Thursday, March 30, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Earlier, the Centre had given clearance to open the IISER in Pune, Chandigarh and Bangalore. But after a representation by the Minister of State for Home affairs Shri Prakash Jaiswal, the government agreed to set up a fourth centre in Kanpur as well.
Also an MP from Kanpur, Jaiswal had met the Union Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal, who considering the geographical conditions and its topography has given his consent. “This is a landmark and the centre will be a boon as far as city’s progress is concerned,” Jaiswal said.
For him, the Indian Insitute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur and the proposed institute would move ahead like the MIT and the Harvard in USA.
In his representation, Jaiswal specifically highlighted the vast size of the State and lack of quality institutions. He aid the State was the fourth largest in the country in terms of area and home to 17 crore people, with a literacy of 57 per cent But, he said, only IIT Kanpur was the only institution in the State that had been maintaining the academic status by catering quality education to students.
“Given these facts, the State must have more world class institutions,” Jaiswal said.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Meeting with the Speaker
active member of Agami Odisha and a leader in the BJD, facilitated
the meeting with the speaker. Our heartfelt thanks go to him.
On Mon, 27 Mar 2006 supriti mishra wrote :
A team of Agame Odisha met the Speaker of Orissa Legislative
Assembly, Mr. Maheswar Mohanty, over the issue of NIS. The team
comprised of Prof. Trilochan Pradha, Mr. D.K. Roy, Prof. Santosh K.
Tripathy, Mr. Lalit Mohan Pattnaik, Mr. Ajaya Pattnaik, Mr. Sudarsan
Das and Ms. Supriti Mishra.
The team apprised the Speaker of the developments in the issue of
NIS and initiatives taken by Agamee Odisha so far on the issue. It
requested him to expedite efforts by the State Government in this
regard. The team members submitted him a memorandum which spelt out
the following three demands - 1. Immediate constitution of an
all-party House Committe of the legislative members who should meet
the Prime Minister on the issue and strongly place the demand for
setting up the institute in Orissa ; 2. The Chief Minister should
act proactively on the issue and put forth the case before the
Centre; 3. There should be a thorough dicussion in the House on the
issue of inequity in HRD allocation to the state. Mr. Mohanty
assured that he would raise the issue of NIS for discusiion in the
House and facilitate a meeting with the Prime Minister in his
forthcoming visit to Orissa in April. He also assured to extend his
support to Agamee Odisha in its future endeavours on the issue.
on behalf of Agamee Odisha
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER) are already in the works in Pune and Calcutta: Chemical & Engineering News
Dattagupta, who is spearheading the creation of the IISERs, says that the new research universities will offer both integrated B.Sc./M.Sc. degrees and Ph.D. degrees. The five-year integrated B.Sc./M.Sc. program will include a year of independent research, and students will be taught by active researchers. "Research and teaching will go hand in hand," he says.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Compiled by Purna C. Mishra from various published reports
1. Access to Quality Higher Education in Science and Technology is basic human right
India is a signatory to the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" (Resolution 217-A III) adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10 1948. The Universal Declaration guarantees all citizens of India the right to a quality higher education. The Universal Declaration unequivocally states "Everyone has the right to education … and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit ". The specific focus on higher education (based on the debate and agreement) was to make available quality higher education. Justice Dr. K. Punnayya in his report on " UGC Funding of Institutions of Higher Education" in 1993 reiterated this same sentiment when he stated "… higher education determines its (India's) economic and technological progress…. Government funding must continue to be an essential and mandatory requirement for support to higher education. The Government/State must continue to accept the major responsibility for funding". The Common Minimum Program adopted by the UPA constituents prior to the last parliament election promised to deliver the access to quality higher education to all.
See http://www.baral.us/nis-iit.pdf for the complete article
Thursday, March 09, 2006
The 2006-2007 budget increases disparity in HRD spending
(See also http://www.baral.us/hrd05.pdf for a spreadsheet of the calculation)
According to 2005-2006 budget while the central government spends Rs 4.07 on HRD-NH (HRD ministry funded higher education institutions plus instituition of national importance) per person in Orissa, it spends Rs 177.12 in Delhi, Rs 105.42 in Uttaranchal, Rs 105 in Arunachal Pradesh, Rs 77.7 in Assam, Rs 33.78 in Himachal Pradesh, Rs 28.10 in West Bengal, Rs 25.12 in Karnataka, Rs 17.79 in Tamil Nadu, Rs 17.09 in Maharastra, Rs 17.08 in UP, Rs 16.2 in Jharkhand, Rs 16.05 in Andhra, Rs 14.5 in J & K, Rs 13.38 in Punjab, Rs 8.52 in Haryana, Rs 7.9 in Kerala, Rs 7.39 in Chhattisgarh, Rs 7.2 in MP, Rs 4.87 in Gujurat, Rs 2.59 in Rajasthan, and Rs 1.87 in Bihar.
In the 2006-2007 budget the above inequity is made worse.
(See http://www.baral.us/hrd06.pdf for a spreadsheet of the calculation)
According to 2006-2007 budget while the central government spends Rs 4.07 on HRD-NH (HRD ministry funded higher education institutions plus instituition of national importance) per person in Orissa, it will spend Rs 183.08 in Delhi, Rs 115.14 in Uttaranchal, Rs 126.97 in Arunachal Pradesh, Rs 82 in Assam, Rs 34.10 in Himachal Pradesh, Rs 41.20 in West Bengal, Rs 33.4 in Karnataka, Rs 27 in Tamil Nadu, Rs 28.38 in Maharastra, Rs 17.73 in UP, Rs 18.61 in Jharkhand, Rs 16.05 in Andhra, Rs 14.50 in J & K, Rs 33.27 in Punjab, Rs 8.13 in Haryana, Rs 7.90 in Kerala, Rs 7.39 in Chhattisgarh, Rs 9.02 in MP, Rs 4.87 in Gujurat, Rs 2.59 in Rajasthan, and Rs 1.87 in Bihar.
What is alarming is the soft-corruption involved in the new budget.
the new institutes that are proposed are almost all in states whose government is either allied with the central government or the states where the Finance minister comes from. The following list of new initiatives makes this clear.
1. IISER are proposed in Pune, Kolkata, Punjab. These are all in states ruled by partiesal lied to the central government. IISER Pune and Kolkata have a budget of 50 crores now and IISER Punjab will have a similar budget.
2. A Central Institute of Horticulture will be established inNagaland. (Exception: not ruled by congress.)
3. Paddy Processing Research Centre at Thanjavur will be developed into a national-level institute. (In Tamil Nadu -- Finance minister's home state.)
4. During 2006-07, Ministry of Tourism will establish 4 newinstitutes of hotel management in the States of Chhattisgarh,Haryana, Jharkhand and Uttaranchal. (These are technical institutes rtaher than higher educational institutes.)
5. The existing National Institute of Port Management, Chennai, has been renamed as the National Maritime Academy, and it is proposed toupgrade it into a Central University under an Act of Parliament. The University will have regional campuses at Mumbai, Kolkata andVisakhapatnam.
central university. (Chennai is in finance minister's home state.
Mumbai, Kolkata and Vijag are all in states ruled by parties allied to the central government.)
6. 50 crores each now and 50 crores at the end of the year to University of Calcutta, the University of Mumbai and the University of Madras. (The first two are in states allied to the centralgovernment and the third is the state from where the finance minister hails.)
7. Rs.100 crore for an institution of excellence to a distinguished institution, the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. (Punjab government is allied to the central government)
8. Accord the status of an autonomous National Institute to the RajivGandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Tiruvananthapuram, Kerala. (Kerala has a Congress government, is up for election.)
9. Central Institute of Technology, Kokrajhar, Assam. (Has a congress government, up for election.)
The above connections between states that are given large allocationfor specific higher education/research institutions and the relationbetween those state's (West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra,Punjab) government and the central govt or the ties between the PMor FM and those states (Punjab and Tamilnadu resp.) may be acoincidence. But such coincidences happening over and over for 60years has significantly contributed to the backwardness of stateslike Orissa.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
March 1, 2006
Since last year the Finance Minister is trying to patronize some institutes of higher learning in his budget. He also started announcing setting up and upgradations of some institutes of advance learning too. In last budget, he announced a grant of Rs 100 crore for Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore to help develop it into a world-class institution. It is other matter how much has actually been done with that money during the last 12 months. Some of the initiatives this year in his words are as follows:
1. A Central Institute of Horticulture will be established in Nagaland.
2. Government will also set up the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management.
3. The Paddy Processing Research Centre at Thanjavur will be developed into a national-level institute.
4. During 2006-07, Ministry of Tourism will establish 4 new institutes of hotel management in the States of Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand and Uttaranchal.
5. The existing National Institute of Port Management, Chennai, has been renamed as the National Maritime Academy, and it is proposed to upgrade it into a Central University under an Act of Parliament. The University will have regional campuses at Mumbai, Kolkata and Visakhapatnam.
While I am heartened to hear about these institutes, I can’t understand why all these new institutes are coming up only in the states that are already very much developed. Why can’t the hotel management institutes be established in UP, Bihar and Assam or any NE states? Why can’t the Maritime Academy locate regional campus in Orissa? Why can’t Paddy Processing be located in Bihar?FM has also provided a separate heading for ‘Institutions of Excellence’ in his budget that says:
* Last year, I made a beginning with an unprecedented grant of Rs.100 crore to the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore to help develop it into a world-class institution. This year, I must recognize another historical event. Three great Universities have entered their 150th year. These are the University of Calcutta, the University of Mumbai and the University of Madras.
* I propose to mark the beginning of the 150th year celebrations with a grant of Rs.50 crore to each University for a specified research department or a research programme in that University. On the conclusion of the year, I intend to make another grant of Rs.50 crore to each of them.
I propose to make the special grant of Rs.100 crore for an institution of excellence to a distinguished institution, the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, in acknowledgement of its pioneering contribution to the green revolution.
* If agriculture is an ancient Indian skill, biotechnology is the new frontier that India will conquer. In order to foster research and development in biotechnology, the Ministry of Science and Technology has decided to accord the status of an autonomous National Institute to the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Tiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
All these institutes of excellence are located in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Punjab and Kerala. Is it because the politicians of the states or the bureaucrats are in decision-making bodies? Can FM or some one in the government provide a rational justification for this discrimination? Let me tell you that I felt bad also when Lalu as railway minister decided to locate a wheel-making factory in his constituency that does not provide any technical advantage or when I find many new trains starting or ending at some odd stations of Bihar.
I was not surprised when I read a news item that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar feels that his state has been ignored in respect of major projects and funds in the Union Budget for 2006-07. I suggest Nitish Kumar requests to get located the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management in Bihar.
With all the liberal views, one can’t but feel about this discriminatory behaviour. I feel the intelligentsia of the states such as UP, Bihar, Orissa, and Assam must protest.I wish, politics wouldn’t have been behind these announcements.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
In a Press briefing, Santosh Tripathy, Lalit Mohan Patanaik, Sudarsan Das, Supriti Mishra, Gadadhar Pradhan and Nirakar Beura, all members of Agami Odisha, appreciated the efforts of Orissa MPs to meet the Prime Minister over this issue.
They also welcomed the assurance of the PM to consider the case as it has genuineness.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
While the decision of the UPA government at the Centre to shift the proposed National Institute of Science (NIS) from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata has brewed stiff resentment in Orissa, prime minister Manmohan Singh, on the other hand has admitted the necessity of the Central institute in the state. Protesting against the exclusion of NIS issue in the budget speech by Union finance minister P Chidambaram in the Parliament, the BJD and BJP MPs onFriday met the prime minister and submitted a memorandum to this effect. Stating that the decision to set up NIS in Bhubaneswar was finalized during the NDA government tenure, the Orissa MPs said that the decision taken by the present government at the Centre to shift the proposed institute to Kolkata has reflected the step-motherly attitude of the Centre towards the state.
After listening to the complaints of the Orissa MPs, Singh said that their demand is totally justified. He promised them to personally take up the matter. The delegation, led by BJD MP Braja Kishore Tripathy, had other members including Baijayant Panda, Brahmananda Panda, Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, Sugrib Singh, Prasanna Acharya, Prasanna Patsani, Mohan Jena, Pramila Bohidar, Tathagat Satpathy, Surendra Lath, Dharmendra Pradhan, Rudra Narayan Pani, Ananta Nayak, Kharvela Swain and Bhartruhari Mahatab. Briefing newsmen after the meeting, BJP MP Kharavela Swain described the acceptance of the demand of the Opposition by the prime minister as a healthy sign for Indian democracy. It may be mentioned here that there was a statewide students' agitation in Orissa against the shifting of NIS to Kolkata.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Pioneer News Service/ Bhubaneswar
Hopes of the proposed National Institute of Science (NIS) not being shifted from Bhub-aneswar were strengthened on Friday, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh telling a high-power delegation of 16 BJD and BJP MPs from Orissa in Delhi that the State very much needed such an institute of scientific excellence.
The Prime Minister had an audience in State's ruling coalition MPs, led by BJD member in Lok Sabha Brajakishore Tripathy and BJD member in Rajya Sabha Baijayant Panda.
During the interaction, the delegation strongly criticised the callous move of the Union Government to overlook the interests of an underdeveloped State like Orissa.
Dr Singh, however, assured that he would sort out all the modalities to ensure that such an institute comes up in the State.
An elated Brajakishore Tripathy, after emerging from the half-an-hour-long meeting told mediapersons that the Prime Minister has admitted this to be a justified demand for the State. BJP MP Kharabela Swain said the UPA Government was now trying to respect the Opposition's feelings and he is confident that the dream of Orissa having the NIS will be a reality soon.
BJD MPs Bhartruhari Mahtab and Baijayant Panda also congratulated the Prime Minister on Thursday's successful agreement with the United States on the Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Pact.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
However, chief minister Amarinder Singh had earlier hinted in the Vidhan Sabha that the prestigious institute would come up in Jalandhar.
Two other IISERs are being set up in Pune and Kolkata. Together, they shall come up at an approximate cost of Rs 500-550 crore. The ministry of human resource development would soon constitute an implementation committee for the latest IISER.
IISER, Kolkata, was likely to start functioning this years but is said to have been delayed due to political reasons. This tangle worked in favour of Chandigarh, sources said.
Once set up, the three institutes would establish a network with professional institutes like IITs and NIITs, universities and colleges across the nation. The IISER in the city's periphery would bring together all undergraduate, postgraduate, doctorate and post doctorate scholars under one roof.
It would collaborate with all major scientific institutes in the region --PAU, Ludhiana, IMTECH, YS Parmar Horticulture University, Solan, and various engineering colleges. The IISER would use some infrastructure and faculty from these institutions to give a boost to science education.
Each of the IISERs would have about 190 faculty members each across disciplines and would be headed by a director. It would offer programmes of study in biological sciences, physical sciences, chemical sciences, computer sciences, life sciences, environment and earth system sciences.
The institute could be expected to have about 2,050 students in its masters' programme, doctoral programme and post-doctoral programme at the time of its full-fledged functioning. However, to begin with, the total strength in its integrated MSc programme would be 1,000 and 1,050 in the doctoral and post doctoral programme.
Entrance to these programmes would be through an all India competitive examination. These institutions have been recommended by the scientific advisory council to the Prime Minister headed by Professor CNR Rao, who had recommended these to revive waning interest in basic science as a career.
A site to file grievances
I came across the site http://darpg-grievance.nic.in/
from a posting in the Orissa Today group.
Let us all use it to lodge our grievences with respect to the
NIS and HRD-NH issues.
They are supposed to respond.
The link http://darpg-grievance.nic.in/goi-pgos.htm has email
addresses of the people who are supposed to answer the grievences.