NRO (non-resident Odia) Professor Digambar Patra batted for the newly proposed Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) for Odisha at Bhawanipatna region to boost higher education in the KBK region.In a letter to the Union Human Resurse Minister Smrti Irani and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, he has justified the reasons as to why the KBK region now needs more higher education institutions.
The initiative by the State Government to upgrade the Khallikote College to a Cluster University, the RD Women’s College to a Women University, the GM College to a Unitary University and establishment of the Indian Institute of Management and Open University are praise worthy. Similarly, proposal to establish a Health University and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Odisha by Central Government is in the positive direction, he said.
However, in all the initiatives, the KBK region is not getting its equal share despite having 20 per cent of the population and 30 per cent of geographical area of the State. More ever, the region is well known for its tribal population, backwardness and low literacy rate.Without any Government initiated high quality educational establishment, all round development of the region cannot be achieved, he said further.
The State Government’s proposal to have a second Agriculture University in KBK has not yet been realised. This is the only region in the State which has often suffered political marginalisation in higher education sector, he lamented. The KBK region needs an education corridor, in the same way Cuttack, Puri, Bhubaneswar, Khordha, Brahmapur, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Rourkela are being established. The National Institute of Technology (NIT) at Rourkela and the IIM in Sambalpur will boost a number of national institutions in Sambalpur-Rourkela region.
The region has three State Government Universities in Sambalpur and one State University in Rourkela. Cuttack-Bhubaneswar-Khordha region has already multiple numbers of national and State institutions, including IIT, NISER, IIIT, AIIMS, five State universities, three private universities etc. whereas Brahmapur has multiple numbers of Government institutions and two State Government universities. North Odisha has also two State universities.
In comparison, the KBK region has only one university, the Central University of Odisha (CUO) at Koraput. This region needs more national institutions and State Government universities, especially Bhawanipatna-Koraput has a greater potential to develop as an education corridor. Besides the CUO at Koraput, another national institution is needed at Bhawanipatna for the Koraput-Bhawanipatna educational corridor.