hopes high: Students of ISM-Dhanbad outside their classroom on Wednesday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Call it a drop in the ocean of democracy, but Narendra Modi has won the vote of ISM.
The BJP’s PM candidate, who flayed the UPA government for not granting the elite Dhanbad cradle IIT status during his rally in the town on Tuesday, has boosted the confidence of students who now firmly believe that their five-year-old dream will be delivered if the party comes to power.
Fifty students, who are part of the ISM’s core team spearheading the IIT movement, attended the 10,000-strong NaMo rally at Karkend. BJP national president Rajnath Singh, who at a meeting in Jharia on April 13 had censured the Congress for neglecting upgrade of ISM, have further buoyed them to support a prospective Modi government at the Centre.
Varun Pandey, a fourth-year student of ISM’s dual degree programme, on Wednesday said they had not hesitated to cheer openly for NaMo. “He (Modi) understands what we need and why. We have also met (sitting BJP MP) P.N. Singh and he has promised to support our cause,” he added.
Abhinav Peshvani, a fourth-year student of the integrated MSc-Tech course in applied geology, echoed Varun’s sentiments. “We have hopes pinned on Modiji. If he comes to power, he has promised to deliver. We will seek upgrade within the first quarter of the new government.”
The resentment against the Congress was also palpable.
MTech student Suman Ranjan pointed out that they had raised the issue before Rahul Gandhi and other senior Congress leaders. “But, only Modiji has been vocal in his support and not Congress leaders,” he said.
“Senior BJP leaders have supported our cause on three occasions, including a NaMo rally in Ranchi. We can be sanguine of upgrade if there is a change of guard at the Centre,” said Prosentjit Kar, another MTech student.
On August 30, 2011, the state Cabinet had cleared the proposal to upgrade the ISM into an IIT. A resolution was passed by the state Assembly on September 3 the same year and forwarded to the Centre.
The Planning Commission recommended the upgrade on December 14, 2012, while the IIT Council meeting held on January 12, 2013, proposed review by a committee. A five-member panel did a recce of ISM on March 18 this year and submitted a report to the IIT Council. Action is pending.