Sunday, January 08, 2006
pointers by Prof. Chitta Baral
Third IISER to be set up at Chandigarh
New Delhi January 07, 2006 9:06:26 PM IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday approved the setting up of the third Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in the country.
Following the earlier announcement of setting up two such institutes in Pune and Kolkata, Dr. Singh today gave the go-ahead for another IISER which would be set up near Chandigarh in Punjab.
The decision was taken in the wake of United Progressive Alliance government's initiative for furthering science education in the country.
The UPA coalition had earlier announced that while Indians were already making their mark in the scientific domain all over the world, it was necessary to further strengthen this thrust.
One of the concrete steps taken in this regard by the government has been the decision to set up IISER.
These Institutes would be aimed at actively forge strong relationships with existing universities and colleges in their neighbourhood, and share faculty, resources and infrastructure to give a definite push to the endeavour of science education.
It is envisaged that these institutes would strive for global level excellence in state of the art research.
All three IISER, to be set up in Chandigarh, Kolkata and Pune, will integrate under-graduate education, post-graduate education and research under the same umbrella.
One of the important goals of creating these institutes was to make education and career in basic sciences more attractive by providing opportunities in integrated teaching and learning of sciences and break the barriers of traditional disciplines.
The setting up of these Institutes is a culmination of a long-standing desire of the scientific community in India to set up high caliber institutes in which science teaching and education would be totally integrated with the state-of-the-art research. These Institutes would be set up with an approximate cost of Rs.500 crores each.
Many experts have expressed concern about the state of education and research in basic and natural science in the country. In spite of the fact that scientific establishments in space, nuclear and defence areas have come up in the past few years, the quality of science education has deteriorated considerably. Deliberating on all these issues in detail, the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister headed by Prof. C.N.R. Rao had strongly recommended establishing these Institutes.
For the Institute at Kolkata, 200 acres of land have been provided by the Government of West Bengal at Kalyani. Similarly, for the Institute at Pune, the National Chemical Laboratories, Pune provide 100 acres of land within its premises.
The IISER shall have programme of study in various inter-disciplinary areas of biological sciences, mathematical and computer sciences, physical sciences, chemical sciences, life sciences and material sciences. Each Institute is expected to have about 2000 students in integrated master programme, doctoral programme and post-doctoral programme.
The entrance to these programmes will be through a competitive examination at all-India level. There would be about 200 faculty members in each of these Institutes across disciplines. The academic session will commence from the year 2006-07 in a temporary location.
On the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Human Resource Development had also constituted two Implementation Committees - one at Kolkata and another one at Pune.
The Committee at Kolkata is headed by Professor Bikash Sinha, Director, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics and the Committee at Pune is headed by Dr. S. Sivaram, Director, National Chemical Laboratories, Pune.
It may be mentioned that at present the only Science Institute in the country is the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, which is fully funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
This Institute, however, does not have an under-graduate stream and it caters to only post-graduate education and research. (ANI)
Comments: Thanks to the democracy of our country! We have to understand that our honorable prime minister has a unique way to show his response to the demand of millions of people of a state (Orissa)!
The sentence told by honorable minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee
".....As such, the UGC’s proposal to establish four Centres for Studies in Integrated Sciences under Sections 12 (ccc) or under 12(j) of the UGC Act at Allahabad, Bhubaneswar, Chennai and Pune could not materialize...."
is now very clear. Simply, UPA Govt. pulled back these institutes and wanted to setup IISERs (the same institutes, changing the name) in the states of its political allies. Certainly, Prof. Mukherjee lies before the members of parliament and the affidavit submitted to the high court is another example of hopeless bureaucracy.
One illusive remark always made in this connection that “the chairperson of SAC decided IISERs cities”. It is false. He recommends the setting up NIS/IISER not the cities.
If our prime minister dreaming to achieve some thing great and making India super power then, he is wrong. This is quite dishonest way of achieving it.
We have to wait and watch, we are the citizen of one of the biggest democracy!!
Chitta's comments: I don't like the closed way such decisions are made. But Punjab was one of the states with no IITs, IIMs etc. So this decision is a positive one in terms of reducing HRD inequity across states. I hope the PM makes a similar announcement with respect to Orissa. If he does not, then perhaps what Manoj's says is right.