During his journey from the BJP’s Prime Ministerial hopeful to the 15th Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi had sold a dream to Dhanbad — the coveted IIT status for its pride, Indian School of Mines (ISM). And now that NaMo is ready to deliver on his poll promises with a 45-member Cabinet, he better not forget his word.
ISM is planning to send a delegation to Delhi to meet the new Prime Minister and Union HRD minister Smriti Irani within a month to remind them about the IIT status promise. Though the team is yet to be picked, it’s certain that the delegation will have core committee members — students of different courses — who have been campaigning in favour of the IIT status for years now.
The alumni of the mining cradle are placed at top positions across the globe and the students are trying to build contacts with those who can help them get an appointment with Modi and Irani.
Besides, the students are also planning to meet Dhanbad MP P.N. Singh to request him to raise the issue at the Parliament. Singh was the one who apprised Modi of the coal town’s pressing demand when he had come to campaign in Dhanbad on April 24.
Harshvardhan Kumar, who is pursuing PhD in applied geophysics at ISM, said: “We have high hopes from the new government. Given the way the new Prime Minister has started off since his swearing-in — holding discussions with heads of SAARC nations and attending meeting with his council of ministers the same day — we expect some concrete steps soon.”
Echoing him, final-year MSc student Abhinav Peshvani, who is also a member of the students’ core committee, said, “We are very hopeful this time. We will try to meet the HRD minister as well as the Prime Minister during our summer vacation that will get over in first week of July. But, if that does not happen, we will definitely meet them soon after the cradle reopens.”
Notably, Jharkhand cabinet cleared a proposal favouring the upgrade on August 30, 2011, while a resolution was passed by the Assembly on September 3, 2011, and forwarded to the Centre.
The Planning Commission too backed the move and on December 14, 2012, asked the IIT Council to okay the matter. The council, which met in January 2013, had sought a review of the proposal by an experts’ committee.
The five-member committee comprising former IIT directors met for the first time on September 11 last year and followed it up with several more meetings.
The team even visited the campus on March 18 this year and submitted its report. However, no action in has been initiated after that.