BHUBANESWAR: The Rama Devi Women’s University - Odisha’s first women’s university and country’s third - was formally inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the Capital City on the occasion of 116th birth anniversary of freedom fighter Rama Devi on Thursday.
Stating that the State continues to witness low participation of women in higher education sector, the Chief Minister said an all women’s university would help in addressing this problem. The State Government, on its part, continues to implement several measures to increase enrolment of women in education sector, Naveen said. He pledged Government support to convert the university into a Centre of Excellence.
Speaking on the occasion, Higher Education Minister Pradeep Panigrahy said `55 crore sanctioned under MHRD’s Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) has already been placed with the university for infrastructure development. As far as recruitment of additional faculty members and appointment of a Vice-Chancellor for the university is concerned, the Minister said the process will begin only after formation of all statutory bodies.
Panigrahy further informed that construction of three new hostels, one hostel for differently-abled girls, an academic block, additional classrooms, smart classrooms and a toilet complex will soon begin on the campus. “While `5 crore has been sanctioned for new classrooms, another `20 lakh is earmarked for making the campus WiFi-enabled. The university will also have an e-library for which Utkal University will be the nodal agency,” he said.
The women’s university was established this year following approval of the MHRD and the new academic session started in August. As many as 46 women’s colleges in the State, which were earlier under Utkal University, have been brought under the affiliation of RD Women’s University. Currently, the university is focusing on streamlining examination and course pattern of all affiliated colleges, besides formation of Syndicate, Academic Council and other important statutory committees in the varsity, said Officer on Special Duty, Padmaja Mishra.
The highlight of the event was a martial art show that was presented by 10 blind girl students. The girls, who were trained in Bhubaneswar-based Utkal Karate School, exhibited different self-defence moves. A souvenir DISHA was released by the Chief Minister.