Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Wednesday June 20 2007 00:00 IST
BHUBANESWAR: Denial of a central university to the State by the Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry has come as yet another instance of step-motherly attitude of the Centre towards Orissa.
The university will now be established at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh, the home state of union HRD Minister Arjun Singh. The demand is pending since 1991 when the then Chief Minister Biju Patnaik had moved the Centre for upgradation of the Utkal University to a central university.
Naveen Patnaik raised the issue again after taking over as the Chief Minister in 2000. However, neither the previous NDA government nor the present UPA government considered the demand favourably.
The latest announcement by the Centre has come as a shock for the people of Orissa. The shifting of the central university to Madhya Pradesh has come after the State was deprived by the Centre from having the National Institute of Science (NIS) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
Describing this as another glaring instance of central neglect towards the State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told newspersons that his government would fight for establishment of the university in Orissa. Besides, the BJD would also organise state wide demonstration on the issue.
Underscoring the need for setting up the central university in KBK region, the Chief Minister said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that this would immensely benefit the scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and families below the poverty line who are a majority.