Posts filed under ‘Central Govt. Grants’

Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) allowed to open campuses abroad

Following is a report by IANS published in

New Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) The prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have been allowed to open campuses abroad, a human resource development (HRD) ministry official said Wednesday.

In a decision taken at a meeting between HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and the directors and chairpersons of the IIMs, full powers have been given to the boards of the institutions to open new centres in India and abroad.

“The other powers given to the boards include freedom to create posts within the approved norms, freedom to amend rules of the IIMs within the framework of memorandum of association and rules, power to acquire and dispose property not fully or partially funded by the ministry, powers to approve their own budget and also to manage the funds generated by the IIMs on their own,” the official said.

However, the number of members on IIMs’ boards has been reduced to 14.

The official hinted that an overhaul may be on the cards as the issue of representing the IIM society, the government, the faculty and the alumni on the boards was also discussed.

“It was also decided, in principle, that directors of IIMs will now be appointed through a process wherein the board of governors of the IIMs would suggest three names to the government from which it will choose one,” the official said.

It was also decided that the IIMs will be free to raise the salaries of their directors and faculty from the funds generated in-house.

“The minister has also directed that old and new IIMs sit together to streamline the use of technology for class scheduling, attendance and marks compilation,” the official said.

The minister pointed out the board should take steps to prepare annual action plans and key performance indicators at each level and be fully accountable and transparent.


October 16, 2010 at 8:04 am Leave a comment

Orissa govt. declares 90 blocks in 15 districts as drought-hit: The Pioneer

Following report is from the Pioneer:

The State Government on Tuesday declared 10,336 revenue villages belonging to 90 blocks in 15 districts as drought-hit. The affected farmers coming under 1,444 gram panchayats could now avail the drought package recently announced by the State Government.

A report issued from the Revenue Department informed that the drought-hit areas were taken into account by analysing the information gathered by Collectors of all the 30 districts. It said insufficient rainfall during this monsoon had led to crop loss in the districts.

“A total of 10,336 villages of 1,444 gram panchayats under 90 districts in 15 districts are reeling under severe crop loss due to erratic rainfall,” the report informed.

The report also informed that among 15 districts, Mayurbhanj district was worst hit. “While 2,460 villages in tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj were the worst hit, 1761 villages in Balasore district were at the bottom of the drought-hit areas list,” the report said. Other affected districts are Angul, Baragarh, Kendrapada, Keonjhar, Puri, Sonepur, Sambalpur, Boudh, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Jharsuguda and Sundergarh.

As per the drought package announced by the Government recently farmers with more than 50 per cent crop loss in irrigated land would be entitled to get financial compensation of `4,000 per hectare. Similarly, farmers who lost 50 per cent crops in non-irrigated lands would get `2,000 assistance per hectare.

The Government has also declared to give 50 per cent diesel subsidy for supplementary irrigation. It has also announced to half the water tax and land tax payable by the farmers. This apart, the Government has also announced to give power connection to the lift irrigation points of farmers who would make 50 per cent of their dues during rabi season.

It has also announced to waive the tuition fees and examination fees of the children of the affected farmers of the drought-hit areas.While 2,460 villages in tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj were the worst hit, 1,761 villages in Balasore district were at the bottom of the drought hit areas list, Revenue Minister Suryanarayan Patro said.

October 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment

Orissa demands Rs 1516 crore as drought assistance:PTI reports

Following news is from (originally reported by PTI):

With half of 30 districts hit by drought because of inadequate rains, the Orissa government today demanded Rs 1516 crore as central assistance to deal with the situation.

“The Centre had committed Rs 151.92 crore for the 2009 drought and Rs 402 crore towards flood in 2008 from National Calamity Contigency Fund (NCCF). But it did not release the fund,” Revenue and Disaster Management minister S N Patro told reporters here.

“In view of the drought, I request the Centre to release Rs 151.92 crore from the NCCF approved by a high-level committee chaired by the finance minister,” he said inviting a central team to access the magnitude of drought this time.

Though the state government had several times in the past asked for release of Rs 535.92 crore (Rs 151.92 plus Rs 402 crore), the Centre had ignored the demand, the minister said.

Patro said that though then union home minister Shivraj Patil during the 2008 floods announced central assistance of Rs 500 crore to Orissa, it received only Rs 98 crore.

Quoting reports submitted by district collectors, the minister said that a total of 10,336 villages and 104 wards in 15 districts had been identified as drought affected where crop loss of 50 per cent and above was recorded during the kharif-2010, he said.

Meanwhile, the state government announced compensation of Rs 4,000 per hectare of crop loss for irrigated land and Rs 2,000 for each hectare of non-irrigated land.

October 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm Leave a comment

Central govt.’s reply to Orissa govt. regarding Bhubaneswar and Jharsuguda airport: The Sambad

September 30, 2010 at 3:45 pm 1 comment

Prioritizing the criteria for location of Innovation University and IIT across India

Following article is from Current Science:

September 24, 2010 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

Campaign for operationalization of the proposed Jharsuguda airport

Here are some reports on the campaign for operationalization of the proposed Jharsuguda airport:

August 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

Government must chip in to upgrade Jharsuguda airport

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

Sanjib Kumar Karmee

Jharsuguda town is emerging as one of the economic hubs of India. It has many industrial units like Ultratech Cement of the Aditya Birla Group at Dhutra, SMC Power Generation Ltd, Action Ispat Ltd, Eastern Steel and Power Ltd, SPS Steel and Power Ltd, Utkal Alumina International Ltd, etc. Recently, it is reported that Jharsuguda will be the highest electric power producing town of India since industrial giants like Vedanta Aluminum Limited (VAL), Reliance Energy and Sterlite Energy Limited are developing power plants at Jharsuguda.

As Jharsuguda is emerging as the fastest growing town in Orissa, it is also witnessing huge migration of workforce from all parts of India. To cater to this need, an airport is essential. The Jharsuguda airstrip was built during World War II. There is a proposal to make this fully operational. However, the State Government is yet to realise the importance of this airport as evident from the following highlights as reported by various media sources.

It was reported that the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has decided to upgrade the airstrip at Jharsuguda into a full-fledged airport. So, the Government has decided to opt for a public-private partnership (PPP) for the work. In this regard, SREI, a Kolkata-based finance company had expressed interest and was negotiating with the Government. But so far nothing has happened.

Recently, the Chief Minister informed the Odisha Legislative Assembly that the AAI is considering the proposal of the State Government for developing the Jharsuguda airport and it has asked for the required 815 acres of land free of cost. Responding to this, the State Government has requested the AAI to scale down their requirement of land as only 734 acres of land is available near the airport.

After analysing these reports about Jharsuguda airport, one can come to the conclusion that nothing much has happened in the past ten years. Are these announcements about making Jharsuguda airport operational only sweet talk? Are we going to see any passenger plane arriving or taking off in the near future? Is this the outcome of the persistent efforts of our leaders?

In order to make Jharsuguda airport operational, the Odisha Government should provide the required 815 acres of land to the AAI. Providing 734 acres of land might hinder the future expansion of the airport. Moreover, if the Government is capable of acquiring land for building industries and dams; why can’t it acquire land for the development of an airport? The Government should complete the land acquisition for Jharsuguda airport at the earliest.

Very soon our neighbouring State Andhra Pradesh will have two international airports. The Odisha Government should propose the AAI to make Jharsuguda an international airport. There is also possibility of connecting Jharsuguda with direct flights to China and Korea as Vedanta Group is employing many Chinese and Korean nationals at its Jharsuguda plant. This will further encourage Buddhist tourism at Ganiapali in Bargarh and Baud town in western Odisha.

Presently, Jharsuguda airport can accommodate F27 type planes. Therefore, facilitation of small commercial flight should be encouraged. The Odisha Government should implement the master plan to be submitted by the administrative staff college of Hyderabad for Jharsuguda town to make it a 21st century city. In addition, the Government should push for establishing some State and national level institutes in this town.

In this regard, immediate operationalisation of Jharsuguda airport is essential to cater to the need of whole western Odisha. This will accelerate the socio-economic condition of this region. The Government should take necessary steps to make this airport ready.

August 14, 2010 at 5:10 am Leave a comment

Memorandum for operationalization of the proposed Jharsuguda airport

Download the Memorandum for operationalization of the proposed Jharsuguda airport

August 11, 2010 at 9:42 am 1 comment

MP demands IIM at Sambalpur, Orissa

Following report is from The Samaj:

August 4, 2010 at 7:10 pm 1 comment

State universities of India need to have greater freedom: Kapil Sibal

Following is a report from

How will innovation universities change higher education?

We have not adopted a top-down approach, ours is a bottom-up one. So far we have spoken of inclusive agenda of development, we are now thinking in terms of an inclusive education agenda. The idea is to empower institutions at the base of the pyramid. State universities are the foundation of higher education segment. State universities need to have greater freedom so confirm to realities of 21st century. The Centre is willing to give a helping hand.

Is that all required to improve institutions?

There is proposal to help state universities, which make up bulk of higher education segment. The Centre can help by giving more funds to strengthen these universities. This would help build infrastructure and quality. But state governments need to step up and provide policy framework. This framework will give universities more freedom. UGC can make grants beyond what it already does. But state governments must allow for more freedom so that state universities can transform themselves.

Are state only expected to provide for a more liberal policy framework?

Over the years, the Centre’s share of expenditure in public education has increased, while states’ share has come down. This mismatch should be corrected.

Many institutions suggest quality can be improved with freedom in admissions policy…

There should be democracy. An institution should have the right to decide on what basis it wants to admit students. At the same time there should not be unnecessary pressure on students. So some institutes can decide to admit on the basis of Class XII results — on the basis of merit. While other institutes could admit on the basis of the national aptitude test, or look at the aptitude test as an add on. There is also the option of add on subject tests. So the class XII results determine subject knowledge, aptitude tests will assess raw intelligence, and add on tests will assess special knowledge.

So each institute can determine the basis on which they admit, rather than doing so through individual entrance tests. The idea is to reduce tests, while still giving each institute the freedom to admit students that fit in with the specific focus of the institute. Let me give an example, what is the difference between Yale and Harvard law Schools. Yale is focused on research while Harvard is more business minded, so corporate law is a focus. So in their admissions policy they would show a preference for those who fit in to their respective focus areas.

Will this make the education system more inclusive?

Right now we have entrance exams to exclude students, to keep some people out. I want to reduce stress for students, but also exclude exclusion. If we were a more mature system, I would say that interviews would be the final basis of deciding who gets admitted and who doesn’t. But we are not mature enough. Allowing for discretion would not help. So I want to put in place a system that doesn’t give space for discretion.

July 27, 2010 at 5:31 pm Leave a comment

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