BHUBANESWAR: In November, the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya will turn 50. Yet, the institution, considered State’s premier college of performing arts, remains embroiled in myriad problems.
In fact, faculty shortage has been the biggest hurdle in the path of college’s growth in the past decade. While there are 22 sanctioned faculty posts, 18 have fallen vacant over the years owing to retirements and suspension of a few teachers. The college has around 256 seats for students in Plus Two and nearly 128 seats in Under Graduate courses. It is affiliated to the Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE) at Plus Two level and Utkal University of Culture at degree level.
Set up by Culture Department through the Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1964 for aspiring artistes, the show in this only Government college imparting education in music, dance and drama is entirely managed by guest faculty. Of 12 disciplines in which academic training is offered, there is one permanent lecturer each for Odissi Vocal, Odissi Mardala, Hindustani Vocal and Drama.
The State Government had sanctioned 10 faculty posts in 2012, for which, the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) floated advertisements. But the recruitments could not be held following filing of court cases by 17 candidates, who wanted the job, on several grounds. Two years have lapsed but OPSC is unable to begin the recruitment process as the stay orders obtained by the 17 candidates are yet to be vacated.
College Principal, Tamasarani Dasmohapatra, said she has requested the Higher Education Department to look into the matter and initiate proceedings to vacate the stay orders at the earliest. “For this academic session, we have hired 23 guest faculty,” she said.
The college has started preparations for golden jubilee celebration that would be held from November 25 to 30.
To mark the occasion, a heritage gate is being constructed in front of the college and a new 100-bed boys’ hostel near BJB College. Six months back, students of the college had gone on a rampage demanding a permanent gate for the college. Infrastructure wise, the entire college campus is being renovated.