Ramakanta Biswas

A day after directing State Public Universities to implement a series of recommendations to streamline self-financing courses (SFCs), the Odisha Higher Education department made a U-turn by withdrawing the order on Monday.

The recommendations originally made by Odisha Governor Professor Ganeshi Lal, who is the Chancellor of State universities, restricted any new Self Finance Courses (SFCs) on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

In a letter to the officers of the higher education department, Birendra Korkora, Additional Secretary to the department said, “Higher Education Department letter No.15631/H.E, dated 16.04.2022, in regard to streamlining of Self-Finance courses in the State Public Universities, is hereby withdrawn.”

Earlier, the Chancellor had expressed concern regarding the manner in which SFCs are currently being run in State Public Universities; especially the way the courses tend to over-shadow the 'Regular Courses' of the Universities concerned.  

He had recommended that the student strength of all SFCs (Direct as well as PPP mode) put together shall not exceed 20% of the total student strength of all Regular Courses.

The move had evoked sharp reactions from students with the State Chhatra Congress activists launching a massive protest and hurling tomatoes at Higher Education Minister Arun Sahoo’s residence in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

The agitating students had alleged that the move to restrict self-finance courses in universities will hurt the poor and meritorious students.