Monday, July 17, 2006
An Open letter to the planning commission
|From: Chitta Baral ||Mailed-By: gmail.com|
To: The Planning Commission
Dear Planning commission:
I read in http://www.hindustantimes.com
that your approach paper for the 11th plan will stress on bridging regional
imbalances among other things.
We in Orissa really appreciate that.
However, based on the government's actions regarding the locations
of the National Institute of Sciences/Indian Inst of Science Education and Research,
and your approval of it (http://iiser.blogspot.com), and all the special HRD allocations
in the 2006-07 budget to UPA ruled and allied states we are not sure if
your thoughts regarding bridging regional imbalances
(as reflected in the approach paper) and you actions will indeed
match, or even correlate, in the future, starting now.
It is rumored that in a few weeks formal announcements regarding institutes that
will be upgraded to IIT-cousins will be made. That announcement will be
a test of your and the government's sincerity in actually
"bridging regional imbalance" or just saying it and doing exactly the
opposite. You may recall that your 2006-07 HRD higher education
budget exactly did the opposite. Please see http://www.equitableindia.org
on the data.
Just to remind you, the five institutions that have been often mentioned for upgradation
to IIT cousin status are:
Bengal Engg College, WestBengal (ruled by an UPA ally)
Andhra Univ College of Engg, AP (ruled by Congress, the UPA lead)
Osmania University College of Engg, AP (ruled by Congress, the UPA lead)
CUAST, Kerala (ruled by an UPA ally)
Inst of Tech, BHU (ruled by an UPA ally)
These are fine institutions, except that there are other institutions (many NITs)
that are better than four of these institutions and many are in states without IITs and many
of these states and their representatives have begged you for such upgradation.
So if *only* the above institutions are upgraded and are given
budgets higher than NITs that are better than them and that are in states
(such as Bihar, Orissa and Rajasthan) that are at the receiving
end of the regional imbalance, then we and all of India
will know the bridge between your approach papers and the government's decisions,
and whether that needs to be bridged first, before you write all those
approach papers. (I am sorry to be sarcastic, but the esteemed planning
commission has lost all its credibility with me and many people of Orissa because
your recent actions that I mentioned above. You know, India is just not
UPA ruled or allied states and Punjab. There is a rest of India.) We look forward to this test
and sincerely hope the redemption of the planning comission in the eyes
of people of Orissa.
In particular, we sincerely hope that the government will actually do the bridging of regional
imbalance starting right now (and the planning commission will insist on it) and include in your list of institutes to be upgraded to IIT-cousins, some of the better NITs and/or other
fine institutions that are in states without IITs.