Suryakant Jena

Odisha government on Friday asked the authorities of Utkal University to abstain from seeking external financial support without spending its available fund of Rs 500 crore first.

Notably, the Utkal University had recently proposed to the Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) for one-time financial support of Rs10 crore and annual financial support of Rs 2 crore for 10 years to develop its Geology Department. 

As OMC wanted to know whether any fund in this regard has been considered at the Government level in the Higher Education Department so as to avoid duplication, it advised the varsity to obtain clearance from the government as well as nod for this proposal.

However, in his reply to the OMC, the State Higher Education Department has clarified that Utkal University regularly gets funds from the government for various purposes. And, the varsity currently has a huge amount of available funds totaling more than Rs 500 crore. 

Explaining that as a big portion of this available fund is meant for infrastructure development of the University, the Higher Education department has asked the varsity administration to take up the intended development of Geology Department out of this available fund. 

"There is no need for the University to seek external financial support, either from OMC or from anybody else," Odisha Higher Education department secretary Saswat Mishra stated in a notice dated May 6.

Under these circumstances, the proposal of Utkal University seeking financial support from OMC has been declined by the government, he added.