Model degree colleges in 8 backward dists soon

Bhubaneswar: Taking note of the increasing number of SC and ST students in higher education, the Odisha government, has decided to set up model degree colleges in eight educationally backward districts soon.

This was decided at a review meeting on the status of Higher Education department by chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat here on Friday evening.

The eight districts where the model degree colleges would be set up are Boudh, Deogarh, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nayagarh, Nuapada, Rayagada and Sonepur.

“Each model degree college will have 64 seats each in Arts, Science and Commerce streams,” Higher Education minister Pradip Kumar Panigrahi told media persons after the meeting.

He said the meeting also decided to take necessary steps to provide education in Plus Two streams in Nandahandi, Bandhugan and Chandrapur blocks in Nabarangpur, Koraput and Rayagada districts respectively.

It was revealed that the state government has set up Odisha State Council of Higher Education (OSCHE) in 2015-16. Besides, three government Universities and one private university have been set up during the period.

“Apart from this, Odisha State Open University has been set up in Sambalpur while a draft resolution has been prepared to set up Odia Bhasha and Sahitya Vishwavidyalaya in the state,” Panigrahi said.

Talking about the achievement of his department in the last two years, he said construction of hostels for 12,000 students has been completed while self-defence training has been imparted to about five lakh girl students.

Referring to the existing vacancy of teachers in universities, the minister said the process for recruitment of 426 teachers in government run universities and 1625 teachers in private universities is underway.

“Besides, 101 vacant posts of teachers in Plus Two colleges have been filled up,” he said, adding 15 colleges have been accorded Grade-A rating by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).

The chief minster laid emphasis on mandatory research work for university teachers.

Panigrahi informed that the state government has taken steps to constitute a scholarship council to facilitate loan for the bright students for their higher education.

He further said a decision has been taken to set up School of Language wing in Fakir Mohan University and North Odisha University from 2016-17 academic session to run courses in Urdu and Santali language respectively.

“To provide employment opportunity to the college and university students, the chief minister also asked the department to make arrangements for campus selection,” he added.