IIM at Sambalpur
New Delhi, June 24: The Union government today put to rest the uncertainty over selection of site for an IIM in Odisha by clearing the proposal to set up the premier institute in Sambalpur.
The decision also paves the way for possible commencement of academic programme from the current session.
The Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today cleared the proposal for setting up of six IIMs, including the one in Sambalpur and another in Bodhgaya in Bihar. The other IIMs will be set up at Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Sirmaur in Himachal Pradesh, Nagpur in Maharashtra and Amritsar in Punjab.
A press statement issued by the Press Information Bureau said these IIMs would begin functioning from assigned temporary facilities and shift to their permanent sites after construction of their campuses.
“It is intended that these six new IIMs will commence their first academic session from 2015-16,” the statement said. Each institute will start with 140 students in the postgraduate programme courses.
IIM Indore, which is mentoring IIM Odisha, had earlier written to the ministry of human resource development (HRD) that it might not admit students unless the permanent site and temporary campus for the B-school are finalised at the earliest.
Last year the HRD ministry had written to the state governments asking for possible sites with around 200 acres of land with good connectivity. The Odisha government had suggested two sites in Bhubaneswar in view of its air connectivity.
A central site selection team visited the sites in Bhubaneswar last December and had picked one near Gothpatna on the city outskirts.
After petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan put his weight behind Sambalpur as the site for the IIM, the HRD ministry wrote to the Naveen Patnaik government asking for its opinion on setting up the institute in west Odisha. After the state government agreed to it, a central team visited Sambalpur on Monday and the Union Cabinet cleared the proposal today.
The Odisha government has hailed the decision to set up the IIM in Sambalpur. Welcoming the decision, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said: “This will go a long way in promoting higher education in western Odisha.”
There was jubilation In Sambalpur with people bursting crackers and distributing sweets. “This area of the state will become an educational hub after the IIM is set up,” said president of Gangadhar Meher University students’ union Milan Hota.
Additional reporting by Subrat Das in Bhubaneswar