Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Kiran Karnik's reaction to our efforts

From: "Kiran Karnik (NASSCOM)" <kkarnik@nasscom.in>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2006 17:02:51 +0530
Subject: RE: (Boycott Congress-Save Orissa) HRD Discrepancy and Orissa's Backwardness are linked finds Prof Chitta Baral
To: Sachi Satapathy <sachisatpathy@gmail.com>

Dear Sachi,

As a believer in the power of technology to be used for good, I
am impressed by the campaign that you have triggered via e mail. However, as a sympathizer of the aspirations of the disadvantaged, I must say I have concerns. I quite understand the dismay with what is seen as a "shifting" of the IISER from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata; however, isn't primary education of greater concern, especially in a state like Orissa? If so, isn't this an area in which the State govt has greater responsibility than the centre? Every state can find some statistic to "prove" that the Centre is
"neglecting" it. The fact is that the key factor for development is the
quality of governance, especially at the local level. Orissa is a state
blessed with ample resources. If others are exploiting its natural
resources, the answer does not lie in "Central neglect" nor in economic
blockades (as some doubtless well-meaning folks have suggested; such
movements do nothing for the poor, except bring more hardship).

Certainly, pressure on the Centre is part of the political
process. However, the focus on an IISER is really playing to the gallery. I
wonder if an IIT in Guwahati has helped to suddenly transform Assam, or
whether the celebrated IIT at Kanpur has given a boost to the development of UP? In the heyday of the PSU, huge Central investments were made in
"backward" States (HEC in Ranchi and the steel plants in Rourkela and Bhilai are examples). Have they brought prosperity (even employment) to the local people? I do think we have to look at other solutions than Central largesse.

One can go on. For every argument, for every statistic, there
will be one that counters it. Constructive solutions are required: a
movement to educate not a movement to disrupt. It is better to light a
candle than to curse the darkness, I feel.

As a well-wisher of Orissa, I do hope that this campaign, which
seems to have galvanized many, will come up with positive ideas and use the energy and passion which it reflects for the rapid development of the

My mail box has been flooded with mails on this topic. I would,
therefore, request you to kindly take my name off the mailing list. I will
find other ways of keeping in touch with this issue.
With regards,
Kiran Karnik

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