Mrunal Manmay Dash

The only Central University in the erstwhile KBK region notorious for its inaccessibility to basic necessities like education and health, is grappling with staff shortage, making the life of the students even harder.

Since there was no University or any other national level educational set up in this region the Central University was proposed to be established here so that it may widen the access to quality higher education in the country.

However, the University has been struggling to impart quality education to it students, thanks to the administrative apathy that has rendered it terribly short of teaching staff.

As per reports, while a total of 144 permanent Professor positions have been created for 20 different departments, the University currently has only 17 of them. Similarly, only 24 temporary professors are currently teaching students in place of an allotted 119 temporary professors.

The sorry state of affairs have attracted criticism from students as well as the intellectuals who had pinned hope in this University to be the flag bearer of the South-Western Odisha’s higher education.

Speaking about the current situation of the University, Jensis Khora, an alumni said, “There are no faculties, no professors, no auditorium, no playground, there is not even a good canteen in the campus to provide quality food to its students.”

“This is why students are not keen to enrol here for higher education,” rued Khora.

Ajit Patra, the President of Koraput Bar Association said, “While other contemporary Universities have managed to attract students, this one is biting the dust in neglect.”

Not only staff shortage, the University is reportedly facing problems to provide hostel facility, canteen and auditorium for SC and ST students as well.

When asked about the problems of the University, the Vice Chancellor (In-Charge), Professor Sharat Kumar Palit said, “We had invited applications for 87 Professor positions last year, but the recruitment process has been put on hold for some time.”

have already escalated the matter to the Higher Education department and the Union Minister. We hope that the issues will be resolved soon,” said Palit.

The Central University of Odisha was established by the Parliament under the Central Universities Act, 2009 (No. 3C of 2009). It is one of the 15 new Central Universities established by the Government of India during the UGC XI Plan period to address the concerns of "equity and access" and as per the policy of the Government of India to increase the access to quality higher education by people in less educationally developed districts which have a Graduate Enrolment Ratio of less than the national average of 11%.

However, the dearth of teaching staff has pushed the future of this University as well as the students being admitted there into an palpable uncertainty.