Our state Govt. is planning a long term vision plan “Higher Education in Odisha – 20 years from now”. This vision plan should have provisions to attract a huge investment to our state.
Odisha state has abundant natural mineral Resources like Iron Ore, coal, bauxite, chrome, Titanium minerals etc along with vast forest coverage, river and marine resources along its 480 km of coast line. State’s prosperity depends on judicious utilization of these natural resources. Odisha’s economy is slowly shifting from agrarian to a mixed economy led by Industry, mining and Port infrastructure. It has attracted a huge investment from varied sectors like mining, metallurgy, petrochemicals, food processing, hospitality, transport and logistics, healthcare, IT and ESDM sectors etc.
The present GDP of our state is very low and to catchup with other developed States, the existing investment proposals should take a concrete shape and further new investments are to be attracted. One such area is to attract investments from institutes of higher learning and research. As of now our state does not have a single institution in any category which is ranked among the best 5 in the country. Our state Govt. has rightly visualized this aspect and a long term vision plan “Higher education in Odisha 20 years from now.” is being formulated to bring the state at par with other advanced states. Govt. of Indian has setup several nationallevel institutes like NIT, IIT, IIM, AIIMS etc. in almost all the states includingOdisha. It is heartening toknow that our state has a NISER &IISER. There are several National levelinstitutes which have its campuses in various states but doesnot have any in Odisha. It is pertinent that our Govt. takes up with the central Govt. and private corporate sectors to open several qualitative institutes in Odisha.
Setting up several reputed institutions in the state will (i) attract huge investments (ii)help increase the human development index and GDP of the state (iii) help our youthto get opportunity for advanced research (iv) help promotion of tourism and further economic activities through seminars, workshops, Sports events etc (v) Change the general perception about the State from an undeveloped state to a knowledge based state. Hence State Govt. should proactively consider for setting up of the following national institutions in Odisha.
(1)National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) under the Ministry of Chemicals. There are NIPERS in 10 different states. VIZ Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Gujarat, Telengana, Maharastra, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh.
(2) Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.(IIFT) under the ministry of Commerce.There are 3 campuses,one each in Delhi, Kolkata &Kakinada (AP) some more are planned but not in Odisha.
(3) National Institute of Design under the Ministry of commerce. There are 7 NIDs in India. Gujarat (2 nos), one each in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Haryana Madhya Pradesh.
(4) India Maritime University under Ministry of shipping. There are 8 maritime universities in each of the maritime states viz WB, AP, TN, Kerala, Maharastra (2nos) Gujarat, Pondichery (UT). Odisha being a Maritime State with 480km coast length & having important ports is deprived of such a university.
(5) National Power Training Institute (NPTI) under Ministry Power. There are 8 NPTI centers at Neyvelli, Bangalore, Nagpur, Guwahati, Badarpur, Nangal, Durgapur & Faridabad.
(6) Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) under Ministry of Education, GoI. There are 4 nos. of IIITs in India fully under GoI at Allahabad, Gwalior, Jabalpur and Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu) and there are about 10 nos. IIIT’s in different states under PPP mode with 50% central Assistance, 35% state and 15% private funding. Odisha could not arrange a private partner and hence is deprived of such a central institute. The one at Bhubaneswar is an International Institute of information Technology setup by State Govt. and not Indian Institute of Information Technology under GOI.
(7) Indian Statistical Institute under Ministry of Statistics &program implementation has 6 campuses located at Kolkata,New Delhi,Bangalore,Chennai,Tezpur and Hyderabad.
(8) National Institute of Mental Health and NeuroSciences (NIMHANS)and National Instituteof virology under ministry of Health, will be a great boon for the health care infrastructure of our State.
(9) National Institute of New Energy and Innovation under the Ministry of renewal energy, GoI. Our state Govt. had written to the Ministry to setup near IIT Bhubaneswer, where State Govt. has agreed to give the required Land.
(10) Institute of Nano Science and Technology under the Ministry of Science and Technology (DST) has a campus at Mohali (Punjab). Such an institute along with an Institute for Semiconductor Design, Research and Development will help growth of semiconductor Industry in our State.
(11) Opening of Engineering Streams / School of Engineering Sciences in IISER, Berhampur and NISER Bhubaneswar which will integrate Science and Technology.
(12) Indian Institute of Space Technology (IIST) under the Ministry of Science & Technology (Dept of Space) has a campus in Trivandrum (Kerala). Such an Institute if set up in Odisha, willhelp the students of North & Eastern India for studying subject like Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering, Space Science & Technology etc.
Apart from the above, more Govt. Medical College and Engineering Colleges (Under RUSA Scheme) be set up in the Aspirational districts. The Vedant University project which was to be set up in lines of the famous Stanford University of US may be revived in consultations with the promoter. Looking into the growth of Mining and production of Steel, Aluminum & several Alloys, our state Govt. had earlier proposed for a steel / metallurgical University. Such a standalone university will help the resource rich state like ours. Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) has campuses in Pilani, Goa & Hyderabad and does not have any campus in Eastern India. Aditya Birla group may be requested to set up a campus in Odisha who are involved in large-scale mining of Bauxite, Iron Ore, Coal etc and have Aluminium Metal and Power Plants in Odisha. These educational institutes of Higher learning will attract huge investments to our state. During the past several years our Govt. has encouraged setting up of mega Industrial units as well as educational Institutes. Major Industries and Institutions such as JSPL, JSL, Tatas, JSW, NALCO,Paradeep Port, Adani, Rungta, Triveni Earth movers, OCL, Vedanta, Aditya Birla, Neyvelli Lignite, Utkal Alumina, L&T, NTPC, CIL, IREL, DRDO, IOCL, ISRO, HAL, BARC, Railways etcmay be roped in for setting up of World class educational & Research Institutions in Odisha. Science, Technology and R&D based Institutions located in the cities like Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore have enriched the economy of their respective states.
Odisha Govt. should aim at attracting at least Rs. 20000 to Rs. 25000 crores of investments in next five years from such reputed institutions and organizations. State Govt should identify a senior Govt officer or a Dept to coordinate with various organizations to bring investments to our state. If setup, these Educational and Research Institutions will change the destiny of Odisha when the state will be celebrating its 100 years of formation in 2036.