BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has finally cleared the decks for the establishment of the second campus of Utkal University. It has allowed the Higher Education Department to take possession of land identified for the rural campus in Jajpur district.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced the second campus of Utkal University during the foundation day ceremony of the students' union two and a half years ago. Last year, the then Jajpur Collector had identified 70 acres of land at Chandikhole in Jajpur district, but beyond that nothing much was done to alienate the land to the Higher Education Department.
Sources said there were plans to lay foundation stone for the second campus at Chandikhol on June 28 by Badachana MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy, but that could not materialise due to land issues.
In a notification on Saturday, the State Government directed the Higher Education Department to take advance possession of 66.3 acres of the identified land.
Outgoing Vice-Chancellor of the University Ashok Das said it has been decided to develop the second campus as a skill development centre for students. Apart from research and outreach activities, the university plans to shift the newly-opened teacher training courses (B.Ed and M.Ed) to the rural campus once its established. Though the State Government had announced to grant `70 crore to set up the infrastructure of the rural campus, it is yet to be sanctioned.