Chronicle wishes its readers a Happy 2011 New Year!
We are pleased to state that our alumnus, Mr. Nikesh Arora (Electrical 1989) has received “BHU Distinguished Alumni Award” from our university. It is the highest alumni award given out by Banaras Hindu University to any alumni.
The award was presented to him on December 25, 2010 at a function organized on the campus during the inauguration of celebration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Pandit Malaviyaji. The award was presented to him by the Chancellor of the University, Dr. Karan Singh. The award was given for his successful career achievement among alumni.
As president of Global Sales Operations and Business Development, Nikesh Arora, 42, is leading customer service and revenue operations in Google Inc, which he joined in 2004. He is one of the highest ranking Indian executives at Google, Inc., California. He is also a board member in Bharti Airtel Ltd.
Nikesh will involve more with the working of our university and our institute in near future.
(By Yogesh K. Upadhyaya. Email: Yogesh@optonline.net)
The process for converting our institute to IIT is delayed. As stated in the past issues, the Institute of Technology (Amendment) Bill was introduced in the parliament on August 30, 2010. The Bill includes 8 new IITs and conversion of IT-BHU to IIT-BHU.
The Bill was also sent to Standing Committee on Human Resource Development for review. The Committee has reviewed the Bill and sent its comments to parliament. The Bill was supposed to be tabled in the parliament for discussion and passed during Winter Session of the parliament (Nov9-Dec13). However, it did not happen. Now we have to wait for the next parliament session (February 2011) to see whether the Bill is passed.
There were several reasons for the Bill not being taken up for discussion during Winter Session. Among them are:
1) The parliament was pre-occupied with the discussion about 2G Spectrum Scam. With the opposition parties demanding formation of JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) to probe the scam, and govt. resisting it, the parliament session could not take up many pending bills and agenda for discussion.
2) As per Report tabled in the Rajya Sabha by Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD Ministry, it observed that many of the new IITs do not have their own land or infrastructure ready yet. Based on the report, the HRD ministry is trying to speed up the process of acquiring land and infrastructure by the new IITs.
3) Also, the Standing Committee has asked some questions related to the conversion of IT-BHU to IIT. Although the Committee has agreed in principle about conversion of our institute to IIT, it has asked about creating separate zones for IIT-Kanpur and IIT-BHU. It has also discussed about representation of BHU in the governing board of IIT-BHU. HRD needs to clarify the points raised by the Committee.
a) Report by Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD Ministry-presented to Rajya Sabha on November 26, 2010.
(Details of the Report is posted on Report Page of this issue)
b) Two years after nod, new IITs fail to take off
Posted: Fri Dec 17 2010, 00:57 hrs New Delhi:
Two years after the Cabinet gave its approval for setting up eight new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the country, the institutes are facing teething problems like finalising land, readying the master plan or construction of the boundary wall.
For instance, in Rajasthan, land for the permanent campus is yet to be handed over to the IIT while for IIT Bhubaneshwar, only around 517 acre have been given out of the 936 acre required. With regard to the IIT at Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, the case is in progress with animal husbandry land having been handed over to the institute while forest land of 330 acre is yet to be handed.
“The ministry has discussed the problems of new IITs with the directors and education secretaries. The states have assured that by December 23, all land will be transferred,” said a human resource development ministry official.
Recently, HRD minister Kapil Sibal asked the state governments to release land for the new IITs so that that construction begins before the end of current Plan period.
In some cases, master plans are yet to be readied like for IIT Rajasthan and Ropar. On the other hand, IITs at Mandi and Indore have advertised showing interest for preparing the master plans.
“The boundary wall has been made at IIT Ropar and an architect has also been appointed but the master plan is being made and will be finalised soon,” said Surendra Prasad, director, IIT Delhi, the mentor institute of IIT Ropar.
Another issue is of the construction of the boundary wall which has not been completed in IIT Rajasthan and Mandi. At IIT Patna, 30% of the construction of the boundary wall is complete. The new institutes—most of which are operating from transit campuses—also complain of the fact that architects have not been finalised due to which construction is getting delayed.
“The process is going on and the land has been allotted for the campus. However, the master plan is yet to be readied and we expect that to happen in four to five months. The construction is on and as of now, we are operating from our transit campus,” added IIT Ropar director MK Surappa.
He added that likely date of shifting to the permanent campus will be in 2013-14, a delay of two years from the initial date of end 2012.
c) Parliament adjourned for the 18th day
IANS, Dec 7, 2010, 02.11pm IST
NEW DELHI: Parliament was adjourned on Tuesday for the 18th successive day of its winter session amid continued demands by the opposition for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum scam and the government refusing to relent.
After the first adjournment at 11 am, as the two houses met again at noon, opposition members led by the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) were on their feet once again shouting slogans demanding a JPC.
Amid the din, a bill for declaring the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore, an institute of national importance was introduced in the Rajya Sabha by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad before the house was adjourned for the day.
Similar scenes were witnessed in the Lok Sabha, leading to its adjournment for the day.
d) 2G scam: A Raja grilled by CBI
PTI, Dec 24, 2010, 11.13am IST
NEW DELHI: Former Telecom Minister A Raja was Friday questioned for over eight hours by the CBI on alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation. The grilling came over a year after the agency registered a case in this connection.
47-year-old Raja, who had flown in from Chennai on Wednesday, appeared before the agency headquarters at 10.30 am after he was summoned under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
He was "questioned in relation to the case registered into the allocation of unified access service licenses," CBI DIG and spokesperson Bineeta Thakur told reporters adding that the process was continuing.
2G scam: Raja appears before CBI for questioning
Raja, who had earlier expressed his inability to appear before the agency, is likely to be questioned at length on the circumstances leading to spectrum allocation which has been criticised severely by the Central Vigilance Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
CBI also quizzed him on the tapped conversation he had with corporate lobbyist Niira Radia about allegedly favouring certain telecom companies, the sources said.
Raja was forced to resign on November 14 in the wake of the CAG report which held that the spectrum allocation at undervalued prices resulted in a notional loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.
He was also questioned on the issue of advancing dates for allocation of spectrum and on the role of his relatives in some of the companies which allegedly acted as a front for certain telecom firms which got spectrum between September 2007 and January 2008.
Raja got the telecom portfolio on May 18, 2007 and again got re-elected as a Member of the 15th Lok Sabha and continued as Telecom Minister from May 31, 2009 till November 14, this year when he tendered his resignation.
The Supreme Court has asked the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to submit status reports on their investigations into the 2G case to it by February 10, when the case will come up for further hearing.
The CBI in its FIR had mentioned the loss as Rs 22,000 crore based on the findings of CVC which had referred the case to it.
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Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University
Varanasi 221005, UP