By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, June 12, 2018: Odisha government on Tuesday urged the union steel minister Chaudhary Birender Singh to upgrade the Biju Patnaik National Institute of Steel (BPNIS) into the center of excellence matching Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) standards to impart teaching and aid research in the steel and allied sectors.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik put forth the demand before union steel minister during a meeting with him here on Tuesday.

Patnaik said though the BPNIS was set up in 2002 and offering different certificate course, it has not reached the desired level.

Patnaik pointed out that the Union Cabinet in 2004 had decided to upgrade the BPNIS into a full-fledged institute of national standard to offer B Tech, M Tech and PhD. He urged the union steel minister to take up the matter and upgrade the BSNIS into a reputed institute on the lines of IITs.

Official sources said that then it was proposed that the Union Steel ministry and the state government will share the cost of the project, estimated at Rs 1,170 crore. The state government was supposed to provide Rs 300 crore for the project.

This apart, public sector industries and private steel companies were also expected to collaborate in developing the institute.

During the discussion, Patnaik also urged the union minister to set up a cement plant in Sundergarh district where the SAIL has been allotted a 230 hectare lime stone and dolomite mines. However, SAIL has stopped the mines since March 2003. Patnaik urged the Union Minister to take steps to activate the mining activities soon.

Singh reportedly assured the state government to take up the matter seriously, a statement released by the chief minister’s office said.

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