Wednesday, February 28, 2007


IISERs and NISER in the 2007-08 budget

In the 2007-08 budget there is no line item budget for NISER. Thats probably because NISER is yet to be approved by the cabinet. However, there is a significant increase in the budget of Institute of Physics and in page 5 item 9.04 it is mentioned that "the responsibility of setting up NISER at Bhubaneswar is entrusted to IOP."

IOP's budget (item 9.04, page 1) in 2006-07 was 4.96+9 = 13.6 crores. Its budget in 2007-08 is 32.75 + 7 = 39.5 crores. It can be safely assumed that a major chunk of the additional 25.9 crores is towards the NISER expenses. (Note that there are also huge increases in the budget of couple of other institutes too. This includes Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad and Institute of Plasma research, Gandhinagar.) The NISER budget compares favourably with the IISER budgets.

In the 2006-07 budget for IISERs in Pune and Kolkata (item 70) there was a total of 50 crores which was revised to 20 crores. This line item does not have numbers for 2007-08. There is another line item (item 76) on IISER with 125 crores for the 5 IISERs: the established ones in Pune and Kolkata and the 3 proposed IISERs in Bhopal, Trivendrum and Mohali, Punjab.


Saturday, February 24, 2007


Cabinet approval for IISER in Mohali. What about NISER?

The following news item notes that the Union Cbinet has given approval to IISER in Mohali. One wonders what happened to the approval of NISER, Bhubaneswar. Note that the foundation stone of IISER Mohali was laid on September 27 2006. This is almost one month later than the date when the PM announced NISER Bhubaneswar. However, IISER Mohali was first mentioned by the PM in January 2006.



Mohali to be new knowledge centre for north India

Chetan Chauhan

New Delhi, February 23, 2007

What Bangalore is for south India, Mohali would soon be for northern India - a hub for multi-level knowledge base with five educational institutes and a biotechnology park.

An ambitious plan prepared by the government to be implemented in the next five years have HRD ministry, Science and Technology ministry and Punjab government as collaborators. "Entire proposal is in the final stages of approval as the Punjab government has been asked to provide adequate land for the national knowledge project," a senior government official told HT.

The approval process started on Thursday with the Union Cabinet approving setting up of Rs 100 crore Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Mohali. By doing this, the government has fulfilled Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s commitment of an IISER in the town.

The PM’s plan has got further boost with ministry of Science and Technology deciding to open National Institute of Nano-Technology and National Institute of Bio-Technology in Mohali. "The proposals in this regard would be forwarded for Cabinet consideration soon," a senior government official said.

The Punjab government has been asked by the Centre to open a management school through public-private partnership model in Mohali. They have also been asked to provide land for developing national biotechnology park. The existing National Institute for Pharmaceutical Education and Research will be part of the new ‘knowledge campus’.

According to a senior government official, all the five institutes will come up in one huge campus with common residential, library, sports, broadband and hostel facilities. To make it a true learning centre and attract best talent, the government has recommended residential facilities, with Internet facilities, for all students and teachers.

A sub-group headed by former education secretary BS Baswan has recommended a flexible recruitment policy for the campus and complete employment opportunities for students.

The report submitted in December 2006 entails that teachers would get salary higher than the government pay scales, extra honorarium for research projects and opportunities for visiting foreign universities, in a bid to attract best teaching talent. The group has also recommended that the new knowledge centre should have tie-ups with foreign universities to hire faculty of Indian origin on semesters basis.

For students, the group had recommended better interaction with industry with emphasis on future employment avenues.

E-mail Chetan Chauhan:

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Panel picks up two sites for NISER: The New Indian Express

Panel picks up two sites for NISER
Saturday February 10 2007 11:37 IST

BHUBANESWAR: An expert committee has short listed two sites for establishment of the National Institute of Scientific Education and Research (NISER) in the State.

About 296 acres of land near the Naraj barrage has been earmarked as the first site. Advantages: The site is close to Cuttack; 37 acres of gramin jungle, adjacent to it, would be developed as a botanical garden.

The second site is located near Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) installation and the elephant reserve in Cuttack district. It, however, has several disadvantages. Only 185 acres would be available which is not adequate for NISER.

Further, a good part of it is under IDCO, which may cause delay in possession. Moreover, part of the land is under litigation and there are several small patches which are not contiguous.

The sites were identified by the Site Selection Committee comprising Joint Secretary (Research and Development) in the Department of Atomic Energy, Director of the Indian Institute of Physics and Secretary in the Department of Higher Education.

Land for the institution would have to be handed over before the commencement of the next academic programme in August, 2007. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced the establishment of NISER during his visit to the State in August, 2006.

The detailed project report (DPR) has been completed and submitted to the Department of Atomic Energy for further processing and approval of the Union Cabinet. Centre has also formed a steering committee headed by Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Dr A Kakodkar for monitoring the progress.

The first academic programme would start from August, 2007 in the campus of the Institute of Physics for which the infrastructure is being developed.

Initial streams would be schools of Physical Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Chemical Sciences and Biological Sciences. Schools of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Computing Sciences, Engineering Sciences and other branches would be added after the expansion of the institution.

In its full strength, NISER would have 200 students each year in the 5-year programme, 150 in Ph D programme and 50 in post doctorate. This will be supported by a faculty strength of 300.

The academic programme will provide integrated 5-year M Sc Programme in core and emerging areas of basic sciences after Plus Two. This will be integrated with Ph D programme on one hand and employment opportunities in various R&D organisations and industries on the other.

NISER would also provide integrated M Sc and Ph D programme and Ph D after M Sc for students of other universities.

The first is located near Naraj barrage and the other near CISF installation and elephant reserve in Cuttack.

Friday, February 09, 2007


Next Hearing of NIS Petition in High Court is on 21st Feb: Sambad, 9th Feb 2007

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