Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 28:
The Union government is contemplating to set up the proposed Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Western Odisha’s Sambalpur for which a Central team would be visiting the proposed sites recommended by the state government.
The panel members would visit the two proposed sites at Goshala on Sambalpur-Bargarh road and Niladunguri on Sambalpur-Deogarh road.
An RTI query revealed that the Union HRD ministry has rejected Central team’s proposal to set up IIM on the outskirts of the capital city.
The RTI applicant, Hemant Panda, from Tikarpada in Bolangir district had sought information from HRD ministry on the proposed IIM site.
The ministry in its reply, on April 1, has said, the HRD minister Smriti Irani has not accepted the report in which it had cited that the proposed location for IIM at Bhubaneswar would be suitable for the premier institute.
It may be recalled that the Odisha government had recommended Sambalpur for the proposed management institute earlier in March this year, subject to relaxation in Central guideline.
A Central committee would very soon visit the proposed sites at Sambalpur, sources said.
Admissions would commence from the academic year 2015-16 for the IIM in Odisha and the classes would be held at IIT Bhubaneswar. Besides, Indore IIM would be the mentor of Odisha IIM instead of Kolkata IIM, the query revealed.
The RTI activist had claimed that there is no guideline which would hinder establishment of IIM in Western Odisha.
Citing an example, Panda had said, Centre has decided to establish an IIM at Srimore in Himachal Pradesh where there is no airport near Srimore and the nearest railway station is located 70 km from the place.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, in a letter to Union HRD minister Smriti Irani, had said that the Centre had asked state government for its opinion in setting up the IIM in Western Odisha, particularly in Sambalpur region. The HRD ministry had asked the state government to identify a location close to an airport. Hence, the state government had restricted its choice to sites in and around Bhubaneswar.
“However, if the Centre is willing to relax this guideline for site selection, the state government would strongly recommend Sambalpur as the location of the IIM”, Patnaik had said in his letter.
Notably, Union HRD Secretary had asked Odisha Chief Secretary in July last year to provide 200 acres of land at a suitable location free of cost and free from all encumbrances besides proposing two to three suitable locations for setting up of the institute.