Three years after the Union Government gave its approval for establishing a regional centre of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU), Amarkantak (MP), in Odisha, it is yet to see light of the day.
The State Government had asked the Centre to set up a regional campus of IGNTU at Kalahandi in 2010. The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in 2010 favoured Kalahandi for the regional centre, considering availability of resources including 300 acres of land.
The same year, the then Additional District Magistrate (ADM) of Kalahandi had identified the required 300 acres in Benda Jhola and Kumudabahal village under Thuamul-Rampur of the district and informed the same to the Department of Higher Education (DHE).
However, after receiving the letter from the ADM, the DHE allegedly did not initiate the follow-up action.
While uncertainty continues to loom over the project owing to the government apathy, other States like Andhra Pradesh and Manipur having a significant tribal population have already set up IGNTU regional campuses.
Educationists have, meanwhile, urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to look into the issue to promote education among the tribal communities in the State.
An NRI from Kalahandi and Assistant Professor in American University of Beirut Digambar Patra has written to the Chief Minister recently to take an initiative in this regard at the earliest. “There has been no action taken by the Department of Higher Education as far as the IGNTU regional centre is concerned,” he wrote to Naveen.
IGNTU, set up under an Act in 2007 with jurisdiction over the entire country, provides avenues of education, particularly higher education and research facilities primarily for the tribal population of the country.