In a major decision, the Odisha Higher Education Department has decided to allow opening of new degree or professional colleges in the state. The decision was taken by the High-Power Committee (HPC) at a meeting held on November 9, 2022.
Earlier in 2019, the HPC had decided not to grant permission for opening of new degree or professional college for a period of five years from the academic session 2020-21 with exception to the nationally and internationally acclaimed educational agencies.
However, the Committee recently decided to withdraw the above decision taking into account the educational needs and aspirations of the locality concerned.
It is pertinent to mention here that the PG admission process is yet to be completed and various seats are lying vacant. Under such circumstances, questions are now being raised over the higher education department’s decision to allow opening of private degree or professional colleges in the state.
As per the report of the All India Survey on Higher Education, Odisha has 24 colleges per lakh population as against all India average of 30 colleges. The Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in Odisha is 21.7 against all India average of 27.1. The government feels that it is now imperative to go for the opening of new colleges/ streams/ subjects in order to fulfill the educational needs and aspirations of the students and enhance the GER.
Apart from this, it has also been decided to accord permission for an increase of seats/ opening of new subjects/streams/courses (including PG courses) irrespective of NAAC CGPA score/NIRF ranking/ accreditation by NBA for the academic session 2022-23.
(Reported by Jagdish Dash)