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Foreign hand in education

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 24: Orissa is set to get a boost in education with a group of non-resident Oriyas (NROs) planning to set up a multi-disciplinary, single-campus centre of excellence and an advanced research institute in the state.

Announcing the plan at a function organised to observe the 3rd NRO Day here, Dhirendra Kar, the vice-president of Orissa Society of America, said a concrete plan would be submitted to the chief minister soon.

The proposed centre of excellence would be set up near Jajpur with an investment of Rs 30-40 crore. It should be operational in 2008, said Kar.

In the first three years of its existence, a vocational training institute and a residential school from Classes V to XII will be opened. Masters programmes in selective studies such as information technology, business management and project management will also be introduced.

During the next six years, an engineering college and a school for “special need” children will be set up, apart from the introduction of new post-graduate and research programmes.

The NROs said world-class curriculum with market-driven specialised course structures would be offered at the proposed centre of excellence.

An advanced research institute called Bhubaneswar Institute of Technology would also come up near Janla on the outskirts of the state capital, they said.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, while complimenting the NROs for investing in education, IT and health, urged them to also work for the development of rural Orissa.

The state, he added, has been able to attract investment not only in the steel sector but also in education, health, tourism and power.

More than 100 NROs attended today’s gathering organised by the NRO Facilitation Centre.

The chief minister felicitated two prominent NROs, Digambar Mishra and Sitikantha Das, along with toppers of the last high school certificate examination. He also launched a website and an e-library system.

Kar said they have plans to build a group of “focused, talented and accomplished” individuals with “outstanding achievements in education and research, IT, engineering, medical science and technology, business/project management and consulting. “Our aim is to provide a one-campus academic environment in a fully residential community.”

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