Odisha govt lobs IIM ball back to Centre’s court

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 25:

Seeking to put the ball back in the Centre’s court on the IIM issue, the Odisha government on Monday said it had already expressed its preference for the premier B School to be set up in Sambalpur and was ready to do it all it can for the setting up of its campus in the premier Western Odisha city.

Sanjay Dasburma
Sanjay Dasburma

“On behalf of the state government, the secretary of the department of Technical Education and Training has written a letter to the Union HRD minister. It has pointed out that the chief minister has already apprised the ministry of the proposal for a temporary and permanent campus of the IIM in Sambalpur ans is ready to extend all possible assistance for it,” said Technical Education and Training minister Sanjay Dasburma here this afternoon.

He also said the state government has requested the ministry to send its team to Sambalpur to finalise one of the two locations suggested by the state government for the permanent campus of the IIM.

“The state government has identified two sites for the permanent campus of IIM in Dhanpada and other block for this purpose”, he added.

The minister also said if necessary, he and the department secretary would personally meet Union HRD minister Smriti Irani in New Delhi to deal the location issue.

The BJP, however, was not impressed.

Expressing resentment over the inordinate delay in taking a decision on the location of the IIM, state BJP chief spokesperson Suresh Pujari said the state government, instead of writing letters to the ministry, should have an across-the-table discussion.

“Let the chief minister and Union HRD minister have a one-to-one discussion on this issue. Both the Centre and the state government should make efforts for the early setting-up of the IIM in Sambalpur with utmost sensitivity and respect to the sentiments of the people of Sambalpur to ensure commencement of regular classes of the institute from the current academic session,” Pujari said.

It may be recalled that the HRD ministry had earlier informed the state government that there cannot be any regular classes of the IIM at a temporary campus and had asked it to take a call on the issue at the earliest.

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