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KDDF proposed education development in Western Orissa
Koshal Discussion and Development Forum proposed higher education development in Western Orissa to the Higher Education Task Force and chief minister of Orissa. One of the serious concerns for lower GER in higher education is political negligence.

WELCOMING FORMATION of Higher Education Task Force, members of Koshal Dishcussion and Development Forum (KDDF) has send a proposal to the chief minister of Orissa, Higher Education Task Force and government of Orissa to focus on the development of higher education in various neglected centers of Western Orissa viz Sambalpur, Bargarh, Kalahandi, Balangir and Suderdarh. The members have categorically presented the various reasons for which Western Orissa is having poor literacy rate as compared to coastal Orissa and has lower gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education. One of the serious concerns pointed out was political negligence.

 
Political negligence

Politically, Western Orissa or Koshal region of Orissa has been seriously neglected in higher education. Most of the new Central government institutions are coming in Cuttack-Bhubaneswar and South Orissa region and not a single one is established in Western Orissa which lacks sufficient number of higher educational and research institutions despite consisting a vast area and population. The state government has at the last moment betrayed for a Central University in Kalahandi and ignored demand of IIT in Sambalpur. Recently, Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Medical College was also not feasible in Balangir whereas, National Steel Institute was established in Puri instead of Sundergarh. The continuous political negligence towards Western Orissa should be stopped for the betterment of this region in higher education.
 
Improving faculties in existing major colleges

Without improving present infrastructure GER in higher education will never enhance. Most of the major colleges in Western Orissa are being neglected by state government. Presently, there are many regular vacant faculty posts existing in G M Autonomous College Sambalpur, Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna, Panchayat College Bargarh, Rajendra Autonomous College Balangir, Government Autonomous College Sundergarh etc. In fact, condition of higher education in Western Orissa is further downgraded in the last 10 years by directly affecting GER. For example, Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna (GACB) has 38 vacant regular posts at this moment unlike a decade ago.

 

There were eight faculties serving in Chemistry department of GACB a decade ago and now only two of them are serving for the whole college. Same is the case in other departments and colleges in Western Orissa. Without adequate number of faculties, how GER in higher education will improve? We propose that within a year, sufficient number of regular faculties should be recruited for the above colleges in Western Orissa on regular basis. As state government claims most of the time faculties from other parts of Orissa are unwilling to serve in Kalahandi, Balangir and other regions of Western Orissa, therefore, regular faculties in this region should be recruited in the local level through local level tests opening the possibility for candidates from the whole state.
 
Unitary universities and autonomous colleges

G M Autonomous College, Sambalpur and Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna were among first three colleges along with Ravenshaw Autonomous College Cuttack chosen by UGC as ‘Potential Centre of Excellence’ in Orissa. Ravenshaw Autonomous College was converted to a Unitary University by the state government which helps in its growth and getting UGC funding, whereas both G M Autonomous College Sambalpur and Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna are still being neglected by the state government. These two colleges should be immediately converted to Unitary Universities. Similarly Panchayat College Bargarh, Government Autonomous College Sundergarh and Rajendra Autonomous College Balangir should be expanded to full-fledged educational institutes by opening PG courses including computer sciences, management, biotechnology and nursing.
 
New Central and state government institutions

Since Western Orissa lacks sufficient number of higher educational institutions and opening new campuses is as expensive as establishing new institution, establishing new central and state government institutions and upgrading present existing institutions to higher level would be beneficial for Western Orissa in general.
 
A branch of Central Rice Institute should come-up in Bargarh. An Indian Institute of Management should be established in Sambalpur and steel institute in Sundergarh. National University should be established in Western Orissa. Along this line, keeping sentiment of Kalahandi people, the proposed National University in Bhubaneswar should be pursued with the Central government to establish in Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi. Also, we urge to establish the proposed Health University Balangir.
 
Converting to university

BPUT in Rourkela should be converted to a full-fledged science and technology university having education and research in the line of Anna University Chennai. Similarly, Agriculture College at Bhawanipatna should be converted to a full-fledged agriculture and animal husbandry university. The Harishankar and Gandhamardan Mountain provides adequate atmosphere to have a university for ayurvedic and herbal medicine. We urgue to combine Sri Nrusinghanath Ayurvedic College, Paikmal, Bargarh and the Government Ayurvedic Colleges in Balangir and establish University of Ayurvedic and Herbal Medicine. VSS medical college should be pursued to be made an AIIMS type institution.
 


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