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 Budget springs an IIM surprise for Andhra

By Rajiv Shukla

NEW DELHI : Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's budget speech of February 28 carried an announcement that made even the Ministry of Human Resource Development bosses sit up in surprise -- an Indian Institute of Management for Andhra Pradesh!

They were surprised because they hadn't proposed it in their budget proposals. Some thought it was a budget bloomer a la 2009 when Pranab Mukherjee, by mistake, announced an IIM for Rajasthan which was, in fact, meant for Jharkhand.

However unlike the 2009 bloomer this year's surprise IIM announcement was actual and planned, included though at the eleventh hour following hecticUnion HRD minister Smriti Irani on laying the foundation stone for IIM Visakhapatnam in Gambheeram area on January 17, 2015. (Photo courtesy Deccan Chronicle) politicking and the resultant is that Andhra will end up having two IIMs -- the only state to have two of them.

Apart from the Andhra IIM Jaitley also proposed to set up All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal and Assam. His proposals enumerated an IIM in Karnataka and IIM in Jammu and Kashmir -- another last minute addition.

Jaitley had, last year announced one IIM for the newly created Andhra, the foundation stone of which was laid down by HRD minister Smriti Irani on January 17, 2015 in Visakhapatnam. It is likely to start admitting students this summer while operating from a temporary campus.

Reading out his budget proposals for 2015-16 Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced : “New AIIMS would come up in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Assam. Keeping in view the need to augment medical services in Bihar, I propose to set up another AIIMS-like institution in the state,” he said.

“In the fiscal year 2015-16, I propose to set up an IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) in Karnataka, and upgrade Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad into a full-fledged IIT,” Jaitley said.

The finance minister said that three new National Institutes of Pharmaceuticals Education and Research are proposed to be set up in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh along with Institutes of Science and Education Research in Nagaland and Odisha. For the Northeast, a center for film production and animation will be set up in Arunachal Pradesh, while an Apprenticeship Training Institute for Women will be set in Haryana and Uttarakhand during 2015-16.

Surprise

When asked about the proposed second IIM in Andhra the MHRD sources said they had no idea how it got mention in the budget proposals. "The first one, announced last year, is yet to start. The job at hand is to ensure that it starts functioning from this year," an official of the MHRD said.

A source even recalled the 2009 budget faux pas and hoped that it may end up, like Rajasthan, in a positive note. IIM Udaipur, he reminded, is the result of a budget bloomer that had to be honoured.

Congress leader K.C. Deo, who had earlier demanded the Visakhapatnam IIM, welcomed Jaitley's announcement. "If they set up one more, it's well and good," he said.

Deo said the new state of Andhra deserved more educational institutions since most of the reputable centrally funded institutions had fallen in Telangana's share.

A government official in Andhra said the announcement was surprising.

"Last year's budget announced an IIT, an IIM, an Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, an Indian Institute of Information Technology and a National Institute of Technology in Andhra Pradesh," he said.

 

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