Saturday, June 20, 2015

Consider establishing IISER in KBK region of Odisha

Honorable Chief Minister of Odisha Mr. Patnaik

Honorable union HRD Minister, Mrs. Irani

Dear Honorable Chief Minister Mr. Patnaik,
The initiative by state Govt. to upgrade Khallikote College to a Cluster University, R D Women's college to a Women University, G M College to a Unitary University and establishment of Indian Institute of Management and Open University are praise worthy. Similarly, proposal to establish a Health University by state Govt. and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Odisha by central Govt. is in the positive direction. 

However, in all these initiatives KBK region is not getting its equal share despite having 20 % of the population and 30 % of geographical area of the state. Moreever, this region is well known for its tribal population, backwardness and low literacy rate. Without any Govt. initiated high quality educational establishment all round development of this region can not be achieved.  

The state Govt.'s proposal to have a second agriculture University in KBK has not yet been realised. This is the only region in the state which has often suffered political marginalisation in higher education sector. 

Unfortunately, policy makers in the state had been always dividing the states in three different regions, namely Western Odisha, Southern Odisha and central Odisha and distributing the educational institutions accordingly. Doing so, preference was always given to few selective cities in Odisha.

Thankfully for the first time your Govt. in the recent past has  taken some initiative for KBK region while establishing higher educational institutions. However, these initiatives are far less than what KBK region deserves and decades of marginalization based on its geographical area and total population

KBK region needs an education corridor, in the same way Cuttack-Puri-Bhubaneswar-Khordha-Berhampur and Sambalpur-Jharsuguda-Rourkela are being established. 

National Institute of Technology (NIT) at Rourkela and IIM in Sambalpur will boost number of national institutions in Sambalpur-Rourkela region. This region has 3 state Govt. Universities in Sambalpur and one state University in Rourkela. Cuttack-Bhubaneswar-Khordha region has already multiple number of national and state institutions including IIT, NISER, IIIT, AIIMS, five state Govt. universities, three private universities etc. whereas Berhampur has multiple numbers of state Govt. institutions and 2 state Govt. Universities. North Odisha has also two state Universities. 

In comparison, KBK region has only one University, Central University of Orissa (CUO) at Koraput. This region needs more national institution and state Govt. universities, especially Bhawanipatna-Koraput has a greater potential to develop as education corridor. Beside CUO at Koraput, another national institution is needed at Bhawanipatna for the Koraput-Bhawanipatna educational corridor. 

Location of Bhawanipatna is also suited for whole KBK-Kandhamal because Bhawanipatna is central town for all locations between Koraput and Balangir, Nuapada and Rayagada, Umarkote and Phulbani, Sonepur and Malkangiri, etc.

I request you to consider establishing newly proposed IISER for Odisha in Bhawanipatna region to further develop higher education in KBK region.

Thank you and best regards

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