Odisha to make three state universities as centers of excellence, WI-FI campus, automation library to be introduced

higheduBhubaneswar: Odisha Government plans to make Utkal University, Berhampur University , Sambalpur University as centers for excellence. This was revealed by the Higher Education Minister Dr Pradeep Panigrahi after a one-day brainstorming session with the Vice-Chancellors and Principals of various autonomous and leading colleges on the issue of how to bring reform in the higher education in the State.
Expressing concern over the deteriorating standard of education in the university level, including the oldest Utkal University, the Higher Education Minister said that he had plans to make the three oldest universities- Utkal, Berhampur and Sambalpur as centers for excellence. The state government will make uniform syllabus for the all state universities in the state. He also informed that the department plan to make the campus of these Universities WI-FI enable. The department will also introduce smart class room, automation library, online personnel management system and other programs this year.
He said that as an immediate step to fill up the vacancies in the post of lecturers, the process is in first track to give postings on adhoc basis. He said that there are around 600 vacancies in the post of lecturers in Government Colleges and as many as 1,625 posts lying vacant in the aided non-Government colleges against a sanctioned strength of 6,366 posts covering 26 departments.
The Vice-Chancellors have been asked to give detailed reports on the various departments and the overall functioning of the universities, he said. Admitting that a large number of posts of Principal are vacant, Panigrahi said in order to create a Principal cadre for the aided colleges, the Odisha Education Act would have to be amended soon. All the colleges will have regular Principals in place of in-charge ones to ensure proper management of the colleges, he said.
Minister Panigrahis said that the State Government has set a target to dispose of as many as 20,000 cases of the Higher Education Department pending in various courts within next two months through departmental Adalts.
“ We want to reduce the cases in the Higher Education Department to zero in two months time,” said Higher Education Minister Dr Pradeep Panigrahi .
Stating that growing number of cases have become a headache for the Government and has come in the way of effective governance in the department, the Minister said that valuable time and huge funds had gone into fighting the cases, most of which can be solved through bilateral discussion.Dr Panigrahi said that the cases would be shortlisted basing on the categories and most similar cases would be resolved basing on the orders of the High Court.
Plans are there to hold departmental grievance cells cum Adalats to examine the cases for speedy disposal to give justice to the affected teachers and non-teaching staff, he said. Stating that the departmental authorities have been asked to codify the cases, the Higher Education Minister said that in order to maintain the quality in education, it was decided to recruit lecturers against the vacant posts in both the Non-Government and Government Colleges.
He said that with the four per cent growth in the Higher Education budget for the current fiscal, the focus would be made to develop infrastructure and ensure quality education by posting lecturers against all the sanctioned posts.

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OdishaInc Bureau