Feedback by RP Tripathy

Thoughts before the Task Force on Higher Education to rejuvenate the knowledge sector in Odisha



Doctoral Research Scholar, Delhi University &

Member (Editorail Board), Kamal Sandesh

New Delhi


There is no denying the fact that bringing development to Odisha, a state long described as a state of mind – for its monumental backwardness – or a basket case is only possible through tapping its human resource potential. But, for a turnaround in the higher education sector of the State nothing less than a "paradigm shift" is needed. Presently our State is immersed in a critical debate on how to reform and rejuvenate its higher education sector. Further, how to create multiple clusters of education and excellence by spreading the network of higher education deeper and wider remains one of the biggest challenges. One can take heart from the fact that a Task Force has been constituted to specifically look into the issue. Notwithstanding, the previous record there is considerable excitement at the prospect of reforming the State’s Higher Education sector initiated by the State Government.


Following are some of my views and suggestions on developing and reforming the higher education infrastructure in the State for the consideration of the Task Force. In fact, some of the following issues have already been raised in the past by some leading academicians and intellectuals and hence are just a reiteration;


·        The 13 un-divided districts should be taken as units for the establishment of future higher education institutions, as they are of comparable size. Each unit must be provided with a minimum number of selected institutes to make sure that that the benefits of higher education reach all regions of the State.

·       The process of establishment of the already announced Centrally Funded Institutions in the State Capital and at Koraput must be expedited.

·       Bhubaneswar-Berhampur and Rourkela-Sambalpur must be developed as knowledge corridors to leverage their infrastructural and locational advantages to attract public and private educational Institutions. In fact, there has been persistent demand on this issue by some leading intellectuals which will put the State on the national map to compete with other regions as far as establishment of national level institutes are concerned.

·        Apart from the educational cluster at Bhubaneswar, creation of national level higher education clusters at Berhampur, Sambalpur and Rourkela should be taken up on a priority basis. Each of these clusters must have a General University, one professional University, at least one centrally funded Institute and national level research lab. Both Railway and air connectivity for these clusters must be ensured, along with express highways.

Berhampur Cluster

Ø     Establishment of I.I.I.T

Ø     Khallikote College (Berhampur) must be upgraded as the second Unitary University of the State

Ø     Establishment of one of the state funded professional Universities like Health University or Management University or a second Agricultural University of the State

Ø     One national level research lab of CSIR, DRDO or DAE

Ø     Establishment of the National Institute of Design (NID)

Ø    Establishment of the earlier announced Indian Institute of Labour (IIL) Studies on the lines of VV Giri Labour Institute, NOIDA

Ø    A branch of the National maritime University at Gopalpur.

Ø     Establishment of the Marine Biotech Park at Gopalpur.

Ø     Upgradation of MKCG Medical college into a national level medical college and research centre

Ø     The JN Tata Technical Education Centre be upgraded as a national level technical institute on the lines of BIT.

Ø     The Ministry of Defense College at Golabandha near Gopalpur to be upgraded as a Defense University.

Sambalpur Cluster

Ø     Establishment of one of the national level research lab.

Ø     Establishment of STPI

Ø     Second campus of XIMB

Ø     Upgradation of VSS Medical college into a national level  medical college and research centre

Ø     Indian Institute of Forest Management

Ø     Establishment of a regional centre of National Institute of  Rural Development (NIRD)


Rourkela Cluster

Ø     Establishment of  a State funded General University

Ø     Establishment of a full fledged Medical College

Ø     Establishment of one of the national level research lab.

Ø     Indian Institute of Planning and Architecture

Ø     Establishment of a national standard Management Institute

·       Better academic standards and infrastructure must be ensured for Utkal, Berhmapur and Sambalpur Universities on a priority basis through collaboration with government, industry and other national and foreign universities.

·        Berhampur University and Sambalpur University should be allowed to open satellite campuses in Phulbani and Balangir respectively.

·        Five more regional clusters of higher education at Koraput, Baleshwar, Bhawanipatna, Baripada and Talcher/Dhenkanal through establishment of state funded institutions.