Bhubaneswar, October 24 (LocalWire)There has been no significant progress in the State government’s proposal to set up a University of Steel for research and development in contrast to the centre’s claim of a growth thrust to Odisha’s steel sector.
The state is projected to contribute nearly 100 million tonne per annum (MTPA) steel toward’s the national target of 300 MTPA by 2025.
The State Government had proposed to upgrade the Biju Patnaik National Steel Institute (BPNSI) into a university in 2014 but nothing seems to happen towards realising this goal as concrete step has been initiated by the Ministry of Steel over the year.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik drew the attention of Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh during a meeting here in June.
Reminding the Centre’s decision to introduce BTech, MTech, and Ph.D. in different streams after making BPNSI autonomous in 2004, the CM had urged him to implement it and upgrade the institute at par with the IITs.
Accordingly, the Steel Ministry had prepared a project at an estimated cost of Rs 1,170 crore and sought land from the Odisha government in and around Bhubaneswar.
Odisha Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Kumar Mallik said nearly 450 acres of land has been identified on the outskirts of the capital City for the proposed Steel University as demanded by the Ministry.
The state government has agreed to the Centre’s proposal for the State’s contribution of Rs 300 crore.
“Though they had promised that a team of experts will visit the site and make a feasibility study, it is yet to be done,” said Mallik.
The minister also said he had again written to the central ministry seeking an immediate response in this regard.
Set up in 2002, the BPNSI at Puri now offers a one-and-a-half-year advanced certificate course on iron and steel manufacturing and plant management, besides extending technical consultancy to steel plants for energy efficiency measures.
Since the institute is in bad shape and being run from a rented house due to lack of adequate infrastructure and faculty members, it was proposed to be upgraded into a university.
The State fails to produce skilled manpower due to the absence of any research institute despite the state has been bestowed with abundant mine and mineral resources.
Most of the skilled engineers working in mines and steel sector in the State are from outside.