Friday, September 29, 2006

State wise stark disparities in regard to educational and R&D institutions: Scientific Advisor to PM

PM's scientific adviser finds Plan paper weak[ 30 Sep, 2006 0109hrs

ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]RSS Feeds SMS NEWS to 8888 for latest updates BANGALORE: C N R Rao, scientific adviser to the Prime Minister, has criticised the Planning Commission's approach paper for the 11th Five-Year Plan, dubbing it as 'weak' and 'confusing'.

In a strongly-worded letter to deputy chairman of Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Rao said, "I find that the document as a whole is rather weak and not sufficiently focussed. I feel that few important aspects need to be highlighted... some sentences are confusing." He took exception to the commission's view that while some institutions of higher education compare well with the best in the world, the average standard is much lower. Rao said, "There are no institutions in India, as far as I know, which are comparable to the best of the institutions in the advanced countries."

He also highlighted stark disparities in regard to educational and R&D institutions. "Over 60% are located in just six to eight states.

The planning process needs to address these institutional disparities for their influence is so great on the distribution of employment opportunities in the country," the note states. "It is timely and important that India invests imaginatively and largely in higher education, with research of quality. The numerical challenges are daunting. Annually, we produce around 5,000 Ph.Ds in science and about 800 Ph.Ds in engineering. "If India has to lay claim to being a knowledge-based economic power, the number of Ph.Ds of quality by world standards should be five times the number that we are currently producing," it states..

Thursday, September 28, 2006

HRD ministry neglects Orissa

The HRD ministry of India has over the years established several higher education institutions across India. This includes IITs, IIMs, central universities, IIITs, IIESRs, NITs and the recently proposed IIESTs. While it has established and is planning to establish multiple higher education institutions in many other states, the only institution it has in Orissa is NIT Rourkela, which is one of the 18+ NITs.

In recent months instead of correcting this imbalance it is taking actions that is making the imbalance worse. It must correct this immediately and establish a central university in KBK, upgrade UCE Burla to an IIEST, establish an IIT and an IIM in Orissa.