Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Students of Rama Devi (RD) Women’s University took to streets today reiterating their demands for land for the second campus of the varsity and retention of autonomous status for its Plus-II & Plus-III colleges.

The students argued that Rama Devi was famous as a college and the Plus-II and Plus-III students are its identity.  However, the government has decided to separate the Plus-II and Plus-III colleges after it was declared a university. They further alleged the government is destroying the career of students by delaying the establishment of the second campus.

The students have decided to continue their agitation as they have not yet received any satisfying reply from the Higher Education department.

Earlier on May 30, 2015, Rama Devi Women's Autonomous College was upgraded to Rama Devi Women's University by the State government. Besides, Gangadhar Meher (Autonomous) College in Sambalpur and Khallikote (Autonomous) College in Berhampur were also upgraded to universities.

While the Gangadhar Meher & Khallikote varsities have received land to set up their second campuses, the government is yet to find a suitable location for the second campus of RD Women's University, protesting students said.

The state government had initially selected a piece of land in Daspur on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar for the second campus of RD Women’s University. However, the plan was dropped after the location was deemed too remote.

Later in January this year the State government decided to set up the second campus of RD Women's University on the premises of the Utkal University and formed a special committee under the chairmanship of Utkal University Vice-Chancellor SM Patnaik for identification of 30 acres land.

The proposal of the government did not go down well with the Utkal varsity students and they staged demonstration inside and outside the campus protesting the decision to accommodate the second campus of RD varsity. Several student organizations joined the protests demanding immediate rollback of the decision.

Following protests the proposal to set up the second campus of RD varsity on Utkal Varsity premises was withdrawn and the government decided to set up an extension campus of the institute on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.

The vice-chancellor of RD University, Padmaja Mishra on February 13, 2018 announced that an annexure building of the varsity will be built in the first phase instead of a second campus.

Higher Education Minister Anant Das, who also attended the function along with Finance Minister Sashibhusan Behera, said a committee has been set up to identify land for the annexure building and also the second campus of the university which will be built in the second phase.