Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Apr 9:
The Biju Patnaik National Steel Institute (BPNSI), presently housed in a rented premises in Odisha’s holy town Puri, will soon be upgraded to the level of IIT as an institute of national importance.
A bill in this regard is likely to be introduced in the current session of Parliament when it resumes later this month, revealed highly placed sources in the Union Steel Ministry.
Sources in the Ministry of Steel said the institute will offer graduate, post-graduate, doctoral and research programmes with a maximum strength of 5,400, as per the proposal.
The HRD ministry has given a go ahead for the institute, which will be spread over 500 acres of land, on the basis of the report of an expert committee on the subject.
The BPNSI will have a campus in Bhubaneswar and will be set up with an initial corpus of Rs 300 crore which will be contributed by the Odisha government and the Union Ministry, the same sources revealed.
Satellite campuses of the revamped/upgraded institute will be set up in neighbouring states like West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.
In July 2014, the ministry had constituted a committee, headed by former Chairman of Chhattisgarh State Planning Commission Sunil Kumar, which recommended an institute of national importance under the Ministry of Steel.
Earlier, Steel Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said that the suggestions made by the Committee were holistic and necessary to provide a pool of knowledge and skill for achieving 300 million tonnes of production by 2025.
It may be recalled here that the Odisha government in November last year had urged Union Steel secretary Rakesh Singh to upgrade the BPNSI at Puri to a national university for research in the steel sector in view of the country targeting a steel production of 300 MTPA by 2025-26.
“We had submitted a proposal to the Centre for upgrading BPNSI into a university long back. Today, we have again urged the Steel secretary to help the state to upgrade it,” chief secretary G C Pati had then said.
BPNSI which was set up as an autonomous institute in Puri by the Ministry of Steel way back in 2002 is currently functioning from rented premises.
The institute offers a diploma course even though its objective was to adopt a three-pronged approach to boost the steel sector: education and training, research and development, and consultancy.