Sunday, January 22, 2006
Statesman: UGC clarification on NIS sought
Statesman News Service
CUTTACK, Jan. 22. — The focal point of the PIL over the alleged shifting of the proposed National Institute of Science (NIS) from Orissa has moved to the UGC after a month with the High Court seeking clarification from the UGC over its involvement in the proposal within a month.
In December 2005, the PIL had gathered heat when the Orissa State Public Interest Protection Council (OSPIPC), challenged the veracity of the claims made by Mr Prem Kumar, under secretary in the ministry of HRD in an affidavit submitted in the High Court. In November 2005, the controversy had taken a new turn with the Central government claiming before the High Court that no such decision was ever taken by it to set up any such science institution in Bhubaneswar. Mr Prem Kumar in his affidavit had stated that “no policy decision was finalised by the Central government for setting up any science institution at Bhubaneswar.”
But the OSPIPC had pointed out that the UGC had in December 2003 communicated to the vice-chancellor of Utkal University, a decision to establish NIS at four places (Bhubaneswar, Pune, Allahabad and Chennai). This was followed by a letter from a high power committee of the UGC in April 2004 indicating about preparation of a project report on it. The OSPIPC president, Mr Prasant Das, alleged that Mr Kumar had misled the court. The NIS issue had dominated the Assembly session on 23 November. The state higher education minister, Mr Samir Dey, responding to a call attention notice had alleged in the Assembly that the UPA government did not take any follow up step after it came to power in 2004.
It may be noted that in August 2005, the OSPIPC president had filed a PIL seeking judicial intervention against shifting of the proposed NIS from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata. Acting on it, the Orissa High Court had on 9 November issued an interim order directing the Union government “to stay the shifting of the proposed science institution from Bhubaneswar to any other part of eastern India”.
Subsequently, Mr Prem Kumar in his affidavit had clarified that the Union Cabinet had in November 2005 decided in favour of creation of two new institutions devoted to science education and research. The Cabinet decision was taken on the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister.
Later, the Central government had decided to locate the two IISRE at Pune and Kolkata, the affidavit clarified while seeking grant of leave to set up an Indian Institute for Science Research Education (IISRE) in Kolkata.
Friday, January 20, 2006
NIS vs IISER -- Even HRD Minister Arjun Singh refers to the IISERs as National Institute of Sciences
Denying the charge that the centre has shifted the National Institute of Science, proposed at Bhubaneswar, to Kolkata, Singh said that the University Grants Commission (UGC) had announced setting up four NIS. When the law department, which felt that UGC was only a funding body and cannot set up any institution, examined the matter the issue became infructuous.
"It was incorrect to say that the institute proposed in Orissa has been shifted to Kolkata", he said adding that as part of Govenment's proposal to strengthen science education, three National Institute of Sciences have been proposed at Kolkata, Pune and Chandigarh.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Pioneer News Service / Bhubaneswar
MLAs belonging to BJD and BJP were furious on Thursday after the Union Minister for Human Resources Development Arjun Singh declared that there was no possibility of establishing the National Institute of Science ( NIS) in Orissa in near future. The UPA Government (UPA) decided to set up NIS in Kolkata, which was supposed to be established in Bhubaneswar.
Protesting against the statement of Mr Singh, BJD MLAs Jatindranath Mitra, Atanu Sabyasachi, Arun Sahu, Sanjib Sahoo, Vikram Arukh, Vikram Verma and Debi Mishra and BJP MLAs Bayadhara Mallick, Draupadi Murmu, Rabi Narayn Nayak, Pratap Sarangi said the Centre was taking decisions against the interest of the State. They said the Centre bore a step motherly attitude towards Orissa.
The MLAs said that the issue would be taken up with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after he returned from Delhi on Friday. They also threatened to take up issue in the Assembly in the coming session. They said that the Congress party had taken a different stance on the matter despite their party being a major partner in the UPA Government. The MLAs said they will go to people and expose the Congress in this matter.
The HRD Minister on Wednesday had said in New Delhi that the United Grants Commission (UGC) had not taken permission from the Centre before assuring to grant funds for the establishment of NIS in Orissa. He said the UGC's role was to provide funds and not take decisions. Mr Singh said when the appropriate time comes, he will consider about establishing NIS in Orissa.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Response to Arjun Singh's statement
For anothe short response please see: http://iiser.blogspot.com/2006/01/letter-to-editor-of-hindustan-times.html
My response to Hon'bl e minister Arjun Singh's response as reported in the previous two article:
First: He himself said in the Loksabha the following:
The Chairman, UGC thereafter informed the Government vide his letter dated November 26, 2003 that the UGC would like to facilitate setting up these institutions as fully autonomous institutions under the universities in which these institutions are to be established. Even this proposal was never agreed to by the Government.
And after November 26, 2003 the DPR says that the UGC gave its in-principle approval to this proposal on April 9, 2004.
Thus the Honorable minister’s statement in the Lok Sabha is misleading. It is unfortunate that the Honorable minister does not consider an announcement by the earlier HRD minister and by the President of India about establishment of an NIS in Bhubaneswar, and an in-principle approval of UGC on April 9, 2004, a decision of the central government. Moreover, if the NDA government had not decided to set up the institutes, why would they have produced a detailed project report dated May 2004, around the time when their term ended and the UPA government took over.
Finally, even if the UGC could not legally establish the proposed NISs, they could have been established under a different parameter, the same one used for the IISERs, which happen to be almost same as the NISs in terms of their aims.
During establishment of institutes of the scale of an NIS or an IISER legal opinions of various kinds are often sought and appropriate changes are made. If one follows the time line, the legal opinion regarding the inappropriateness of using Sections 12 (ccc) or under 12 (j) of the UGC Act was given in October 28, 2003. The Chairman, UGC informed the Government vide his letter dated November 26, 2003 that the UGC would like to facilitate setting up these institutions as fully autonomous institutions under the universities in which these institutions are to be established. In December 2003 the HRD minister and the President announced the setting up of NISs. In May 2004, a DPR about the NISs without any mention of the Sections 12 (ccc) or 12 (j) of the UGC Act and with complete details about the institute was published. This DPR mentions that on April 9 2004, the UGC gave its in principle approval to the NIS proposal.
Thus it is clear that:
The explanation given by the Hon’ble minister misleading.
On the University Grants Commission's abortive move to set up a National Institute of Sciences in Orissa, the Minister said the Commission was not entitled to have made such an announcement.
Denying the charge that the Centre has shifted the National Institute of Science, proposed at Bhubaneswar, to Kolkata, Singh said that the University Grants Commission (UGC) had announced setting up four NIS. When the matter was examined by the Law department, which felt that UGC was only a funding body and cannot set up any institution, the issue became infructuous.
"It was incorrect to say that the institute proposed in Orissa has been shifted to Kolkata", he said adding that as part of govenment's proposal to strengthen science education, three National Institute of Sciences have been proposed at Kolkata, Pune and Chandigarh.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
An acknowledgement to the letter I sent to the PM and copied to Smt. Gandhi
Today I received an acknowledgement to my letter to the PM
which I copied to Smt. Sonia Gandhi. The letter came from
the AICC office. The letter is given below.
The letter I sent in early October is at
The letter I received is dated 17.12.05 and postmarked 19.12.05.
I sincerely hope that they read the letter and if they did I hope
they pondered about it. I guess if not already, others who sent letters
will get a similar acknowledgement letter soon.
I guess this shows that our approach of writing letters is not entirely fruitless.
At least they are being recorded somewhere. Hope more happens though.
Indian National Congress Phones 23019373/23019080 extn 435
All India Congress Committee
24, Akbar Road, New Delhi-110011
Dear Shri Baral,
This is to acknowledge the receipt of your letter addresses to the Hon. Prime
Minister of India regarding gross injustice to Orissa by removing Bhubaneswar from
the NIS/IISER list. I have taken note of your feelings.
Shri Chitta Baral
Department of Computer Sc. & Engg.
Arizona State University
Tempe. AZ 85287
Sunday, January 15, 2006
sending it to various news media.
Some observations and suggested plan of actions on the NIS issue - I
I was in Bhubaneswar during Dec 21- Jan 10th and talked to various people
on the NIS issue. Following are some of my observations and suggested plan of
1. The media in Bhubaneswar is very aware of the issue and have covered it in local papers
(and local editions of national papers) quite a bit. However, despite the local journalists
sending in many articles, the national papers have not covered it in their national editions that much.
Candidly many journalists suggested me that we write en-masse to the national papers
accusing them of neglecting to cover this issue and that may have an impact. I would suggest we do that.
2. Agamee Orissa has a done a great job and has a great plan
in bringing awareness of this issue (and the bigger picture) to the district level in Orissa. They have
lots of plans on this issue and they will bring it out as time unfolds.
3. There has been a few national coverage of this issue. I suggest that we seize them as opportunities
and write to those papers with additional articles on that issue, letters to the editor etc,
Normally, it is easier to publish on an ongoing topic in the newspaper than on a new topic.
So the papers that have already covered the issue have a higher chance of following it up
with more coverage. The particular coverages are:
(i) An article in Hindustan Times http://iiser.blogspot.com/2006/01/hindustan-times-on-nov-29-arjun-on.html
(ii) A follow-up article in Hindustan times http://iiser.blogspot.com/2006/01/hindustan-times-on-december-14th-arjun.html
(iii) An editorial in Pioneer http://iiser.blogspot.com/2005/12/pioneers-editorial-on-orissa-and-nis.html
(iv) An op-ed piece in Hindu Businessline http://iiser.blogspot.com/2006/01/central-institutions-and-regional.html
From (ii) it seems that after (i) appeared the Hindustan Times received a reply from the HRD ministry and as a result they published the article (ii).
This means that coverage in papers like TOI and HT, which have very high Delhi readership, result in a reaction. *Thus we must follow-up and respond to (ii).* I sent in a response,
but nothing so far. My response is at http://iiser.blogspot.com/2006/01/letter-to-editor-of-hindustan-times.html
I suggest others should also write to HT at firstname.lastname@example.org
Similarly we shoudl write in response to (iii) and (iv) at
the addresses email@example.com and
Please feel free to use the information in the booklet at
http://www.baral.us/nis3.pdf and also the blog site
4. In regards to Times of India i was suggested that we shoudl write to
the addresses firstname.lastname@example.org
complaiing why it does not cover this issue in its national
5. Orissa MPs plan to continue their effort when the Parliament reconvenes in February.
They should all have copies of the booklet for their own purpose as well as for
giving it to their colleagues so as make them aware of the issue.
6. Please send the booklet (or the link to it) to as many Oriyas and Indians as possible.
7. Please broadcast this message to as many Oriyas as possible.
8. Finally, I think the time has come to broaden this issue and campaign for eliminating the
imbalance in HRD National Highways across various states in India. See Chapter 3 of the booklet
and http://iiser.blogspot.com/2006/01/imbalance-with-respect-to-hrd-national.html for some initial analysis.
More on this in later mails. Keep tuned to myodisa, ornet, agami orissa, and nis_iiser groups.
Thanks and best regards
(ps -- Our efforts in bringing the issue to national media has bore some fruit. While a single article is
often ignored, a series of articles is often not ignored. Lets keep the pressure on and follow-up on the ones that
got published and try to convince new ones to publish on this issue. )
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Imbalance with respect to the HRD National Highways
(i) the institutions of higher education funded by the HRD higher education division
(see http://www.education.nic.in/Annualreport2004-05/Uhe.pdf )
(ii) the technical education institutions funded by the HRD technical education division
(see http://www.education.nic.in/Annualreport2004-05/Techedu.pdf )
(iii) the institutions of national importance (see http://www.ugc.ac.in/inside/utype.php?st=Institute%20of%20National%20Importance)
Together they consists of the following:
(a) the 18 central universities : Type (i)
(b) the 7 IITs (Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Guwahati,and Roorkee), Type: Institute of National Importance and Type (ii)
(c) the 6 IIMs (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow,Indore, Kozhikode) Type (ii),
(d) IISc Bangalore Type (ii),
(e) ISM Dhanbad Type (ii),
(f) SPA Delhi, Type (ii),
(g) IIITM Gwalior, Type (ii),
(h) IIIT Allahbad, Type (ii)
(i) IIITDM Jabalpur (under construction), Type (ii)
(j) the 18 NITs (Allahbad, Bhopal, Calicut, Durgapur, Hamirpur, Jaipur,Jalandhar, Jamshedpur, Kurukhetra, Nagpur, Patna, Rourkela, Silchar,Srinagar, Surat, Surathkal, Trichi, Warangal), Type (ii)
(k) NIFFT Ranchi, Type (ii)
(l) NITIE Mumbai, Type (ii)
(m) SLIET Punjab, Type (ii)
(n) NERIST Itanagar, Type (ii)
(o) the 4 NITTTRs (Bhopal, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Chennai), Type (ii)
(p) the 4 BOATs, Type (ii)
(q) Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012 Chandigarh Type: Institute of National Importance
(r) All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar New Delhi - 110 20 Delhi Type: Institute of National Importance
(s) Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute For Medical Sciences and Technology, Thirunvananthapuram - 695 011 Kerala
Type: Institute of National Importance
(t) National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Sector 67, SAS Nagar (Mohali) 160 062 Punjab Type: Institute of National Importance
(u) Dakshina Bharti Hindi Prachar Sabha, PB No.1419 Thyagaraya Nagar Chennai - 600 017 Type: Institute of National Importance
(v) Indian Statistical Institute, 203 Barrackpore Trunk Road Calcutta - 700 035 West Bengal Type: Institute of National Importance
It is our claim that as in case of roads where despite various other headings such as pradhan mantree gramya sada yojana, there is some balance (across states) in terms of national highways, similarly despite HRD budget spent in other headings, there should be some kind of balance in spending (across states) with respect to HRD national highways.
Using the latest budget given in http://indiabudget.nic.in/ub2005-06/download_index.htm (part 7, sbe58, sb82 and sbe90)
we will show that Orissa is towards the bottom with respect to Rupees spent on HRD national highways computed per capita as well as computed as a whole. Moreover some states will have multiple times more spending than Orissa. This is unacceptable and this imbalance needs to be corrected asap.
I just got back from India. The day before I left Bhubaneswar (9th January) we had a press conference where we released the booklet on NIS/IISER. Its table of content is given below. We hope the booklet will make it easy for many to get hold of a large body of the documents
related to this issue in one place.
The event was attended by about 30 Orissa journalists from both Oriya print media (Sambada, Samaya, Pragtivadi, Dharitri, Dainik Asha, etc.), English print media (Hindustan Times, Telegarph, Hindu, Times of India, PTI, UNI, India First, Statesman, frelancers such as Ashutosh Mishra etc.), TV (OTV) and they were all given the booklet. Some who could not make it but were in touch included Samaja, ETV, Doordarshan, and Pioneer.
A slightly revised version of the booklet can be obtained at http://www.baral.us/nis3.pdf
So far 100 copies of it were printed (it cost Rs20 per booklet in BBSR and Silicon Inst in BBSR sponsored it) and distributed to the journalists and several people. We plan to print more copies of it and
distribute it to MPs, MPLAs etc., as many in Orissa and India do not access the Internet often. If any group (say the people in Delhi) want to print copies and distribute, please feel free to do so. Feel free to modify the document and print it under your own group's name.
(If you need the word document, let me know.)
1. Subterfuge: Announced National Institute of Science in Bhubaneswar renamed and shifted
1.1 The beginning of the National Institute of Sciences proposal
1.2 The current government's version of events after that (a Lok Sabha speech)
1.3 Inconsistency and omissions: Events between 26-11-03 & 22-5-04
1.4 The Detailed Project Report (DPRs) for the announced NISs dated May 2004
1.5 Did the Hon'ble minister mislead or lie in the floor of the parliament?
1.6 Another misleading statement by the Hon'ble minister?
1.7 Are NISs and IISERs different?
1.8 Subterfuge adopted to shift an announced for NIS from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata?
2. Does Bhubaneswar deserve an NIS?
2.1 A case for Bhubaneswar -- Why an NIS or IISER should be
established in Bhubaneswar
3. HRD lopsidedness: Orissa ignored, neglected, and shortchanged by the HRD ministry over the years
3.1 State wise distribution of mega centrally funded HRD institutions
3.2 A rough quantitative analysis: comparing HRD funding between WB & Orissa
3.3 What the PM said versus what he did
3.4 The folly continues: unchecked increase in regional imbalance
3.4.1 Upgrading institutions to IITs and deemed IITs: Why NIT Rourkela was not considered?
3.4.2 No sense behind the selection of the new IIFT campus
4. Last word: Our humble request
A.1 CM's letters to the PM
A.1.1 CM of Orissa Naveen Patnaik's letter to the PM on 23rd Aug 2005
A.1.2 CM Naveen Patnaik's letter to the PM on 29th Sept 2005
A.1.3 CM Naveen Patnaik's letter to the PM on 11th Nov 2005
A.2 A sample letter sent by thousands of Oriyas: Open letter to the Prime minister of India -- Gross Injustice done to Orissa
A.3 A letter to the planning commission
A.4 Indian democracy in work: letters to PM and Planning commission are not answered and not even acknowledged
A.5 List of Institutes of national Importance
A.6 List of central universities
A.7 List of autonomous science and technology institutes
A. The complete "Detailed Project Report" (DPR) document on the NISs.
INDEX OF BOXED ITEMS
Box 1: A reference to the origin of the statements about 9-4-03 & 23-7-03.
Box 2: Full text of the letter from the UGC Chairman to the Utkal VC in July 03.
Box 3: Hon'ble minister Pranab Mukherjee's statement in the Lok Sabha on Dec 20, 2003, available at http://22.214.171.124/ls/lsdeb/ls14/ses6/201205.html
Box 4: Page 2 of PIB article dated 10th December 2003 available at
Box 5A: Top half of UGC news dated January 2004 and available at
Box 5B: Bottom half of UGC news dated January 2004 and available at
Box 6: UGC web page about President's address
Box 7: A part of the President's address on December 28, 2003
Box 8 : The reference to the 45 page DPR dated May 2004
Box 9: A news item on an affidavit made by under-secy. Kumar in response to a PIL
Box 10: News item mentioning MP Basudeb Acharya's statement saying the proposed institutes in Kolkata and Bhubaneswar are different
Box 11: A Frontline article dated March 12-25 2005 that refers to the institutes in Pune and Kolkata as National Institute of Sciences.
Box 12: An article from Telegraph dated October 4, 2005, where the CM of West Bengal refers to the institute in Kolkata as National Institute of Sciences.
Box 13: An article in the Statesman dated 24th Oct 2005, in which the institute in Kolkata is referred to as NIS.
Box 14: An article in the Telegraph which describes how Kolkata got into the mix and rose to become a contender.
Box 15: An article in the Hindu which mentions SAC-PM Chair's statement on plan for 3 more IISERs in north south and central region and beyond Pune and Kolkata
Box 16 : State Wise Distribution of Central University (CU), IIT, IIM, IIIT, and IIITM across India
Box 17: Zone wise listing of states that are ignored and states that are blessed
Box 18: A page of the report of the steering committee on secondary, higher and technical education for the tenth 5 yr plan 2002-2007, Dec 2001 (Full report at
Box 19: A page of the 2004-2005 UGC annual report mentioning total funding amounts for the central universities.
Box 20: A page from http://mospi.nic.in/rti_manual11_2005.pdf on ISI Kolkata
Box 2: A page from an article in Rediff that ranks engineering colleges in India.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
by Niranjan Sahoo and Pravakar Sahoo
There is a need for educational institutes of national repute in backward States such as Orissa to bridge regional disparity and trigger local development.
SINCE the introduction of economic reforms in 1991, some States have been on an accelerating growth path, while a few have not only been lagging behind, especially in socio-economic aspects.
Though we have made significant strides in education and health, their benefits have not reached all citizens in equal measure. Needless to say, a successful federation can become a reality only when there is equality in both social and economic indicators. Recognising the increased disparity among States, the National Common Minimum Programme of the UPA Government refers to the need to bridge this divide and promote all-inclusive growth.
One case for overcoming regional imbalance and restoring equity is that of locating central institutions. Although the country has made impressive progress in scientific and education research, it is inadequate to power a knowledge revolution. Moreover, such progress has been possible only because of "pockets of excellence" — a few elite institutions such as the IITs, the IIMs, and the IISc. By and large, universities have remained ineffective; barring a few, and such excellence has not reached all fields.
While a few States house nearly all the elite central institutions, many others do not have even one. In fact, taking note of this, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, while releasing the India Science Report, said: "I trust our Government as well the State governments will take note of these findings and evolve policies to remedy these regional imbalances."
This came as a reassurance at a time when several States are agitated over regional imbalance. However, the Prime Minister announced the setting up of the Indian Institute of Science for Education and Research (IISER) in Pune and Kolkata at the same meeting. While setting up new science and technology institutions is a step in the right direction, one wonder whether the IISER will replace the National Institute of Science announced by the previous government.
Two years ago, the then NDA Government had initiated a similar exercise of upgrading scientific and technological research in the country by instituting the National Institute of Science (NIS) in Pune, Bhubaneswar, Chennai and Allahabad. One of the major objectives behind this was to correct the regional imbalance.
These new-age centres for cutting-edge scientific research were mooted by a group of Pune-based scientists and received strong support from the then Human Resource Development Minister. On December 10, 2003, the Government of India announced the setting up of four NIS. Since Orissa (Bhubaneswar) and UP (Allahabad) lag behind other advanced States in higher education and research due to lack of institutes of national importance, this announcement was welcomed by all, especially the people of these two States. The Orissa Government allotted 75 acres of prime land in Bhubaneswar towards this venture. But nothing has progressed from the Centre since then.
The aim of the National Institute of Sciences is the same as that of IISER. Thus, NIS and IISER both refer to the same concept.
Despite a lower population than the other States, Orissa is one of the top three States that send the highest number of students to other States to pursue a degree in medicine and engineering. This reflects the lack of good educational institutions in the State. It does not have any central university or institute of national repute such as the IIT, IIM, IIIT or ISI (Indian Statistical Institute). The State also does not have any premier autonomous science and technology institution funded by the Government of India.
Our system of proportional representation leads to the Centre neglecting smaller States such as Orissa. The Central Government must make sure resources are distributed fairly and the interests of economically backward States are protected.
In a recent address, the Prime Minister referred to regional imbalance in case of educational institutions and urged the State governments to deal with such issues. Such a balanced outlook is expected even in the setting up of NIS/IISER in Orissa.
The decision to relocate (and possibly rename NIS) IISER from Orissa has perturbed many, both within and outside the State. A PIL was filed in the Orissa High Court regarding this and the court stalled the setting up of IISER for the time being. In this context, it would be prudent for the Central Government to come out clearly on the progress of NIS and also the terms of reference of IISER.
The people, the Oriya community in particular, are confused about the developments. Are both NIS and IISER the same, but with different names? If not, what is happening to NIS? If they are the same, why has the institute been shifted from Orissa? The Government must clarify these.
If both NIS and IISER are the same, the news is disturbing from the point of view of attaining regional equality in higher education. This step will increase the regional imbalance of key central institutions. While no body has any grudge over locating the proposed IISERs in Pune and Kolkata, backward States such as Orissa must receive their due. Orissa has been demanding for a central university in the backward KBK region (Kalahandi, Bolangir, Koraput) and for an IIT, for quite sometime.
But these have fallen on deaf ears. The Pathak Committee set up to recommend upgradation of engineering and scientific institutions into IITs too does not mention any institution from Orissa.
Orissa being a backward State needs a research institution; this will help develop growth strategies for the State.
There is a need for an institute that offers education and training in basic science, integrated with state-of-the-art research. An NIS in Bhubaneswar will fulfil the long-standing demand of a Central Government-funded institute in the State and act as an agent of change. Moreover, institutes of national importance should be as widely dispersed as possible for balanced regional development.
(The authors are the Fellow and Faculty, respectively, at the Observer Research Foundation, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi.)
(Comments: Thanks a lot to both the authors from all of us)
Why IISER was announced at Chandigarch hurridly: Analysis
Its bit surprising for me that if the govt of India
(GOI) had to announce few more IISER, it would have
announced together one in North (Chandigarh) and other
in South (similar to Pune and Kolkata), as mentioned
by CNR Rao. It might be the reason that GOI has
nothing concrete to proof in Orissa hight court now so
that it could come out of it in next three months and,
further raising public protest in Orissa, which
together could delay functioning of IISER at Kolkata.
So not to delay functioning of the institute (which
was supposed to start in July 2006) it has hurridly
announced next one at Chandigarh. GOI has not chosen
Orissa for next IISER because GOI has been saying in
the court that Bhubaneswar was not in the list for any
proposed institute, so to keep its word and to make
sure IISER comes at Kolkata (due to left lobby), the
GOI is technically avoiding all our protests to fight
in the high court for IISER at Kolkata.
Therefore, we should continue our protest and raise
the issue during Ms Sonia Gandhi's visit to Orissa. We
should also request our MPs to continue their strong
protest in the parliament, and our MPs (irrespetive of
any political party) team from Orissa presonally
should handover the prepared booklet to the prime
minister, president, vice-president, speaker, H & R
minister, former H & R minister Dr Joshi, Mr Advani,
Mr Vajpayee, Mr Fernandese, left leaders, Ms Sonia
Gandhi, and PM-SAC committee to get a stonger effect
On the other side, it is also important to handover
the booklet to the concern advocate who is handling
the issue in Orissa High Court. We should try our best
to give all our support to the people who are dealing
it legally because legally our fight would be much
stronger and if we could win in the court GOI might be
forced to full fill our demand.
My conscience tells that there is greater chance that
next two IISER would be in Chennai and Bhopal (Arjun
There is also a plan by H & R Minister to make Bhopal
University as a central university soon. Orissa govt's
demand of making Sambalpur University (which has many
similarities with Bhopal University like tribal
dominant area, same standard education, nearly same
time of establishment etc) as central university is
pending since a long time with H & R ministry of GOI.
So all of us, Oriyas and Orissa lovers, have to act
patiently and think that this the begining of our
protest in any form. Our protest should get higher
momentum in each step that we take in any form
irrespective of GOI's announcements for any other
region and states except Orissa.
Thank you very much.
With best regards
Monday, January 09, 2006
Analysis on things not working on our side
We put enoromous effort in bringing in the NIS issue into media, unveiled the loopholes -UGC report and so on, made several silent protests, even brought in an interim stay in the smooth going IISER in Kolkata.
We did everyhting to put a (onetime) No. 7 online petition ever, made it to bring in Dr. Joshi and BJP talking in our favor, our senior cetizens approached vehemently, personally and through community to the able mind and resposnible people for making a move of the NIS and making our stand clear on the injustice. But to what avail?
Were we ever assured after several online/offline meetings by the GoI that our case will be given a second thought?
Were we ever assured that yes its a flaw, its an injustice, its a regional imbalance?
What we got in return instead?
1. Statements: "Money is not grown in trees"
" There was never one such proposal for NIS"
2. Actions: PIL was challenged by central government
and countless such ignorance to the sentiments of the oriya people?
Perhaps we have to sit and analyse that we are lacking something:
a. what Jayalalitha is capable of doing,
b. what left is able to grab,
c. what is possible within the capacity of Mashelkar
and so on..
Its time we need a useful thought to be put in, more diplomatically, more politically, rather than going on working tirelessly with rosy rosy results in the begining and fruits being tasted by somebody else.
For sure Orissa cant produce a PM to have a IISER in Orissa (if the Punjab lilnk of present PM is to be counted). But we can draw a thin line of resistance which can force all those behind the decission to think twice!!
OR a cmoplete alternative is coming up of a pan-american university, completely funded by Non-resident-oriyas of the stature better than IISc, and having a bigger percentage of seat used by them. Its certainly not difficult to get several foreign univ collaborations for the above purpose.
SO are we ready for either of the above analysis to be materialised.
Its really call of the mother land, to be attended..
Update on NIS/IISER - Baripada chapter opened
forwared by Ms. Saubhagya Laxmi Mohapatra
This is a not so bad news. And we are not perturbed by this announcement of GOI.
Rather this indicates to the peoples of Orissa that GOI is aboslutely not bothered about the sentiments and requirements of Odisaha. GOI knows very well that when no bearth in Ministry was given to Orissa, Oriya's comfortably digested it similiarly if no Central funded institute will be given, Oriy's will also digest it.
However ,as planned, to mobilise support for NIS issue, the first district level co-ordination meeting was started yesterday, i.e. 8th January 2006(Sunday) at Baripada.
Around 40 Intellectual and 15 students( totalling 55) gathered in The Community Hall of Baripada, just infront of Collectorate. Ex Principal MPC college Mr Deepak Kumar Sarangi, President Bar Association with many Lawers, Professors and lecturers of MPC college, Social activists and prominent Lady Citizen of Baripada were present in the august gathering.
From Bhubaneswar Mrs Archana Naik, Mr Suderson, Dr Santosh, Mr Papu, my self and OSA Vice President Mr Dhirendra Kar joined the gathering at around 4 PM. The meeting continued upto 7PM and all were very enthusiastic about the Concept and our work. They said they are going to submit a memorandum for PM to Collector on 9th Dec'05 and take up Agami Odisha work in full speed.
An Agami Odisha group was formed and unanimously Mr. Bibek Pattnaik.was made the Conveynor for Baripada Chapter.
We all have promised to our selves at Baripada that NIS will come into existance in April 2006 at Bhubaneswar.
A Book on NIS is going to be released by Mr Chitta Baral and Dhirendra Kar at Hotel Marrion, Bhubaneswar at 7.30 PM to day. We are marching ahead and nothing can stop us from achieving our desired goal, i.e. NIS.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Where do we go from here after the announcement of third IISER
How can a committee or Govt go on ignoring such an appeal which lead to so many zero-hour publicity in the parliament (thanks to the media for covering all those)?
There are two ways I see from here, as we go about, (I would sincerely beg to differ from those who have difference in opinion).
First: We calmly wait for the decission to happen, and least hoping that Orissa will get a fair share on regional equity basis.
Second: We uncalmly wait for the decission to happen with the rule that the injustice is going to be dear for the central govt.
Can we still stick to plan-2, where in the center is forcing Orissa to become another Manipur?
Why should we be constantly neglected with the backdrop of some people, who operate from other than the post of the political portfolio, but keep a strong hold on biased decission?
Bande Utkal Janani
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.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
A letter to the editor of Hindustan Times about their article titled "Arjun sets the record straight" appearing on page 9 of December 15th 2005.
This is in response to your article titled "Arjun sets the record straight" appearing on page 9 of December 15th 2005. It says "Singh said a decision was never taken to set up the institute in Bhubaneswar and, therefore, it would be wrong to say it was being shifted from Orissa's capital to Kolkata".
It is unfortunate that the HRD minister Singh does not consider an announcement (in December 2003) by the earlier HRD minister and by the President of India about establishment of an NIS in Bhubaneswar, a decision of the central government. The president's announcement is mentioned in the website http://www.ugc.ac.in/new_initiatives/newnis.html and one can look at his speech of Dec 28 2003 on the occasion of the golden jubilee celebration of UGC for corroboration. Moreover, a detailed project report on NIS dated May 2004 is still available in the government web site. We wonder, if the NDA government had not decided to set up the institutes, why would they have produced adetailed project report.
Finally, even if one believes the minister's statement regarding UGC's legal authority to be not a subterfuge, the proposed NISs could have been established under a different parameter, the same one as the IISERs, which happen to be almost same as the NISs in terms of their aims. Under what logic the UPA government decided to set up IISERs in Pune and Kolkata, in states that already have IITs, central universities and autonomous science and technology institutions, and scrap an NIS in Bhubaneswar which is in a state with very little HRD funded institutions and has no institution of national importance (IIT, IIM, ISI, etc.) and no central universities. This is especially puzzling when the planning
commission and the PM himself have rued the imbalance in higher educational institutions among various states. Scrapping the NISs and the decision on the IISER locations aggravate the imbalance ofHRD ministry's funding for higher education and technical education.A rough calculation shows that at present West Bengal has 10-15 times the funding under the above mentioned heading as Orissa and the ratio will be 15-20 times if the UPA government's decision topunish Orissa (UP and TN) and reward West Bengal (and Maharastra) stands.
We request the HRD minister, the prime minister and the UPA chairman to reconsider their decision and not create greater disparity among the states in the country with respect to HRD funding of higher education and technical education institutes. We also request the planning commission to not just rubber stamp the government decisions, especially when they go against their own findings and recommendations regarding the importance of bringing parity among states with respect to quality higher and technical education opportunities.
Arizona State University
Currently at: 133 Kanan Vihar, Phase 2, Patia
The UGC letter to Utkal University dated July 23, 2003
Sub: establishment of National Institute of Sciences: UGC's newinitiative in collaboration with other scientific agencies inthe Xth Plan
Dear Prof. Nayak,
You may be aware that growing concern has been expressed at various time on various forums about continual decline in standards of education at all levels, particularly at tertiary level, as also on the recent trend of bright boys and girls shying away from science. This trend, over the years, has affected the quality of human power output into our research and development system. The matter is of national concern and is reflected in the speech given by the Hon'ble Minister for Human Resource Development. Professor Murli Manohar Joshi on the occasion of initiation of a Golden Jubilee Year of theUGC. In his inaugural speech Hon'ble Minister observed as under:
"The undergraduate education in pure sciences is a matter of serious concern. We are going to face shortage of good researchers in a fewyears time particularly in our premier research institutes in the field of Atomic Energy, Space, Bio-technology, Energy, Oilexploration, Communication and so on. We will have to focus at 10+2 level and "catch them young" for integrated 5 years teaching programme with a possibility of exit after three years".
Hon'ble Prime minister also, while inaugurating the Golden Jubilee year of the UGC on 28th December, 2002, expressed serious concern onthis important issue and suggested creation of such facilities that will fulfil the need of quality human power input into research and development system.
the university Grants commission was aware of this scenario and addressed this issue in teh Xth Plan document. I am very happy to inform you that the Commission has now decided to establish four centers for studies in Integrative sciences and these centers would be established in the proximity of following four universities:
(i) East: At Bhubaneswar in the proximity of Utkal University.
(ii) West: At Pune in the proximity of University of Pune.
(iii) North: At Allahbad in the proximity of Allahbad University.
(iv) South: At Chennai in the proximity of Anna University.
These centers would be called as National Institute of Sciences(NISc) and would have a budget of Rs 50 crores each spread over five years. The provision of Rs 100 crores has been done for this activity in the Xth Plan and UGC has approached the Planning Commission for making provision of additional Rs 100 crores for the project in the period of Xth Plan. Hence, presently each of the NISc would be provided with Rs.25 crores each.
The commission has also appointed a High powered committee to bringthese NISc into operation. The members of the high power committeeare:
1. Prof. V. G. Bhide Covenor Former Vice-Chancellor University of Pune
2. Prof. S. K. Joshi Member Commission, UGC
3. Prof. Ashok Kumar Gupta Member Commission, UGC
4. Prof. N. Mukunda Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
5. Prof. D. Balasubramanian Former Director Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad
The task for the high power committee is to prepare Memorandum ofAssociation and Rules of NISc and I am enclosing with this letter a draft MOA as prepared by this committee for NISc for your perusal.
The NISc would be established as autonomous institutions under clause 12(ccc) of the University Grants Commission Act in close association and collaboration with various science agencies like CSIR, DST, DAE, ISRO and DBT. It is anticipated that Utkal University would recognize the NISc as an autonomous institution and would provide full academic, administrative and financial freedom for operational purpose. The students coming out from the NISc would get appropriate degree of your university. It is also anticipated that NISc being a national organization would have a close academic linkage with the neighbouring university, research and development laboratories as well as national laboratories and prestigious research institutions and also other universities in the country. It will also have link with the industries. NISc would also have academic links with universities and R & D institutions outside the country.
We hope that NISc at your university becomes a major teaching learning and research center in basic sciences in times to come. As such the university may have to provide a land of about 50 acres for establishment of NISc. As mentioned earlier University Grants Commission would be providing full financial support for the establishment of NISc and would also continue to support each of the NISc under plan funds even in the future.
You may agree that this is one of the very important initiaives that has been taken by the University Grants Commission in recent years with emphasis on catching the best of the minds for launching them in research and development field in science and technology. I am sending this letter to keep you informed about this new initiative and also with a request to initiate at appropriate level the decision making process for acceptance of NISc as an autonomous degree conferring institution and providing administrative as well as logistic support for the establishment of the NISc. I may also suggest that you could call a meeting of all heads of local educational and R & D institutions/laboratories and brief them about this development. Their participation in formation and running of institute is very crucial for the success of NIsc.
I look forward for a positive response at your end on this new initiative of UGC.
with kind rewards
Enc: As above
Prof. Pandav Nayak
Monday, January 02, 2006
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (SHRI PRANAB MUKHERJEE): A couple of days ago, Hon’ble Member of Parliament Shri B. K. Tripathi and some other Hon’ble Members representing the State of Orissa wanted to know whether the Government has decided to change the location of National Institute of Science from Bhubneshwar to Kolkata. I assured the Hon’ble Members that after ascertaining the facts I shall come to the House and inform the Members.
The facts are – On 9th April, 2003, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken a decision to establish four Centres for Studies in Integrated Sciences at Allahabad, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai and Pune. These Centre were proposed to be established under Section 12 (ccc) of the UGC Act. Vide this Section of the UGC Act, University Grants Commission is empowered to establish, in accordance with the regulation made under the UGC Act, institutions, for providing common facilities, services and programmes for a group of Universities or for the Universities in general. Ministry of HRD vide its letter dated 9th June 2003 had raised a query, whether UGC is legally empowered to set up such educational Centres under Section 12 (ccc) of the UGC Act. The matter was further examined in detail in the Ministry o HRD in consultation with the Ministry of Law. The Ministry of Law categorically opined that the UGC cannot establish the proposed Centres for Studies in Integrated Sciences under Sections 12 (ccc) or under 12 (j) of the UGC Act. The UGC was accordingly informed by the Ministry vide its letter dated October 28, 2003. 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.
The Government of India has at no time approved setting up of Institutes, as proposed by the UGC. The Chairman, UGC thereafter informed the Government vide his letter dated November 26, 2003 that the UGC would like to facilitate setting up these institutions as fully autonomous institutions under the universities in which these institutions are to be established. Even this proposal was never agreed to by the Government.
The Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister in its meeting held on 4th March 2005, New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Prof. C.N.R. Rao recommended creation of two new institutes devoted to science education and research and also recommended that they may be located at Pune and Kolkata. It was at the recommendation of the SAC-PM that the process of setting up of these two institutes at Pune and Kolkata was initiated by Ministry of Human Resource Development. As there was no decision by the Central Government at any time, to set up a science institute at Bhubaneshwar, the question of shifting of the science institute from Bhubaneshwar to Kolkata does not arise. Therefore, it cannot be said that the Institute has been shifted from Bhubaneshwar to Kolkata.
Responding to the points raised by several hon. Members, the Minister further said: My point is that this is not my subject. My point is that the hon. Members wanted to ascertain certain facts from the Ministry of Human Resource Development. My responsibility was to collect the information and to share the information with the hon. Members. I do never say that there is no demand from Orissa to have an institution. Every Member of Parliament is fully entitled to demand that. The point which I tried to develop is that whole one year was taken by the previous Government.
SHRI B.J. PANDA: I am raising a grave matter which is agitating the people of Orissa. It relates to the National Institute of Science. In 2003, the then Government announced the establishment of four National Institutes of Science at Chennai, Pune, Allahabad and Bhubaneshwar along the lines of the Indian Institute of Science which exists in Bangalore. The explicit purpose of this was to bring about regional equity in providing high quality scientific and technical education to the people of India, particularly in Bhubaneshwar. In the meantime, we have been shocked to note a newspaper report in ‘The Statesman’ two months ago, in October, saying that two similar institutes are going to come up in Pune and Kolkata. There is no further news about what is happening to the NIS which are supposed to be set up in the four places, i.e. Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai and Allahabad. What is really agitating us is that there are newspaper reports that the Government has made statements that there was no such plan and there was no such commitment to set up an NIS in Bhubaneshwar.
There are reports that the Government has filed an affidavit in a PIL somewhere, perhaps, in the Orissa High Court that there was no such commitment to set up the NIS which is patently false because of the evidence we have got. We have no problem, if something is to be set up in Pune or if something new is to be set up in Kolkata. But what was already announced should not be taken away from Orissa. It must be set up in Orissa. I understand that the hon. Minister has, perhaps, given an assurance to the other House that the Government will respond to it. My request is, a similar assurance be given to this House also that this commitment shall be kept.
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF PERSONNEL, PUBLIC GRIEVANCES AND PENSIONS AND THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (SHRI SURESH PACHOURI): This is a very sentimental issue. As per the information made available to me by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, on its meeting held on 9th April, 2003 the University Grants Commission had taken a decision regarding establishment of four Science Institutes at Bhubaneshwar, Allahabad, Chennai and Pune. This decision was taken under Section 12 of the University Grants Commission Act. Thereafter, on 28th October, 2003, the NDA Government, after consultation with the Ministry of Law and Justice in this regard stated that the University Grants Commission is not empowered to open such Centres as per the decision taken under the said Section 12 and, therefore, that cannot materialise. I do not know whether it is true or not but as per the documents provided to me by the Ministry of Law and Justice, this was well beyond their jurisdiction.
A meeting of the Scientific Advisory Council was held on March 4, 2005 which decided to establish two new institutes. Therefore, firstly, it should be ensured that whether during the NDA Government’s tenure, such a decision was not taken by the University Grants Commission but it was taken by the Government itself and if that decision was taken by the then Government, the Government will never hesitate to express its positive response over it. So far as the decision taken regarding Pune and Kolkata, I think that the Government is still committed to that. However, I would convey the sentiments of the hon. Members to the Ministry concerned.
(Shrimati Sushma Swaraj, Shri Sitaram Yechuri and Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi associated.)
CM Naveen Patnaik's letter to the PM on 11th Nov 2005
Dear Prime Minister Ji:
The news item that the National Institute of Sciences is now being set up at Kolkata instead of Bhubaneswar has aroused widespread public discontentment. Of late, there has been a public interest litigation in the High Court of Orissa praying that the Institute should not be shifted from Orissa. The people of Orissa feel letdown by the decision to shift the Institute to Kolkata particularly because the Chairman, University Grants Commission had, as early as23.07.2003, indicated establishment of the Institute in Orissa. The site for the institute has already been selected and the change ofdecision at this stage is a serious set back to us. I have taken up the matter with you twice vide my D.O. letter No UM.1/05-421/CM.,Dated 23.08.2005 and No UM.1/05-491/CM., Dated 29.09.2005.
I once again strongly urge that the earlier decision of Government of India may please be honoured and the institute set up in Orissa.
Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
CM Naveen Patnaik's letter to the PM on 29th Sept 2005
Dear Prime Minister Ji:
Kindly refer to my D.O. letter No UM.1/05-421/CM., Dated 23.08.2005
regarding establishment of National Institute of Sciences at
Bhubaneswar. As I had mentioned, Orissa was favoured with
establishment of the National Institute of Sciences which was
communicated to us by the Chairman, University Grants Comission vide
their letter No. F-1-74/2003(CM) dated 23.7.2003 and accordingly my
Government had gone ahead for selection of a suitable site for the
same. In the meantime, the site has already been selected. It is
worth mentioning that in the past Orissa has not been favoured with
either an IIT or IIM or any other Central University. The current
spurt in the industrial activity in the State makes it a deserving
location for establishment of National Institute of Sciences at
I would, therefore, request you to kindly take immediate steps for
establishment of National Institute of Sciences at Bhubaneswar for
which Government of India had given definite commitment and any
deviation at this stage would bring wide spread discontentment among
the people of the state.
Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
CM Naveen Patnaik's letter to the PM on 23rd Aug 2005
Dear Prime Minister Ji:
This is regarding establishment of National Institute of Sciences at Bhubaneswar. In this connection it may be mentioned that Chairman, University Grants Comission had communicated to Vice Chancellor, Utkal University, Utkal University about establishment of one of the centers at Bhubaneswar vide his D.O.No.F-1-74/2003(CM) dated 23.07.2003. Steps have been taken by my government to identify necessary land for the purpose.
Newspaper reports have appeared stating that the Institute is now getting shifted to Kolkata. If these reports are correct, I would like to point out that this will be a reversal of the decision of NDA government. Orissa has neither an IIT nor IIM or even an IIIT nor a central university. I, therefore, urge you to kindly sanction establishment of National Institute of Science under Government of India at the earliest for which state government have already completed works like identification of land as per the advice of U.G.C.
Hindustan Times on December 14th: Arjun sets the record straight
Soumyajit Patnaik Bhubaneswar, December 14
Union Human Resource Development minister Arjun Singh has termed as "incorrect" a report that said a proposed science institute in Bhubaneswar was being shifted to Kolkata.
The report published in HT on November 30, said the HRD ministry was planning to shift the proposed National Institute of Science (NISc) out of Orissa.
In response Singh said a decision was never taken to set up the institute in Bhubaneswar and, therefore, it would be wrong to say it was being shifted from Orissa's capital to Kolkata. According to Singh, UGC's decision to set up four science centers, at Allahbad, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, and Pune, was not valid under the UGC act.
Singh said: "The HRD ministry had raised a query whether UGC is legally empowered to set up such edicational centers under the UGC Act. The matter was examined in detail by the ministry in consultation with the law ministry, which said the UGC cannot establish the proposed centers. the centr had at no time approved these institutes, as proposed by the UGC."
According to Singh, the scientific advisory council to the PM, in a meeting on March 4, 2005, in a meeting on March 4, 2005, recommended two new science institutes, one at Pune, the other at Kolkata. These institutes were to be named Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research. The proposal received "in principle" approval of the Planning Comission on August 24, 2005.
The PM also took a meeting on setting up of the institutes. The cabinet approved the proposal on October 27. The foundation-laying ceremony at Kolkata was scheduled for October 30, which, however, was cancelled after 29/10.
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.