Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Moving on to the next stage
With the formal announcement of NISER (in Bhubaneswar) by the Prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, our objective of correcting the above-mentioned injustice has been somewhat "achieved". Thus we will freeze this blog temporarily. (Hopefully NISER will be established as announced and progress in the way it was announced and we won't have to come back to this blog ever.)
At the time of freezing the contributors of this blog were:
Our next goal is to make sure that, as announced by the PM, NISER Bhubaneswar is indeed at par with IISERs. Thus we will keep a close watch on the progress of the IIISERs and NISER Bhubaneswar. We will do that in the new blog http://niser-bbsr.blogspot.com.
In closing I would like to thank all those individuals and groups who supported this cause and the PM for doing what he should have done a year back.
Monday, August 28, 2006
|PM ANNOUNCES SETTING UP OF NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH AT BHUBANESWAR |
| ||18:37 IST|
Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s speech on the occasion:
“I am truly delighted to be here in Bhubaneshwar today at the Institute of Physics. I have great affection and regard for the people of Orissa whose contribution to the history, culture and economy of our nation are second to none. I am particularly delighted that my first visit to this State is associated with the announcement of the establishment of the National Institute of Science Education and Research. This is the fulfillment of a promise to the people of Orissa. Our Government is genuinely committed to the development of Orissa and to the educational empowerment of the people of Orissa. The National Institute of Science Education and Research will be a symbol of that commitment.
I share the concern being expressed by many of our scientists that our best minds are not turning to science, and those who do, do not remain in science. I am told that less than 3% of school children want to pursue a career in science. We must find ways of making these disciplines more attractive to children. We have to improve the quality of teaching of science and mathematics at the school level. Countries like China and South Korea are far ahead of us in investing in science and technology. We need to do much more in this vital area if we have to keep pace with the evolving global economy of the future.
We have to take urgent steps to prevent scientifically talented persons from moving away from careers in scientific research and development. This is happening at the 10+2 level and at the B.Tech. level. Most of our universities are performing sub-optimally. They lack good infrastructure and suffer from acute faculty shortage. There is not enough interaction between our academia and industry. Many technologies developed for our rural areas have not been delivered properly. We will need to address these on a war footing.
I am also concerned about the regional imbalance in science teaching and the development of science and technology in India. There was a time when the East was at the forefront. Today the East is lagging behind the South and the West. We need to redress this regional imbalance. It is to meet these challenges that we will be setting up the National Institute of Science Education and Research in Bhubaneswar.
As India moves up the technology ladder and improves its relative competitive status in the global domain, the need for capable innovative scientists will increase. Our higher education programs should empower young science students to engage not only in advanced research but also in domains which facilitate translation of research results into development of new technologies and their commercial deployment. This requires acquisition of necessary experimental skills and familiarity with the realities of practical world.
There is a strong synergy between research and higher education. Co-existence of both leads to higher excellence in both. It provides opportunities for students to be exposed to excitements in scientific research and benefit from teachers who are themselves engaged in expanding the horizons of knowledge. Such participation in teaching also benefits researchers by way of greater clarity of thought and availability of students to broaden support to research activity.
The National Institute of Science Education and Research will facilitate this synergy between research and higher education. The major strength of Institute of Physics is a strong emphasis on the quality of the faculty and its present pre-doctoral and doctoral programs are among the best in the country. The faculty is composed of all world-renowned scientists who are also established teachers. Association with the Institute of Physics will enable the National Institute of Science Education and Research to draw upon this outstanding tradition and expand it further to cater to a much larger pool of science students. NISER will be at par with the IISER being established in other places but will operate under the umbrella of DAE. It will undertake integrated 5-year Masters courses in core and emerging branches of science to provide world-class education to students after the 10+2 stage. It can also include an integrated M.Sc.–Ph.D. after graduation level.
The emphasis of education at NISER will be to generate scientific trained manpower of a very high quality which could directly find placement across the country. Greater emphasis will be on branches of science relevant to the Department of Atomic Energy and also catering to the better exploitation and utilization of Orissa’s regional natural resources. Orissa’s mineral and marine resources will be taken into consideration in designing training programs of students here.
While working within the DAE family and awarding degrees under the Homi Bhabha National Institute [HBNI], which is already a Deemed University for post-graduate studies, NISER will be an institute at par with the best in the country in terms of facilities and faculty. It will have a research to teaching load as practiced in the best universities in the world. This will ensure world class education and also attract the best researchers. It will have world-class experimental facilities in all the current and emerging branches of science including physics, chemistry, modern biology and environmental sciences. We will provide enough resources to DAE to convert this into reality within a very short time frame.
In order to attract bright young students to this integrated course, it is proposed to make the course challenging on a world-class level, give reasonable stipend to the students and also allow them time for research activities even during their student days. There will be campus interviews and placements at both research centers and in industry in order to make the course more attractive to the students in the present competitive environment of market forces which drives them to IT-related jobs.
I am told that this project will be quickly completed in two phases. In Phase-I, additional courses will be started immediately in 3 or 4 selected subjects like physics, mathematics, chemistry and biology with existing faculty and new faculty. In Phase-II, 200 acres of land will be acquired around Bhubaneswar and activities expanded on a larger scale. When completed, I am confident that the National Institute of Science Education and Research will become a Mecca for science just as TIFR and IISc are today.
With our recent unprecedented economic growth, I am optimistic that India will become a ‘developed country’ in the not too distant future. In this process, Science & Technology will continue to play a major role. Since independence, there has been a great deal of progress in our S&T system. This is evident from the success of the mission-oriented S&T agencies, like the family of DAE institutions, that have made our nation proud.
However, I am aware that we must increase our expenditure on Science & Technology. India’s expenditure on S&T is about 1% of our GDP. This is half of what developed countries are devoting to S & T. The Government is committed to increasing R&D funding. For the last few years, we have been allocating larger budgets for R&D. For example, last year, we increased it by 20%. We shall strive to reach the target of 2% in the 11th Plan. But I also expect the private sector to do more in this area. We also need more public- private partnership in R&D in all areas of S&T.
One way of making careers in science and technology attractive would be to improve remuneration and ensure the integrity of selection processes. It is well known that the initial starting salary for scientists with a PhD in India is often lower than those of Engineers, Doctors and Management graduates. It is obvious that if talented young people are to be retained in science, scientists have to be treated differently than other Government employees in service and salary matters.
The Government will be happy to provide career support for students talented in science for a reasonable period, including into their initial employment years, to attract such students to scientific research. There is also a need to develop a more productive interface between the National Laboratories and the University system. Proximate national laboratories could supplement the faculty both for undergraduate and post-graduate courses in universities and colleges. Private sector enterprises should also be able to create centres for their product innovation and development in proximate national laboratories and universities.
I would like to reaffirm our my commitment to the growth and modernization of Indian science and technology institutions. The establishment of the National Institute of Science Education and Research in Bhubaneswar is one more symbol of this commitment. I hope this institution will emerge as a center of creative teaching and research and contribute to our national development. Orissa has produced many great scientists of India such as Jogesh Chandra Pati. I hope this institution will produce many more in the years to come. I wish you all the best in all your endeavours.”
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
PM’s programme includes foundation stone laying for the NIS in Bhubaneswar : It Looks Like Finally NIS would be In Bhubaneswar
Interestingly, the PM’s programme includes foundation stone laying for the NIS in Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar:23/August/2006The politics over the tribal KBK is hotting up! After whirlwind tour of Naveen Patnaik to the KBK region last week, the Congress has planned to put Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against the Orissa Chief Minister. The Prime Minister is on his way for a two-day tour to Orissa on August 28. The PM would spend a full day in KBK region, obviously to upset Naveen’s apple cart. The PM’s Orissa tour was finalized after some hours after Naveen making anti-Centre statements at a party meeting here on August 23. Earlier on the day, Naveen had told his party men that the Centre’s anti-Orissa stand would be main plank in the ensuing three-tire panchayati raj elections in the state. Naveen mentioned the issues like shifting of National Institute of Science(NIS) from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata and KBK as the weapons against the UPA government and also the Congress. He urged the party men to take the messages to villages and apprise the people that the Congress led UPA Government are against the people of Orissa. Interestingly, the PM’s programme includes foundation stone laying for the NIS in Bhubaneswar. “In this way the UPA Government would prove that Naveen has been misleading the people on several issues,” said a senior Congress leaders adding that when the PM himself will lay the foundation stone, how the Centre can betray hopes of Orissa people. This apart, the PM during his tour to KBK will also prove that Naveen is also wrong so far as the Revised Long Term Action Plan (RLTAP) for the KBK region is concerned. Naveen has been taking a lot of political mileage by announcing the Biju KBK Plan for the tribal districts. The Orissa CM has also announced that the State Government had no alternative than announcing the Rs 600 crore new package for the KBK as the UPA Government has “Betrayed” the people of KBK region. During his tour, the PM is expected to announce some thing “Big” for the KBK region in order to ensure that Naveen fails to take political mileage from the issue, said a senior political observer. Besides, the Congress leaders also hope that to counter Naveen’s much-hyped Gopabandhu Gramin Yojana for 11 coastal districts, the PM may announce lucrative package for the flood affected people in this region, expects Congress leaders. The PM’s tour is expected to generate much heat in coming days, so far politics is concerned.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Posted online: Thursday, August 17, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email
PUNE, AUGUST 16:Nearly a decade ago, the number of papers published by Indian scientists in international journals used to be close to 11,000, while Chinese scientists could manage only 10,000. But last year, while Indian scientists published over 19,000 papers their Chinese counterparts managed a whopping 50,000 papers.
‘‘Leave aside Europe and the US, look at the huge investments made by countries like China, Korea, Taiwan and even Singapore in the field of education. Our investment figures cannot be compared with them. To address this issue, I made a presentation — Some Statistics and Some Concerns — on July 8 to the deputy chairman and senior members of the Planning Commission,’’ director general of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) R A Mashelkar said.
Pointing to China, he said the Chinese government was pumping in $125 million in each of their 10 universities. ‘‘Moreover, $225 million each will also be invested in Beijing and Tsinghua universities. Similar investments are also planned for 20 other universities,’’ he said.
He said the Chinese objective was to have 100 top class universities that will figure in the best 500 universities of the world.
Hence, Mashelkar has suggested a two-pronged strategy to meet the challenge of maintaining competitiveness in the Indian research and development scenario — supply and demand driven strategy.
‘‘Supply driven strategy means creating high quality manpower through institutes like Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER). In demand driven strategy, policies have to be formulated in such a way that it fosters the spirit of competition among the institutes,’’ he said.
Mashelkar said the country will soon have to address lack of top grade human capital for maintaining its competitiveness. ‘‘In fact, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, and Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, have prepared a concept paper on ways and means to promote scientific human capital. This paper will be presented to the President, the Prime Minister as well as the Human Resources and Science and Technology ministers within the next 10 days,’’ he said.
Mashelkar said issues like creating new institutes like IISER as well as supporting existing universities have been included in the paper.
Friday, August 04, 2006
|Three new IIMs need of the day: Moily sub-group|
|JYOTSNA BHATNAGAR |
|Posted online: Friday, August 04, 2006 at 0011 hours IST|
AHMEDABAD, AUG 3: The final report of a group of management institutions, to be submitted to the Moily Committee in the next few days, has suggested setting up three new IIMs, besides the one already proposed for Shillong. This will ensure “more balanced access to management education across the country”.
The group has said, the three new IIMs should be located in cities that not only can attract good faculty but also gain from the industry-business interface. Chairman of the group Samuel Paul told FE the new IIMs should “not be set up in backward areas but in places which are emerging industrial hubs”.
While the group left the choice of location to the government, Paul indicated IIMs could be set up in emerging economic hubs like Pune. “ Maharashtra does not have an IIM and can do with one,” he said. Other possible locations are Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
When asked about the investment required to set up a new IIM, Paul said, “It could initially be in a range of Rs 200-300 crore. Each new institute will be sufficient for a student intake of 300 to begin with.”
Besides catering for the long-term management education needs, the new IIMs will also ease the burden of the quota regime implementation on existing IIMs. “Though it will take at least 5 years for a new IIM to come up, it will still be a exercise worth the while. Existing IIMs cannot be realistically expected to shoulder the entire responsibility of quota implementation,” Paul said.
The group had highlighted infrastructure and faculty constraints existing IIMs would face if they were forced to implement the OBC quota from the next academic session.