Sunday, October 15, 2006


State wants UCE in the elite club

State wants UCE in the elite club
Sunday October 15 2006 10:45 IST

BHUBANESWAR: With Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat by his side, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday seized the opportunity by urging the Centre to accord University College of Engineering (UCE) Burla the status of Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST).

Addressing the Golden Jubilee function of the college here, the Chief Minister said the Anandakrishnan Committee, constituted by Ministry of Human Resource Development, had shortlisted five institutes for upgrading them into IIEST.

But, an institute of UCE’s repute has not been included.

Naveen requested the Centre to send an expert committee to assess UCE for giving it the status of IIEST, he said.

Principal of UCE Prof K C Singh said HRD Ministry had set up Joshi Committee which shortlisted seven colleges to get the status of Institutes of National Importance (INIs). Subsequently, the Ministry appointed a three-member committee, headed by Dr M Anandakrishnan to prune the list.

The committee, Singh said, submitted its report earlier in February and it had narrowed down the colleges to five. The Engineering departments of Jadavpur University and Aligarh Muslim University were left out because of land problems, but were given bloc grants of Rs 50 crore each to be developed as centres of excellence.

In fact, some of the engineering colleges received massive financial support from HRD Ministry. The Andhra University College of Engineering got an allocation of Rs 408.15 crore while Benaras Hindu University received Rs 545.95 crore for 2007-12.

After 2012, the five shortlisted institutions will get annual funding of Rs 100 crore each, close to what an IIT gets. Subsequently, the institutions would be called IIEST, a new facility different from IITs and NITs, Singh said.

Currently, UCE is facing financial constraints despite possessing excellent teaching faculty and infrastructure. It gets annual grant of Rs 4.21 crore.


I am shocked to know that this reputed college (UCE) receives only Rs. 5 crores/yr! What is the value of this amount of money in today's time?

The college has an excellent reputation. In 2004, SK Joshi Committee visited the college to consider it for IIT status (in waiting list). I strongly feel it should be converted into an NIT or IIEST.

As per Moily Committee, more than one NIT per state will be a norm. The govt. is also happy to add a college in IIEST list, if other backs out. It depends upon the push of state govt.


Yogesh Upadhyaya
New Jersey, USA
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