Is Orissa being cheated again? KBK Central University propsoal Hijacked? 
 

Dear all:

In October 2005 the Chief minister of Orissa met the HRD minister Mr. Arjun Singh
and discussed with him about a central university in the KBK region. The press release
on it is at http://rc.orissa.gov.in/index3.asp?linkid=30&sublinkid=133
    Following is an excerpt from it:

[Shri Patnaik stated that setting up a Central University in the KBK region would go a long way in encouraging higher education among tribal population. He added that the university could also set up specialized centres for tribal development related studies, as tribal development was one of the biggest challenges facing the country today. Shri. Arjun Singh appreciated the rationale of having a Central University in the KBK region and sought a formal proposal in this regard from the State Government. He assured that this would receive high priority whenever the Central Government considers setting up of new central universities.]
It was also reported in news papers such as The Statesman on Oct 24 2005,
http://www.baral.us/orissa/pdf/2005-oct24-statesman.pdf

Last week a news item in the Hindu
http://www.hindu.com/2006/11/19/stories/2006111900750900.htm
reported that
[
NEW DELHI: The Centre proposes to set up a tribal university at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh, with campuses in several areas across the country. ... The Indira Gandhi National Tribal University will encourage studies on tribal art, culture and traditions, forests and natural resources. Tribal students will be given priority in admission. ... The D. Swaminadhan Committee, set up by the University Grants Commission, recommended the setting up of a varsity exclusively for promoting tribal culture and providing tribals access to higher education. The Ministry accepted its recommendations. ]

Please see the similarity between the CM of Orissa's proposal and the above news item. I do not know if the abovementioned D. Swaminadhan committee was formed by the UGC after the CM's visit or not.

Regardless, although MP (the home state of the HRD minister Mr. Arjun Singh) is deserving of a central university (as it doesnot have one), Orissa -- especially the KBK region -- is equally deserving, if not more. So it would again be a gross injustice if Orissa, which proposed the idea of a university for the benefit of tribals, is not given a KBK Central
university and it is given to another state. Our stand is that it is great to have a tribal university in MP, but we also need the one we proposed for in KBK, and we need that in the 11th plan.

Please, please let the people of Orissa and India know about this developement and the gross injustice that may take place or is already taking place.  Pioneer has reported on it in its Bhubaneswar edition, but it did not quote the Orissa government press release (that
i found the Resident Commissioner's web page) and that I mention above.

I am copying this message to the PM, the President, the HRD ministry, the National Advisory Organization, the National Knowledge Commission, and the UGC. I sincerely hope that with their collective conscience they will not permit such an injustice to Orissa happen again.

sincerely and with best regards
Chitta Baral
Professor, Arizona State University
http://www.public.asu.edu/~cbaral

ps -- For details on why and what kind of a central university should be established in the KBK region of Orissa please see the draft on this at
http://orissalinks.googlepages.com/kbk.pdf