Higher education controversy in Odisha
This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (February 2013)
The higher education controversy in Odisha is a sensitive political issue that has caused parliamentary walkouts, violence, and unrest, and has been the subject of scholarly publications regarding the Indian state of Odisha. According to media reports, there has been large-scale discrimination in setting up these institutions of higher learning against a few states, especially Odisha.
It has also been observed within scholarly circles that Odisha (known before 2011 as Orissa) is routinely discriminated against by the Indian government, which has caused the state to lag behind the rest of the nation in terms of infrastructure, poverty reduction, literacy, education, and health.
- 1 Origin
- 2 Alleged discrimination in existing institutions
- 3 Alleged discrimination in establishing new institutions
- 4 Location of First IIT of India
- 5 Politics related to the issue
- 6 References
- 7 External links
In the 11th five-year plan, the Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD), Manmohan Singh's government had proposed to set up several premier technical institutes across the country to produce a world-class talent pool in science, engineering, and management, which would contribute significantly towards the economic development of the states where they are located, as well as the nation. The then HRD Minister, Arjun Singh, proposed setting up three new IITs, three IISERs, five new IIMs, twenty new IIITs and four new SPAs, which would receive direct funding from the central government instead of relying on smaller budgets through their state and local governments. Media reports reveal that the distribution of these institutions across the states is highly oblique and largely dependent on the political influence of the state in question.
The following table shows the distributions of centrally funded institutions across India :
|State||Established institutions||Planned institutions|
|Andhra Pradesh||2 Central univ., IITTM, IIT||SPA, 2 IIESTs, Central univ.|
|Arunachal Pradesh||NE Regional Inst. of Sc., Central Univ||(None)|
|Assam||IIT, NIPER, 2 Central univ.||(None)|
|Chhattisgarh||(IIM, NIT, Central Univ)||(AIIMS)|
|Delhi||IIT, IITTM, AIIMS, SPA, 4 Central univ.||(None)|
|Goa||(1 Central Univ, National Institute of Water Sports [Under IITTM])||(National Institute of Technology)|
|Gujarat||IIM, NIPER, IIT, NID||(None)|
|Haryana||NITTR||(IIM, Central Univ)|
|Himachal Pradesh||Indian Inst. of Adv. Studies||(IIT)|
|Jammu & Kashmir||(National Institute of Technology, Srinagar)||(none)|
|Jharkhand||Indian School of Mines, NIFFT||(None)|
|Karnataka||IISc, IIM, ISI, IIIT||(None)|
|Kerala||IIM, SCT Instt. of Med. Sc., IISER||IIST|
|Madhya Pradesh||IIM, IIITM, IITTM, NITTR, IIITD&M, NIT, IISER||SPA, IIT, AIIMS, NID, World Class Univ, Central Univ|
|Maharashtra||IIT, NITIE, BOAT, AFMC, Central univ., IISER||(None)|
|Manipur||Central Agr. Univ.||Central univ.|
|Orissa||NISER, ILS, XIMB, IIIT, IITTM||NID, IIT, AIIMS|
|Punjab||NIPER, SLIET, NITTR, IISER||(None)|
|Tamil Nadu||IIT, NITTR, BOAT, Central univ.||IIIT|
|Uttar Pradesh||IIT, IIM, IIIT, BOAT, 3 Central univ.||IIEST, Central univ.|
|West Bengal||IIT, ISI, IIM, Central univ, IISER||IIEST Kolkata (BESUS -> IIEST)|
Alleged discrimination in existing institutions
None of the premier institutions of national importance are located in the eastern state of Odisha. In terms of per capita funding received from the HRD ministry, it is among the bottom-most of all states. The only states below it are Bihar, Rajasthan, and a few very small states in the northeastern region. There have been estimates of the amount of HRD funding received by each state within the Indian union. One recently published estimate is provided in the table below.
|State||Total2||Per capita||Times Orissa||State||Total*||Per capita||Times Orissa|
|Andhra Pradesh||124.60||16||3.94||Arunachal Pradesh||14.5||127.00||31.2|
|Jammu & Kashmir||15.38||14.51||3.56||Jharkhand||43.64||16.22||3.98|
|West Bengal||232.71||28.10||6.90||India Total||2102.31||20.00||4.91|
*in crore (=10,000,000) rupees
The non-allocation of quality educational institutions to the state of Odisha by New Delhi has been interpreted by various quarters, ranging from politicians to Oriya academics living abroad, as proof of discrimination against the state by the HRD ministry. Odisha, which has 3.6% of the population of India, receives a minuscule 0.73% of the allocated budget. This, it is claimed falls within the purview of a larger pattern of what the national media has labelled as the "step-motherly treatment" meted out to Odisha by the government of India.
Alleged discrimination in establishing new institutions
India's recent rapid economic expansion has created the need for more world-class talent. The Human Resources and Development ministry has undertaken the need to set up several more institutions of international quality. A total of twenty-three institutions were announced, including more IITs, IIMs, Central Universities, as well as the new Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs) and the Indian Institutes of Engineering Science & Technology (IIESTs), all under the 11th Five Year Plan. As before, the state of Odisha has not been allocated any institution of national importance and continues to be the last state in terms of per capita investment in human resources by the Indian government. The regional disparities in this regard have been pointed out even by C. N. R. Rao, the scientific advisor to the Prime Minister of India.
Establishing an IIT in Odisha
The HRD ministry has recently announced plans to build three additional IITs in the states of Rajasthan, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh. According to recent reports, the allocation of the new IITs to Rajasthan and Bihar is to compensate them for earlier neglect. Andhra Pradesh, which borders Odisha, will get the third IIT, allegedly shifted from Odisha. If the Indian media is to be believed, the UPA government has categorically declined to establish an IIT in Orissa.
Upgrading existing institute within Odisha to an IIEST
The IIESTs are a group of technical institutions that are planned to be established as IIT clones. They will be set up by upgrading existing NITs and other state funded prominent engineering institutions. Several institutions have been identified by the Indian government for this purpose. Odisha has numerous government educational institutes, among which VSSUT is the oldest. Although a front runner for being IIEST in Odisha, but was allegedly sidelined when identifying potential IIESTs.
Shifting of planned IISER from Odisha
It has been alleged that the government had originally picked Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha, as one of the locations for an IISER, which was later shifted to Kolkata. This issue was resolved when it was decided to set up a similar institution, the National Institute for Science Education and Research (NISER), which would be funded through a separate ministry. NISER is the only such upcoming institution in Odisha, whereas other states have had similar non-HRD funded institutions for several decades.
Establishing a Central University in Odisha's KBK region
The Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi (KBK) region of Odisha is one of the most backward regions of India, with famines and large-scale starvation deaths reported each year. The region lacks infrastructure and the Indian government has done very little to alleviate the plight of the impoverished masses in those districts. There is a long-standing demand by the people of Odisha for the Indian government to establish a central university in this region, as part of the plan to ameliorate the poverty through various direct and indirect means such as education, as is being done in the underdeveloped north-east region.
Establishing an IIM in Odisha
The government of India declared an intention to establish five new IIMs in the country in the 2014-15 Budget speech of the Finance Minister. Odisha State has been granted one IIM institute which the State Government is planning to establish in the second largest knowledge hub of Odisha, Sambalpur having three renowned universities. It is the center of western Odisha with good communication facilities like Jharsuguda and Sambalpur railway junction and an ongoing airport project in Jharsuguda at 50 km distance.
Location of First IIT of India
It is widely believed in Odisha that the first IIT was to be established in Balasore. However, due to some misunderstanding on the part of the state government, land could not be procured for the project and the first IIT was thus moved to Kharagpur. The proximity of Kharagpur to Odisha is cited as proof of the theory that the government of India actually intended the first IIT for Odisha. A similar theory is held in favour in Andhra Pradesh regarding IIT Madras. Both theories are highly controversial but reflect the dissatisfaction of the people of those states, especially Odisha in the allocation made by the central government in the field of higher education. An institution like IIT is a matter of honour for the home state and also a large investment. IIT Kharagpur, for example, is a crucial element of Kharagpur's economy.
Hot parliamentary issue
Politicians including the chief minister of Odisha, Mr. Naveen Patnaik, have sought to cast this festering issue as a sign of severe neglect of the state by the government in New Delhi led by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). In May 2007, the issue became a major issue in the Indian parliament. In his words, “Orissa does not have a single institution of national excellence and the demand for IIT is a long-standing one”. The opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) staged a walk-out in the Indian parliament, accusing the ruling UPA of neglecting the state's economic development.
Street protests against alleged discrimination
There have been several incidents of protest in Odisha in 2007. Students have taken to the streets to demand the setting up of an IIT and other educational institutions in Odisha. Agamee Orissa, an organisation spearheading a mass agitation in Odisha has organised statewide rallies. There also have been stray incidents of violence related to the issue of Odisha's neglect. In May 2007, this issue was taken up by the National Students Union of India (NSUI).
- The Telegraph (2007-02-01). "Cry to end higher education divide". Calcutta, India. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- Arjan de Haan, Amaresh Dubey (2006). "Poverty, Disparities, or the Development of Underdevelopment in Orissa" (PDF). Economic and Political Weekly. 40 (22, 23): 2330–2340. Retrieved 2012-02-02.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
- Arjan de Haan (May 2004). "Conceptualising social exclusion in the context of India's poorest regions: a contribution to the quantitative-qualitative debate" (PDF). Conference on Experiences of Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Poverty Appraisal. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- B. K. Malik; S. K. Mohanty (March–April 2006). "Chronic Poverty and Remote Rural Areas in Eastern India". Conference on Experiences of Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Poverty Appraisal. Los Angeles, California: Population Association of America. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- Amita Shah (29 March 2007). "Poverty in Remote Rural Areas in India: Pattern, Processes of Reproduction, and Policy Imperatives" (PDF). Understanding and addressing spatial poverty traps: an international workshop. Stellenboch, South Africa: Chronic Poverty Research Centre & Overseas Development Institute. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- Kate Bird; David Hulme; Karen Moore; Andrew Shepherd. Chronic Poverty in Remote Rural Areas (PDF). Birmingham, UK: International Development Department, Univ. Birmingham. ISBN 1-904049-12-5. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- Understanding chronic poverty in South Asia (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 October 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- P. J. Pradhan. "Tata steel's romance with Orissa: minerals-based underdevelopment and federal politics in India" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- P. J. Pradhan (12 November 1999). "Analysis: Orissa's history of neglect". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- Monobina Gupta (2007-02-01). "Cry to end higher education divide". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Higher education, lower development". 21 December 2006. Archived from the original on 3 December 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- "State wise distribution of HRD National Highways funding in India: a preliminary report" (PDF). 20 January 2006.
- "Government of India, Ministry of HRD, Department of Highr Education". 20 January 2006.
- blogspot. com/ "IITs 11th plan" Check
|url=value (help). 20 January 2006.
- blogspot. com/2007/05/mhrd-discriminates-against-orissa-you.html "MHRD discriminates against Orissa: You be the judge!" Check
|url=value (help). June 2007.
- Chitta Baral (2005). "Statewise allocation of educational funds by HRD" (PDF).
- Purna C. Mishra (2005). "Denying Basic Human Rights to Citizens of Orissa and Bihar" (PDF).
- Chitta Baral. "Denying Basic Human Rights to Citizens of Orissa and Bihar" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-02-03.
- "Bias against Bhubaneswar". 1 July 2006. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007.
- "The gold that keeps Orissa poor". 17 November 2006.
- "PM's scientific adviser finds Plan paper weak". The Times Of India. India. 30 September 2006.
- "IITs to come up in Bihar, Andhra and Rajasthan". The Times Of India. India. 4 March 2006.
- "Three IITs for Andhra, none for Orissa". 3 March 2006.
- "Govt says no to an IIT in Orissa". The Times Of India. India. 8 May 2007.
- "Centre rules out setting up of IIT in Orissa". 9 May 2007.
- "Orissa not to have a premier IIT institute". 2 June 2007.
- "The IIT story: IIESTs, 3 new IITs on way". 20 January 2007.
- "NIS/IISER/equivalent must be established in Orissa" (PDF). 20 January 2007.
- "Gross injustice to Orissa:Announced National Inst. of Sc. in Bhubaneswar renamed & shifted".
- "KBK Districts". Archived from the original on 1 July 2007.
- "Shocking Reports Of Starvation Deaths". 30 September 2001.
- "Ferment in Orissa". July–August 2001. Archived from the original on 18 February 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2007.
- "Centre to blame for starvation". 31 August 2001.
- "Central university as development pill". 20 January 2007.
- "Orissa demands IIT and KBK Univ". 20 January 2007.
- "Central University: Union government ignores Orissa again". 13 November 2005.
- "Open letter to Planning commission, Government of India" (PDF). 2006.
- "IIT must for Orissa: Naveen". 16 May 2007. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007.
- "Orissa CM writes to Centre for IIT in the State". Archived from the original on 13 June 2007.
- "Union Govt's neglect towards Orissa must be corrected: Naveen". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
- "UPA discrimination on Orissa". 3 June 2007.
- "Naveen slams Centre for ignoring Orissa". 20 May 2007.
- "Rejection enrage Naveen". 9 May 2007. Archived from the original on 13 May 2007.
- "IIT issue echoes in LS". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 3 June 2007.
- "IIT Orissa hits Central wall". 3 June 2007. Archived from the original on 13 May 2007.
- "Naveen takes up IIT issue with Manmohan". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 11 May 2007.
- "Naveen calls for IIT cause". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 15 May 2007.
- "IIT for Orissa: NDA stages walkout". 9 May 2007. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013.
- "Orissa MPs stage walkout over IIT issue". 2007. Archived from the original on 10 June 2007.
- "Naveen kicks off movement against UPA Government". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 28 May 2007.
- "IIT issue to hit Congress: Congress leaders have no face to save". May 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
- "Centre will consider IIT for Orissa: Arjun Singh". Archived from the original on 18 June 2007.
- "Vehicular movement hit over protests on proposed IIT". 2 February 2007.
- "Political activists, students demand IIT for Orissa". 11 May 2007.
- "Child prodigy Budhia rallies for IIT in Orissa". 8 April 2007. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
- "Janashakti to launch stir against Centre's apathy". April 2007. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007.
- "Agami Odisha members demand IIT for Orissa". 2007. Archived from the original on 11 September 2007.
- "Intellectuals to hit streets for IIT". 3 April 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
- "Youths of BJD picks up fight". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 15 May 2007.
- "IIT: NSUI plans stir". 23 May 2007. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007.
- Center for Promoting an Equitable India
- Orissa at the receiving end of MHRD again: Announced for new IIT for Orissa shifted?
- Orissa Watch
- Orissa News Updates