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Odisha Chief Minister reviewed the targets and achievements of the Higher Education Department

Bhubaneswar:25/5/23: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the targets and achievements of the Higher Education Department during last four years and the fulfilment of the assurances given in the manifesto.

Minister for Higher Education Department, Rohit Pujari presented details achievements promised in the election manifesto and other transformative steps undertaken by the Department during last 4 years.

Achievements as per Election Manifesto: –

(i) Free wi-fi and 1 GB data for students of technical institutions, colleges and Universities: – All the state public universities are wi-fi enabled. Electronics and Information Technology, Odisha is in the job to provide free 1 GB data to all the students.

(ii) Setting of Scholarship Council: – State scholarship Portal is operational since 2020-21 wherein 6 related departments have onboarded. An Advisor has been appointed for Higher Education Department scholarship scheme.

(iii) Education loans: – Education loan is being provided to the students by Commercial banks with 1% interest since 2016-17 and Government is bearing the rest of the interest.

A. 5T initiatives: –

(i) Monitoring Teachers’ attendance (7 hours duty) through bio-metric devices: – 100% bio-metric attendance for all Higher Education Institutes have been ensured.

(ii) Guidelines for distribution of free laptop to meritorious students to be changed from state wise to district/block wise: – It is fully implemented.

(iii) Scholarship guidelines should also be changed by providing for preparation of merit list district/block wise (not state wise): – Implemented under the umbrella scheme of “Mukhyamantri Chatra Protsahan Yojana”.

(iv) Coaching of Odia Students for All India Service Examinations: – Free coaching along with lodging and boarding are being provided to 200 meritorious civil service aspirants across all categories.

(v) Formation of a Scholarship Council – State Scholarship Portal has been formed and six major departments of the state have on boarded their scholarship schemes onto this common platform to provide one stop solution to eligible students.

(vi) Students’ attendance of minimum 75% required for appearing end term examination – Fully implemented.

(vii) Students’ feedback on SAMS – Feedback system in SAMS is in place

(viii) Programmes for motivating teachers including exposure visit to outside the State/Country – Orientation/ Refresher / Mid-Career Training programmes are organized regularly.

(ix) To activate Career Counselling Cells in Universities and Colleges – Career Counselling Cells have been established in various Colleges and Universities to provide platform for students to orient themselves for choosing their career plans.

(x) Skilling of students of degree colleges to enhance their employability. – Training on soft skills such as Spoken English, etc. are being conducted through virtual tutorial.

(xi) Provision for incentive to colleges and teachers for getting accredited under NAAC – NAAC Accredited HEIs are being provided higher grants compared to others.

(xii) Universities and colleges to develop excellence in a few subjects – Eleven Centres of Excellence (CoE) are in operation across the state.

(xiii) Establishment of “MO College” platform – Launched in the year 2019 with more than 28,219 alumni registered through Web-Portal.

(xiv) To take care of the aspiration of students passing out class-12 in educationally disadvantaged Blocks to study degree courses, especially in science – Steps are being taken to set up Science degree colleges in educationally disadvantaged Blocks.

(xv) Uniform transfer policy for teachers and non-teaching staff – Transfer policy of Transfer policy of GA & PG Department are being followed.

(xvi) Guidelines for Governing Body/ Executive Councils of Colleges to be amended to ensure achieving the goals of quality education. – Odisha Education (Establishment Recognition and Management of Private College) Rule 1991 has been amended accordingly vide Notification No. 28214/HE., Dated: 01.09.2020

(xvii) System for quick redressal of grievances – Grievances are being addressed through e-grievance system and personal hearing on Mondays.

B. Mo Sarkar:

16 services of this Department have been included under Mo Sarkar Initiative. The status of Mo Sarkar Initiative of this Department as on 24.05.2023 is as follows.

  • Calls Attempted at Department level-4344
  • Calls Completed-3101
  • Feedback relates to Laptop Distribution, Certificate, CLC/TC, Examination, Affiliation, GB related issues.
  • Steps are being taken to early distribution of Financial Assistance under Biju Yuva Sasaktikaran Yojna, HEIs are being contacted for Certificate, CLC/TC. Examination, Affiliation, GB related issues are being taken up at Department level.

C. Significant/Outstanding Achievements:

  • Transformation of Higher Education system: Over a period of two decades, the number of students in the state have doubled from 3.2 lakhs in 2000 to 6.5 lakhs in 2023, out of which 3.8 lakhs are girl students. Similarly, the Gross Enrolment Ratio has increased from 11 to 21 in the same time period. This has been possible since the Government is now spending more by enhancing the budget provision from Rs. 473 crores in 2000 to Rs. 3173 crores in 2023.Towards infrastructure development of Higher Education Institutes the expenditure have been Rs.260 crores in 2022 against Rs.20 crores in 2000. The number of colleges have been increased from 548 to 1024 while State public universities from 6 to 16.
  • Mukhyamantri Medhabi Chatra Protsahan Yojana:Merit Scholarships in different amounts are being provided to the meritorious students under different categories like UG, PG, technical and professional courses. Vyasakabi Fakir Mohan Bhasabruti awarded for Odia (Hons.) and PG in Odia students and financial assistance has been provided under Gopabandhu Sikshya Sahayata Yojna to the students from under-privileged sections of the society. Under U.G. merit scholarship, 10,000 meritorious students get Rs. 10,000 per annum, under P.G. Merit scholarship, 5,000 meritorious students get Rs. 15,000 per annum. 10,000 students from various Technical and Professional institutions across the country are getting Rs. 20,000 per annum. To promote Odia language, Government is providing Rs. 20,000 (one time) to 1200 U.G. and 300 P.G. students from the year 2016-17. For extending financial assistance to students of under privileged sections, Government is providing Rs. 20,000 per annum through GSSY since 2019-20. This financial aid aims at supporting the meritorious students who are in the need of financial help. More than Rs. 40 cr has been provisioned every year in the Budget.
  • Biju Yuva Sashaktikaran Yojana – In today’s digital world, everything is in the “e” form. Lack of access to this digital world where there is plethora of information, becomes a hurdle in the path of success for a student. A praiseworthy effort in this front has been taken by the department where 15,000 +2 pass out students are given a financial help of Rs. 30,000/- to buy laptops. 28351 beneficiaries have benefitted from the scheme during 2020-21 and 2021-22.
  • Kalinga Sikhya Sahayata Yojana – Interest rates quoted by different Nationalised banks for availing educational loans has been a matter of concern for the student who plans to avail it. State Government has intervened and providing interest subvention to the Nationalised banks so as to reduce financial burden on the student. The student availing the loan now has to pay an interest of 1% while the rest amount has borne by the Government. More than 700 students have benefitted from this scheme since 2016-17 (Inception of the Scheme).
  • Employability and creation of placement opportunities: –To enhance the employability of students, career counselling centres have been established in various Colleges and Universities to provide platform for students to orient themselves for choosing their career plans. Steps are being taken to provide internship, skill development training to 50,000 students every year through job melas by networking with industries and corporate recruiters.
  • Free Civil services Coaching: – Government has introduced in the year 2023, free coaching along with lodging and boarding for 200 meritorious students who are civil service aspirants.
  • Academic Reforms: – In line with New Education Policy (NEP), choice-based credit system (CBCS) have been started for all UG and PG students. Compulsory courses like communicative English, Basics of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Ethics and values, Disaster Management, NCC etc. have been introduced. Common UG and PG admission for the entire state through single portal and free video lectures (virtual tutorial) for students and teachers are in place. About 25% of the Higher Education Institutes have been NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) accredited. As a measure of e-governance, E-Samarth have been introduced wherein 41 modules have been developed relating to various essential functionalities of state public universities.
  • Examination Reforms: – Timely conduct of examinations, e-valuation of answer sheets, publication of results, uploading of certificates through National Academic Depository (NAD) are the initiatives taken. So far 3038680 marksheets have been uploaded which the students can download from digi-locker app.
  • Chief Minister Research Incentivization Fellowship Plan (CMRIFP): – Earlier components under Odisha Universities Research and Innovation Incentivization Plan (OURIIP) have been subsumed under the new scheme with hopping budgetary outlay of Rs.326 crores over 5 years from 2023-24. It has the following components.
    • (i) Providing fellowship of Rs.30000/- per month + contingency grant of Rs.50000.00 and Rs.30000.00 per annum for students and laboratory and non-laboratory works respectively to 500 scholars pursuing Ph.D programmes in state public universities. The present fellowship is Rs.18000- per month.
    • (ii) 40 seed research funding for post-doctoral faculty research grant at Rs.7.00 lacs for 2 years for young faculty below the age of 45 of the universities, Government and non-government aided colleges. 30 extra-mural research grant of Rs.12.00 lacs for 3 years for faculties below the age of 57.
    • (iii) Annual grant of Rs.25 lacs to research centre of excellence in language, literature and social sciences and Rs.35 lacs in science domain to 11 centre of excellence established under Odisha Higher Education Programme for Equity and Excellence (OHEPEE);
    • (iv) Publication support of Rs.50000.00 each for publishing in Top 25 journals and patent filling support for students and faculty of Higher Education Institutes.
    • (v) Annual Research Conclave and Review of research papers.

E-resources: –To Give momentum to faculty and student research, the Department is providing access to about 20,000 e-journals and near about 20 Lacs e-books to 14 universities and 33 Autonomous Colleges. This effort has been recognized at the national level (Winner of SKOCH Gold 2023 Award).

Recruitment: – During last 4 years, 175 University Professors/ Associate professors/ Asst. Professors, 321 Asst. Professors in Govt. Training Colleges, 125 Asst. Professors in Govt. General Colleges, 3882 Lecturers in Non-Govt. Aided Colleges and 324 nos. of Laboratory Asst.-cum-Store Keepers, Junior Librarian and Physical Education Teachers (PET) have been appointed. Recruitment for 481 Asst.Professors for Government Colleges is in progress by OPSC.

Establishment of Different Chairs – Bhima Bhoi Chair at G.M. University, Maa Rama Devi Chair at R.D. Women’s University, Adikabi Sarala Das Chair at J.N.U, New Delhi and Chief Minister Chair at National Law University , Cuttack have been established.

Odisha University Research and Innovation Plan (OURIIP) – During last four years 200 faculty researchers and about 100 research scholars were covered under the scheme. 20 Research Centres of Excellence & more than 10 patents and 300 indexed publications and one industry technology transfer at an expense of about Rs. 30 crore are the significant achievements.

AWARDS AT NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL LEVEL

  1. Higher Education Department, Odisha has been awarded with prestigious SKOCH Gold Award during 2022 for the programme, “E-resources” developed for the Universities and Autonomous Colleges
  2. Sambalpur University Hockey Men and Women teams secured 3rd position in the All-India Inter-university hockey men and women tournaments for 2022-23.
  3. In the field of academics, faculties of State Public Universities have received 372 national and international awards.
  4. 117 no.s of patents applied and registered by State Public Universities.
  5. Faculty members of State Public Universities have published 4962 no.s of articles in SCOPUS Journals/ web of science.
  6. As many as 161 MOUs have been signed by universities with different national and international organizations.
  7. Higher Education Department signed MoU with NASSCOM and INFOSYS Ltd. (Springboard) for undertaking skill development training in Emerging Technologies in State Higher Education Institutions on 23.05.2023.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.
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