Education body suggests increasing college seats

Berhampur: The Regional Directorate of Education, Berhampur, has suggested that the government increase seats in junior and degree colleges and open new streams in non-government aided colleges in southern Odisha districts from the 2015-16 session.

At present, there are 4,716 and 3,520 seats respectively in 134 junior and 84 degree colleges in Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Koraput, Nabarangapur, Rayagada and Malkangiri districts.

The regional directorate has suggested increasing the seats to 7,488 and 6,592 in junior and degree colleges respectively.

“The increase of seats in junior and degree colleges in Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Koraput, Nabarangapur, Rayagada and Malkangiri is necessary to increase the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in these districts in higher education and to accommodate students who have passed the annual certificate examination and Plus II exam,” Regional Director of Education L K Tripathy said.

The average gross enrollment ratio in these districts is only 6.5 per cent – much below the state average at 16 per cent. The GER was very low in tribal dominated districts Malkangiri, Rayagada and Nabarangapur, he said.

“After inspection of the infrastructure facilities in various non-government aided colleges, we have suggested nearly doubling the number of seats in all 218 junior and degree colleges in these districts,” Tripathy said. The directorate has also suggested opening of new streams in 22 colleges keeping in view local demands.

Most poor tribal students from Malkangiri, Rayagada, Kandhamal and Gajapati stop college education because of lack of seats in government and aided-colleges, and cannot afford to take admission in privately-run self-financing colleges.

“Mushrooming of self-financing colleges without infrastructure facilities would be checked when the students enroll in the government and aided colleges,” said Sudhir Rout, a parent.

The empowered committee of the higher education department is likely to take a decision on the increase of seats in the non-government and aided colleges before commencement of the admission process which is likely to start from the last week of the current month.