Central Status for Sambalpur Varsity Sought

Even as the State Government announced that an Open University would come up in Sambalpur, not satisfied with the crumbs the people of Western Odisha have reiterated their demand for Central university status to Sambalpur University.

The Open University was announced in a bid to pacify the agitators who have been demanding establishment of an Indian Institute of Management (IIM).

It was the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan who had raised the issue during the foundation day celebration of Sambalpur University recently. He had said, “Since the university caters to backward areas of Western Odisha and will celebrate its golden jubilee after two years, there is a need for visible development in terms of education and infrastructure.”

A memorandum in this regard was also submitted to Pradhan by the members of Association of Students, Employees and Teachers (ASET) requesting him to pursue the matter with the Ministry of Human Resources Development.

Although the State Government had agreed on principle to confer the status on Sambalpur University around a decade back and sent a recommendation to the Centre, nothing has come out of it as yet.

The university has 180 colleges under it. Established in 1964, it is the only university in the State that covers the largest area of 12 districts in the region.

In 2004, the BJD Government wrote to the Centre, supporting the justification behind the demand. Again in 2008, the demand was raised by the students and teachers following the Centre’s declaration to establish a Central University in Odisha, but that was given to Koraput.

“Centralisation of the University will provide good exposure to students and largely contribute towards advanced research. Fee will also come down, particularly in self-financed courses,” said an official of Sambalpur University.

In the last five years, research in Sambalpur University had gone down due to lack of adequate number of teachers. The vacancies were filled up only last year.

Besides, it does not have accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), a quality rating autonomous body established by the University Grants Commission (UGC), as a result of which it is losing out on various UGC development grants.

NAAC accreditation for Sambalpur University ended in 2010 and it is yet to apply for re-accreditation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: