Wednesday, December 13, 2006


NISER in Orissa would be ISER-type: HRD ministry

Decks cleared for IISER-type institute in Orissa
Shubhajit RoyPosted online: Thursday, December 14, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 13: Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh has given the go ahead for a new Indian institute of science education and research in Orissa.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had, in August this year, promised to the Orissa government that a new institute — of the level of IIT — will be opened in the state. Singh had made this promise to Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in response to the increased economic activity in the state.

Sources in the HRD ministry said the request from the PM’s Office came in September this year, shortly after Singh had assured Patnaik.

“Consequently, the HRD ministry officials belonging to the technical education bureau were asked to examine the feasibility of this proposal,” a senior HRD official told The Indian Express. The ministry examined the possibility of setting up a new institute and held several rounds of discussions with the Orissa government officials.

After several rounds of consultations, the HRD ministry came to the conclusion that it was feasible to set up an institute of repute in the state. Sources said that the new institute is expected to be called National Institute of Science Education and Research as proposed by the Orissa government.

Like the first two IISERs at Kolkata and Pune, and the third one at Mohali (Punjab), the institute will offer science education and research programmes from the BSc (undergraduate) level and will go up to PhD level.

Setting up this institute, sources said, will cost about Rs 560 crore and the government wants the institute to begin functioning from the next academic year itself, said sources.

According to officials, it will be a national centre of excellence as it will have an approximate strength of 1,000 students in the integrated masters’ programme and an additional strength of nearly 1,000 students in the parallel streams of post-BSc and post-MSc programmes.

Ministry officials said in-principle approval for another two IISERs at Bhopal and Thiruvananthapuram has been received from the Planning Commission.

The process of setting up IISERS began after a strong recommendation from the Scientific Advisory Council to the PM, headed by Prof C N R Rao, was accepted by the government. The academic model of these institutions will be developed on the new model of university-laboratory relationship, sources said, where scientists of national laboratories will interact with faculty and students.

Its not clear why HRD ministry is getting involved now. It could be because of the upcoming supreme court date in January or because of new iit issues.
After thinking a bit more, the HRD statement is probably a precrusor to getting cabinet approval as before getting cabinet approval, HRD needs to ok it.
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