Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 24:
With the Centre making it clear that there can be no admissions to the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) proposed to be set up in Odisha without a permanent campus of its own, uncertainty looms large over the commencement of regular classes of the elite institute from the current academic session.
The secretary of Higher Education under the Union HRD ministry, in a letter to the Technical Education department of the state government on Friday, has made it clear that there can be no admission to the institute run on a temporary campus and asked it to finalise the location soon.
While counselling for admission in the institute is scheduled to commence from June and regular classes from July, the ongoing impasse over the final location of the institute is likely deprive the students of taking admission this year, sources said.
There is a tussle between the state government and the Union HRD ministry over who would finalize the location of the IIM.
It may be mentioned that after having initially recommended Bhubaneswar, the state government had plumped for Sambalpur to appease the people of western Odisha, who were peeved over the setting up of all national level institutions in the capital city.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had written a latter to Union HRD minister Smriti Irani on March 5 this year saying the proposed IIM can be set up in Sambalpur if guidelines of the Centre can be relaxed.
Stating that the state government had identified two locations for the institute in Sambalpur, he said the western Odisha city is well-connected to Bhubaneswar. Besides, the state government had started the process for construction of an airport in Jharsuguda, which is only 60 km from Sambalpur, he added.
Patnaik had also requested the Union minister to send the site selection committee to Sambalpur for selection of the site.
The HRD ministry’s letter on Friday has put the state government in a quandary.
“The state government wants to set up the IIM in Sambalpur, and has accordingly recommended two sites to the MHRD. We will examine why they sent such a letter again,” Technical education minister Sanjay Dasburma said on Saturday.
Given the lack of clarity on either side, there is every possibility that the state would lose this prized project, the think-tanks of the state apprehend.
It may be noted that the locations of the IIMs sanctioned in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra, announced along with Odisha, have already been finalised.