Dr. Digambara Patra's Feedback 2

Dear Prof. Baral,

Recently I read your idea at www.orissa2020.com


Instead of specialized University like Education, Sports, Skill etc, emphasis could be more on multi-disciplinary Universities like in Europe & USA which are need of the hour.


In some extend Health Univ. and BPUT make sense keeping private colleges in mind, but still these are problematic for administration. For example pvt engineering college in Bargarh would be happy to associate with Sambalpur University than BPUT at Rourkela or Bhubaneswar.


The Govt. is forcing such thing without understanding that it will not encourage interdisciplinary study and research which is need of the present and near future worldwide.


Unfortunately, instead of bringing reform in administration to effectively administer all the affiliated colleges within a University, our policy makers are separating those out of University which is not need of the hour. A multi-disciplinary education and multi-cultural environment is needed to compete at the international level. Without doing so, how Odisha Universities could be at the international/national standard? This is also partly reflected in Yas pal committee’s report but in a different language.


Education is part of arts (faculty) most of the Universities do have this department, at least in the college level.  For example, in our University department of education plays a crucial role in educational development of the University. Why it should be separated for a University?


There is a section of educationalists in India who think these kind of special Universities are more political than for acquiring knowledge. By establishing such kinds of special Universities we are not doing any favor towards the real cause of education, knowledge gaining, sharing and inter-disciplinary research except doing a favor for politician/administration.


Rather University should be recommended to have topics in sports, arts, business, engineering (Skill), education, etc based on local interest and need.  There are sports hostels in few places in Odisha, one I know is in Bhawanipatna, others are in Baripada, Cuttack, Behrmapur, Sambalpur , Bhubaneswar etc which could be attached to such universities. 


For engineering/medical colleges, University like BPUT makes sense to monitor the quality (basically for syllabus and conducting exam as most of the pvt colleges in Odisha are business oriented) in the pvt colleges at the state level through such University. But one should not limit a University similar to Utkal University of Culture rather the objective should be that it fulfills the requirement in qualitative basis as well.  Without addressing quality part, Universities would be like many present pvt engineering colleges in the state or a building for administration. 


Other problem with such special University like BPUT or Health Univ. would be that well established old Govt. Colleges would not like to work with. This was evident from UCE not willing to join BPUT and recently VSS medical college not willing to work under Health University (or SCB medical college). This also triggers regionalism in the state level.


In my opinion instead of going by population/urbanization and establishing many more Universities in each town/city, 13 undivided districts should get independent status in higher education through a complete University, so that they build their own future. Of course, this will balance the regional imbalance existing today in higher education as well as bring effectiveness in knowledge acquiring and sharing.


Such multi-disciplinary University in each undivided district can independently fulfill all the local need and should have authority to perform and, if required, open new campus in its locality. For example, if required, University in Bhawanipatna may open a campus in Nauapda, University in Berhampur may be allowed to open a campus in Parlakhemundi, University in Cuttack in Paradeep, etc instead of allowing new Universities in Nuapada, Parliakhemundir or Paradeep etc. This will bring accountability to the process without political/regional favoritism.


The vice-chancellor and local administration (syndicate) of such multi-disciplinary University would be responsible to judge and perform based on local need. All the medical, and engineering colleges in those localities should be brought back to (affiliated with) this University which will monitor its quality and strength.  So, administration could be done easily in the local level instead of travelling to Rourkela or Bhubaneswar for both pvt and/or Govt. colleges.  If there is no Govt. medical/engineering college in the locality, the University should be allowed to establish one on its campus.  Even I am not adverse to include agriculture, forestry colleges in such multi-disciplinary University fold at the local level. If there are already general University  (Utkal Univ), engineering college (CET) and medical college (Capital Hospital) in different locations, each should be known as Utkal Univ. main campus, engineering campus, medical campus etc, such campus can also be possible in two different towns of the same locality such as Cuttack and Paradeep or Angul and Sarang/Dhenkanal.


To make administration easier, each University will have 6-10 deans (or vice president) based on faculty. If there is no faculty of medicine and a medical college is associated with a University (such as Raveshaw Univ. and SCB medical college), the principal of that Govt. medical college (such as principal of SCB medical college) can be one of the vice-president/dean of that University who will be administrative head for medical division of that University.  Similar thing can be done for engineering, arts & science, agriculture & animal husbandry, etc. It will reduce administrative, day to day, burden on vice-chancellor.


 Since undivided Cuttack dist does not have any state University, Ravensha University combining with SCB medical college could be made a complete multi-disciplinary University for undivided Cuttack district by bringing all the affilaited in colleges in the locality under it. Similarly, BPUT can also be made a multi-disciplinary University for Sundergarh as requirement of BPUT in the state level would not be required any more.  Nor we need a Health University.  Balangir, Kalahandi, Boudh-Kandhamal, Keonjhar and Angul-Dhenkanal could have new Universities.


I think looking at the present situation this along with improving the present physical infrastructure of existing institution (where there is no engineering/medical college) will be enough tasks to implement for next 10 years for Odisha state Government. 


Similarly, for central Govt. funded institution each undivided district should get one central funded higher educational or research institution in priority basis. Every time state capital or a major city/town should not be chosen for such purposes. Nobody knew existence of Rourkela, Brajaraj Nagar, Badbil etc once, so if we give opportunity to a small place based on regional need it may emerge as another Rourkela for the state in future.


Autonomous college in each district may work independently but affiliating with their local Universities.



With best regards



Digambara Patra, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
American University of Beirut
Beirut, Lebanon
Email: digpatra@yahoo.com