Non-resident Odia (NRO) Prof Digambara Patra of the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, who is also local of Kalahandi district, has urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for step to upgrade the Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna to a cluster university.
He has made this demand after steps are afoot to upgrade the Khallikote Autonomous College, Brahmapur to a cluster university under RUSHA scheme and RD Women’s Autonomous College in Bhubaneswar was made a Women’s University. Also steps are on for according the status of university to the GM Autonomous College at Sambalpur. Besides, there is budget proposal to set up an open university in Sambalpur.
Patra said that as per earlier recommendation by the Higher Education Task Force, other colleges especially those which are far away from traditional universities, should have been seriously considered. As per task force’s recommendation, the Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna falls in this category and should have been also upgraded to a State University in the same line as the three colleges at Brahmapur, Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar, he said.
A university at Bhawanipatna holds a lot of significance for the KBK region because for practical purpose. The local students and people of KBK suffer while travelling to universities at Burla or Brahmapur due to long distance and poor communication. Besides as a location, Bhawanipatna has several advantages. It is a central town among the KBK districts. Most importantly, the performance of the Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna has been outstanding over the years.
It is one of the first three colleges in Odisha which received Potential Centre of Excellence from the UGC, along with GM Autonomous College at Sambalpur and Ravenshaw College at Cuttack in Odisha, he said.
The Ravenshaw College has been already made a university. The GM College is likely to be upgraded to a university soon. Except these three colleges, the colleges which have received PEC status in Odisha from UGC are Khallikote Autonomous College and Fakir Mohan Autonomous College Baleswar. The Fakir Mohan University was established and the Khallikote Autonomous College is being made a cluster university. The only college having PEC status in Odisha and left over to be upgraded is the Government Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna. This is when the Higher Education Task Force has recommended for its upgradation, he added.