Without political willingness for backward region education task force is meaning-less

November 11, 2009 at 2:36 pm Leave a comment

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

Noted Odia NRI activist Digambara Patra has written an e-mail to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressing dissatisfaction over the continuous neglect of western Odisha in higher education by the State Government since the past 50 years.

Patra, who is an Assistant Professor of chemistry at the American University of Beirut, has also sent a copy of the e-mail to the Higher Education Secretary, MPs from Odisha and mediapersons.

Formation of Higher Education Task Force is a welcoming step. However, without political willingness for backward region like KBKK (Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput-Kandhamal), such task force might get meaningless.

More number of new higher educational establishments is required especially in these backward regions owing to tremendous potential for growth, he opined. Taking the example of Bhawanipatna Government College, he said that despite being located in a remote place it has proven in the State as well as national levels, among the first three colleges to be granted as potential centre of excellence in the State by UGC. He lamented that instead of encouraging such an oasis in higher education in the backward pocket, the State Government has discouraged this institution in several ways. “If the State Government is unable to address many important issues of the college, how the higher education vision could be realised in the long run?” he asked.

I am afraid that the efforts put by many well-known educationalists for preparing the vision in higher education would not be limited to pen, paper and political euphoria, he wrote to the CM.

He blamed political negligence as one of the very serious causes affecting higher education enrolment in KBKK and western Odisha region. Most of the new Central Government institutions are coming either in Cuttack-Bhubaneswar or southern Odisha region but not a single one is being established in western Odisha which lacks sufficient number of higher educational and research institutions. The State Government has at the last moment undermined a Central University in Kalahandi, he pointed out.

What more one can expect to aspire for higher education from a backward place where the literacy rate is not yet touched 50 per cent, he asked further. The region is continuing its effort to aspire for a National University without getting any support from the Government. Instead of rewarding such places, unfortunately the State Government is giving consolation. This should be addressed, he urged.

Unless these regions are seriously taken care and the situation in the State continues in the similar line, higher education and its gross enrolment will never improve for the whole State except for few selected regions, he apprehended.

Entry filed under: Educational Policy, Higher Education Zone, State Watch-Monitoring the Odisha State. Tags: .

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