Bhubaneswar, Pune, Allahbad and Chennai) for studies in Integrative sciences... These centers will have a budget of Rs 50 crore spread over five years ..." He'd also written that the NIScs would be established as autonomous institutes under the UGC Act. But after the UPA government came to power, the ministry said the NISc couldn't be set up. Chief minister Naveen patnaik had even met Arjun Singh, asking him to reconsider his decision.
* In 2003, UGC announed setting up of National Institute of Science (NISc) in Bhubaneswar
* Three similar institutes were announced in Pune, Allahbad and Chennai too.
* But after the UPA govt came to power, HRD ministry said it couldn't come up in Orissa as UGC didn't have authority to set up such an institute.
* CM Naveen Patnaik met HRD minister Arjun Singh to ask him to reconsider, state govt (sic) even filed PIL in HC against decision.
* But Arjun not willing to relent.