Posts filed under ‘Upcoming University’

Orissa Chief Minister disfavor Kalahandi for central Government institution;conflicting report about Indira Gandhi National Tribal University

Following write-up is taken from

Note: As per the information provided to Prof. Gopa Bandhu Behera there was a meeting towards the end of April (probably April 22, 2010) in Amarkantak/Bhopal favoring for a campus of IGNTU Amarkantak in Kalahandi, however, following news report says for similar campus in Phulbani. It seems as usual Orissa Chief Minister is not in favor of Kalahandi for any central Government institution.

Naveen demands special tag for KBK, May 11, 2010

Naveen Patnaik has renewed his demand for a Special Category Status for the state in a different way.

Odisha Chief Minister asked Kapil Sibal to accord ‘Special Category Status’ for 11 districts included in the KBK region and Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected Areas for the Schemes of Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD).

Mr.Patnaik and Union Minister for HRD held one-to-one discussion here on 11 May on various developmental issue on HRD Sector.

It came to light that the Union Government has favored for the establishment of a Regional Centre of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) in Odisha.

This was also revealed by Mr.Sibal that Centre has recommended the proposal of the State Government to IGNTU for a Regional Centre at Phulbani.

Mr.Patnaik reminded Union Minister HRD that Odisha is yet to get World Class University declared by MHRD in 2008, after lapse of 2 years.

Mr.Sibal said that now World Class University is rephrased as “Innovation University” and is under active consideration of the Union Government.

In the meeting Mr.Patnaik, discussed various issues of concern for the development of ‘Human Resource’ in the State, particularly in the context of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RCFCE) Act 2009, Vocational Training and Higher Education.

Chief Minister informed the Union Minister that Orissa, during recent years, has made concerted efforts for improving the educational infrastructure at all levels and for enhancing the technical skills and capabilities of its human resource, with the objective to sustain the development and industrialization process in the State.

He appreciated the support extended by the Union Ministry and emphasized that the magnitude of the task faced by the State has suddenly increased manifold primarily on account of RCFCE Act and the additional requirement of trained and technically qualified manpower necessitated by the on-going industrialization process.

Chief Minister impressed upon the Union Minister that about half of the State is covered by KBK Region and Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas, which have extremely high concentration of the vulnerable population including SCs & STs and the problem is accentuated by the fact that this vulnerable population is dispersed in scattered remote villages.

He emphasized that vulnerable population in these areas require some serious special efforts and there is therefore a strong and justified need to treat KBK/LWE area in the State at par with North Eastern States and other Hill States, for the purpose of all Schemes of MHRD.

Chief Minister requested the Union Minister to consider and approve following specific requests of the State, on priority:

Approve Central-State share in the ratio of 90:10 to implement the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RCFCE) Act 2009 at least for two plan periods

Sanction all ‘school buildings’ and ‘additional class rooms’ as per the requirement of RCFCE Act during 2010-11.

Consider allotting 1/3rd Central share as envisaged under the Scheme for new colleges for up-gradation of existing colleges in 18 low Gross Enrolment Ratio(GER) districts as part of the Model College Scheme

Provide assistance for upgrading Model Degree Colleges in Districts having low Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education

Sanction new Vocational Junior Colleges and strengthen existing Vocational Colleges

Union Minister appreciated the efforts being made by the State to develop its human resource and for efficiently utilizing the Central Government funds.

Mr.Sibal informed that the Union Government was in the process to finalize the arrangement of sharing of funds required to enforce Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RCFCE) Act 2009.

He assured that efforts will be made to minimize the burden on the State.

He advised that the State should take advantage of the Central Scheme for setting up new Degree Colleges in 18 Low Gross Enrolment Ratio Districts.

For developing playgrounds, Union Minister appreciated the suggestion of the State and assured to take up the matter with Ministry of Rural Development to include these under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

May 11, 2010 at 8:29 pm Leave a comment

Indian environment ministry puts on hold Vedanta varsity in Orissa:IANS

Following is a report by IANS published in

New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) The environment ministry Tuesday put on hold construction of the Rs.150 billion Vedanta University in Orissa by the Anil Agarwal Foundation following complaints of irregularities.
The ministry said it had received information alleging irregularities and “illegal, unethical and unlawful deeds” by the foundation.

It said serious objections raised during the Orissa Coastal Zone Management Authority meeting were not appropriately considered while granting coastal regulation zone (CRZ) and environmental clearances.

“The above issues are relevant and important and predict a detailed examination. I have been directed to inform you that the environmental and CRZ clearances issued on April 16, 2010 shall be kept in abeyance till a final decision in the matter is taken by the ministry,” said Bharat Bhushan, director in the ministry, in a letter to the foundation.

The ministry asked the company not to proceed with any construction or development works till a detailed examination of all the issues raised are examined by its Expert Appraisal Committee.

The Anil Agarwal foundation is promoted by NRI billionaire and chairman of Vedanta Resources, Anil Agarwal.

It has proposed to set up the multi-disciplinary Vedanta University over 6,000 acres of land near the Konark-Puri marine drive, some 60 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar.

This not-for-profit university has been envisaged as one-of-its-kind institution for quality higher education and cutting-edge research in 95 disciplines for 100,000 students.

May 11, 2010 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

Vedanta University: Lanjigarh versus Puri

Following letter was sent to

Dear All,

When an incredible and elegant solution stares you in your face, you have to be completely dysfunctional and utterly intellectually challenged not to take it. Yet this is the current situation about location of Vedanta University. Locating the university in the vicinity of Lanjigarh solves several problems at one stroke, yet sixty milers want to locate it near Puri. Incredible.

It will be good,very good, for the entire KBK region,particularly for the large number of Adivashis will sacrifice not only their home and hearth, but their way of life. They being largely illiterate and possessing no marketable skills, they will be disoriented and will have insurmountable difficulties to carve out a new life with the  few rupees they will get in exchange for their habitat. With an institution of the size proposed, there will be good job opportunities. Hopefully the institution will spawn a variety of ancillary industries, and other institutions which can  give them good chance of a good alternate livelihood.

KBK has been a sink hole where various large scale attempts that have been made to rehabilitate into a healthy society have just been failures and the vast amount of money simply disappears. Vedant University will be strong and reliable anchor  in the community which will automatically attract various infrastructures which the entire region so desperately needs. A critical mass of literate and sophisticated population will develop because of adjacent Central University in Koraput, and thus a new nucleus of educational excellence will be generated. And some day, the kids of those displaced Adivashis may be managers of Vedanta and other institutions. And civil servants who find all kinds of excuses not to be located,they  will eagerly compete to be there.

Vedanta will benefit tremendously because its image of a ruthless destroyer of habitat of disadvantaged populace and mindless destroyer of environment; that image will change into a benevolent philanthropist and builder of healthy society. Mind you, it still has to be a good caretaker of the environment and has to actively engage to protect the sensitive ecology of the region. My feeling is that the local populace will actively cooperate with Vedanta to see that Vedanta becomes a successful profitable venture at the same time jointly engage in protecting the ecology.

The unnecessary confrontation between Vedanta on one side and environmentalists and displaced Adivashis can be avoided. Vedanta will emerge as a hero, and can serve as a role model for other mining enterprises. At the same time it will avoid confrontation with Puri-ites regarding land accumulation for building the university. 

It will also be great for Orissa government. Many from Koshala or Western Orissa including me are very critical of Orissa government for over concentrating practically most human resource development activities in the vicinity of Bhubaneswar leaving rest of Orissa largely untouched. Location of Vedanta University in Kalahandi will be first good step to address the inequity, and hopefully this will be followed by similar gestures throughout Orissa away from the sixty mile strip. Location of Vedanta University will cost the government nothing. Cash strapped Orissa government has not been able to manage adequately the institutions of higher learning. Now it can focus in strengthening the existing ones. And the long neglected huge population of Adivashis,who are literally dying because the government has put their horrendous problems under the carpet, will have some ray of hope of good future.

Some argue that the decision of location of Vedanta university in Puri was the decision of Vedanta not Orissa government. But is the Orissa government is so weak that major educational development is surrendered to a industrial house ? With such a majority in the Orissa assembly, one would think that the government is full control of what happens in the state.

Therefore only conclusion one can derive from such decision is that Navin’s government is simply a regionalistic one dominated by self-centered   “academics” and “intelligentsia” with no vision of overall development of Orissa; and this really the way they want. These self centered folks are not interested in reduction of inter-regional disparity, or are interested in rational solutions of the problems. They are simply engaged in rationalisation of the decisions which irrational in essence.

So do you think that wisdom will prevail, and Vedanta University will be located in Kalahandi after all  ? Do not hold your breath. The change of status of dysfunctional to functional is not in the cards.


Professor Arjun Purohit,Kingston, Ontario, Canada

May 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm 2 comments

Vedanta University project gets environmental clearance from union ministry of environment and forests (MOEF)

Following is a report by IANS published in

Bhubaneswar, April 17 (IANS) The Rs.150 billion Vedanta University project in Orissa by the Anil Agarwal foundation has got environmental and coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearances from the central government, a project spokesman said Saturday.

‘The union ministry of environment and forests (MOEF) has granted the environment and CRZ clearances to the Vedanta University project,’ Sasanka Patnaik told IANS.

‘We received the letter from the ministry today (Saturday),’ he said.

The Anil Agarwal foundation is promoted by NRI billionaire and chairman of Britain’s Vedanta Resources Anil Agarwal.

It has proposed to set up a multi-disciplinary Vedanta University over 6,000 acres of land near the Konark-Puri marine drive, some 60 km from here.

This not-for-profit university, being built on a global scale, has been envisaged as one-of-its-kind institution for quality higher education and cutting-edge research facility in 95 academic disciplines for 100,000 students.

April 17, 2010 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

Oppn ups ante against Naveen on land for Vedanta University:Aftermath of Lokpal Justice Patra’s report

Following is a report from

BHUBNESWAR: Vedanta Group chairman Anil Agarwal is having harrowing time. His dream project, Vedanta University at Puri, is not only facing stiff

opposition from the locals, but also now mired in legal controversy following Lok Pal’s order the government for a vigilance probe if handing over of the Puri Jagannath temple land to the Anil Agarwal Foundation was in breach of law and whether any official had a role in it.

The opposition Congress on Monday accused chief minister Naveen Patnaik of favouring Vedanta Universiy by violating law of the land by handing over temple land without following due procedure. The party also demanded resignation of the chief minister and face an “impartial probe” into the handing over Jagannath temple trust land to the London-based Vedanta Resources which is setting up a university project at Puri.

Addressing a press conference here, senior Congress leaders Narasingha Mishra, Nalini Mohanty, L.B. Mohapatra, Niranjan Patnaik and Sibananda Ray said although an Assembly committee constituted by former Speaker Kishore Mohanty had estimated the cost of 1200 acres land given to Vedanta at Rs 80 crore, the company paid a pittance i.e only Rs 8 crore.

“The handing over of the Jaganath temple trust land to Vedanta smacks of a huge scam. The state law department had given adverse note on the transfer of land. But the chief minister office overlooked this for some obvious reasons,” they said, adding an impartial probe could unearth the scam.

Acting on a petition filed by Dwaraka Mohan Mishra, a trade union leader, the Lok Pal last week had asked the state government to submit a report within three months after complying with the recommendations given by him in this case. The Lok Pal has also recommended a moratorium on the project till the Anil Agarwal Foundation complies with the legal provisions pointed out by the Ministry of Company Affairs for conversion of its status from private to public company.

Legally the state government could acquire land for the Anil Agarwal Foundation if the Foundation was a public company. This has been the consistent view of the Law Department of Government of Orissa. The then Orissa chief secretary approved the proposal for land acquisition in the instant case on the 12th December 2006. Accordingly lands belonging to private persons as well as to Shri Jagannath Temple were gradually acquired. But no previous sanction of the state government was taken before acquiring the land belonging to Shri Jagannath Temple though previous sanction was mandatory as per Section 16 of Shri Jagannath Temple Act, 1954, which has embroiled Anil Agarwal Foundation into fresh trouble, officials said here.

Justice Patra has made it clear that if the Jaganath Temple Act and the Land Acquisition Act have not been complied with, no temple land could be handed over to the Foundation for the proposed University. Besides, he has recommended that the state government should work out a scheme for phase-wise delivery of land required for the university project. He also suggested that the vigilance cell should monitor the progress of the project and see that land is acquired and delivered in a phase-wise manner to the foundation so that it is not misused.

Justice Patra has asked the state government to ensure payment of adequate compensation by the Foundation to those affected by the project.

April 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm Leave a comment

The concept of deemed universities will be abolished in India

Following is a report by IANS published in The Pioneer:

The concept of deemed universities will be abolished in India but none of the students will suffer, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal said Tuesday, a day after the government moved an affidavit in the Supreme Court seeking derecognition of 44 such institutions.

“It is a policy decision that all the deemed universities will finally go,” Sibal told reporters at the 10th Editor’s Conference on social sector issues here.

“Let me also assure that no student will suffer. All of them will get university degrees,” the minister assured tens of thousands of students who may suffer if the central government derecognises the 44 universities.

Sibal’s comments come a day after the central government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that the recognition of 44 deemed universities must be taken away.

“The concept of deemed universities from the country will go in the near future and this is part of the reform process. We are putting in place the required legislations,” Sibal added.

The country has nearly 100 deemed universities that function as stand-alone universities but don’t give affiliation to other institutions.

Talking about the impact on students, Sibal said: “Technically, we haven’t derecognised any deemed university. We have moved the Supreme Court with an affidavit and a report by the expert committee on deemed universities. Let me assure, no student will suffer.

“We are going to take care of all students. And government’s intention is not to put any student in problem. All students will get a university degree,” the minister assured.

Sibal said the government had accepted the findings of the committee on the derecognition of 44 deemed universities.

“The court will tell us what course of action we will take,” the minister added.

Clarifying the stand, higher education secretary Bibha Puri Das said that to retain the deemed university status, an institution needs to maintain certain quality, which was “found wanting” in the 44.

She said as such these institutions will not be locked. They will remain as educational institutions but “need to take affiliations from recognised universities”.

Asked about fixing responsibility over people who have given these institutions the deemed university status, Sibal said: “I am looking forward for bringing education reforms. Don’t want to take any name. It’s not on my agenda.”

Asked if Arjun Singh, during whose tenure a majority of these institutions got the deemed status, was to be blamed, Sibal said: “I don’t want to take any names. I don’t want to look backward. We are on the cusp of an educational reform and I am going to do that. I am looking forward.”

Of the 44 deemed universities, against whom the central government wants action through the apex court, 16 are in Tamil Nadu. Jaypee Institute of Information, Noida, Gurukul Kangri Biswavidyalaya, Haridwar, National Museum Institute of History of Art, New Delhi, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth in Puducherry, Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute, Chennai are some of the institutions who are likely to lose their deemed university status.

January 19, 2010 at 6:24 pm Leave a comment

Intelligentsias urged APJ Abdul Kalam to help set up national varsity in Kalahandi

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

The intelligentsias of Kalahandi district urged former President APJ Abdul Kalam to influence the Central and State Governments to take immediate steps for establishment of a national (innovative) university in the region.

The intelligentsias led by convener of Vision Kalahandi 2020 AK Nanda and non-resident Odia (NRO) Digambara Patra     presented the former President the well-researched document — Vision Kalahandi 2020 here.

Nanda pointed out that Kalahandi is at present backward despite its geographical location at the central point of south-west Odisha, its vast natural resources and glorious past. The KBK Yojana and other schemes of the Central and State Governments would not work here unless higher education and research generates awareness among the masses, he observed.

Although the Government of India has been initiating a number of universities like Central and National [Innovative], nothing is allotted to Kalahandi, lamented Dr Nanda. Such centres of higher learning should be established in the backward zones so that the areas lagging behind the developed zones would march ahead and the regional imbalances would be reduced considerably, which would ensure an effective national integration, said he.

Nanda also pointed out that lakhs of people of Kalahandi cutting across political and professional lines have petitioned several times to both the Centre and the State to get a university. However, both the Governments turned deaf ear to the request, he added.

Kalahandi district, they said, has thousands and thousands acres of land ideally located at the tariff points of rail, road and air. The region is, moreover, free from Maoist menace and natural hazards like floods, earthquake, tsunami and volcanic eruption. As such, the region is congenial for education and research to grow. So establishment of a university in the region is must, they argued.

January 17, 2010 at 8:12 pm Leave a comment

Second central University in Odisha should be located in Kalahandi and not in Bhubaneswar

Following is a report the This letter is a response to the earlier report on MP Dr. Patsani demand another Central University in BBSR .

The Honroable MPs from Odisha

Honorable Speaker, Lok Sabha
Mr. Sibal, Honorable Minister of Human Resource Development
Mr. Naveen Patnaik, President of BJD and Honorable Chief Minister of Odisha

Dear Honorable MPs from Odisha,

Refering to the recent demand for a second central University in Odisha in the line of Jammu and Kasmir by BJD MP Prof. Dr. Prasanna Patasani in the Lok Sabha (Dharitri, Dec 4, 2009).

it is appreaicble that honorable MP has taken a good inititaive for Odisha, however, unfortunately he has again identified the location as Bhubaneswar which is already having many central Govt. institutions. The Orissa’s state capital is already having or is proposed to have NISER, IIT, AIIMS etc which are of the same stature of national university, apart from railway medical college, ESIC medical colleges and many national level research institutions. Among 14 states selected for National University, Bhubaneswar is the only location where IIT, NISER (similar to IISER/IISc) and National University are coming in one place.  This is part from other state Govt. instiutions, IIIT, Universitites and national research centers.

In the line of  Jammu & Kashmir for two central Universities in the state, the location which deserves the second central University in the state is Kalahandi, as it has been figthing for a central University since past two deacdes and Odisha Chief Minister had at the last moment not kept his promise to the local people. The issue of Central University in Jammu and Kasmhir is similar to what happned in Odisha between Koraput and Kalahandi.

On the other hand establishing more number of central funded institutions in KBK, a size similar to the stata of Kerala, will bring inclusive growth of the region.

Beside that Western Odisha has not got a single central Govt. higher educational institutions recently whereas Central University and IIIT were located in South Odisha and many other instutisions came in Central Odisha.

Central University stuggle in Kalahandi is not only well known in the state but also in the whole nation.

Instead of bringing politics all the MPs from Odisha should come forward and fight for a second Central University in Odisha to be located in Kalahandi in the line of Jammu & Kashmir.

There is already a demand for a second central University to establish in Kalahandi in the line of Jammu & Kashmir (The Pioneer, Oct 24, 2009).

Being a well known piolitician, writer and social worker in the state Prof. Dr. Patasani should rather support such demand insetad of making a richer location more richer, otherwise National University should be established in Kalahandi instead of Bhubaneswar.

This will bring regional balance in Odisha.

Thank you and best regards

Digambara Patra

Digambara Patra, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
American University of Beirut
Beirut, Lebanon

December 5, 2009 at 9:47 am Leave a comment

MP Bhakta Das writes to HRD minister for establishing a National University in western Odisha

Following is the copy of the letter:

Bhakta Babu's letter for NU

November 9, 2009 at 1:31 pm 4 comments

State urges Centre to set up Innovation University in Odisha

Following report is from The Pioneer:

State Higher Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra on Saturday said that the Odisha Government has taken a lot of steps to bring reform in the higher education sector. Mishra stated this while attending a two-day conference on higher education organised by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at New Delhi.

Mishra further said that the State Government has also prepared a vision document to this effect. During his Delhi visit, Misha held a discussion regarding the establishment of a Innovation University in the State. The Centre had agreed to set up a university in Orissa in 2008.

India’s Human Resource Development Ministry plans to set up 14 “innovation universities” from 2010 to build “disciplinary focuses” and push research and development.

India has set a target of at least 30% of school leavers making it to college by 2020.

November 9, 2009 at 10:15 am Leave a comment

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