BERHAMPUR: Resentment is brewing among Odias living in Andhra Pradesh (AP) over withdrawal of reservation facility for them in higher and technical education in Odisha.The Odia speaking people in AP used to get a fixed percentage of seats to pursue CT, BEd, Diploma, Engineering, PG, MCA and MBA since 1986. But the Higher Education Department in a recent order clarified that no reservation would henceforth be given to the Andhra Odia speaking people to pursue higher and technical education in Odisha.
At a meeting held at Mandal Parishad Primary School in Purunapatna village near Parlakhemundi, the Odia Teachers’ Association of AP and representatives of the Odia speaking community in Andhra urged the Odisha Government to roll back the order as it would affect the propagation of Odia language and culture in the neighbouring State.
As per reports, about 12,000 Odia students are reading from Class I to degree level in 179 primary and high schools, 11 Plus-II and four Degree colleges in Srikakulam, Vijayanagram and Vishakhapatnam of AP. While they get education in Odia medium upto Class 10, at the Plus-II and Degree level, they are provided only books in Odia while they have to attend classes in Telugu medium. Hence, the reservation facility in higher education in Odisha for them was a boon as they don’t get the facility in AP.
To save the culture and language of the State in AP, the Odisha Government had started the reservation policy for them in 1986. While the AP Government has been ensuring all kinds of facilities to provide education in Odia medium by appointing Odia teachers, supplying Odia books and allowing the students to write in Odia in the examinations upto Class 10, the Odisha Government’s recent decision would come as a big setback for them, they said.
Members of Ganjam unit of Utkal Sammilani held a similar meeting here on Monday and urged the State Government to continue the reservation facility for the Odia students living in AP. Presiding over the meeting, president of the unit Manmath Padhy described the notification as unwarranted.Among others, secretary of the unit Dinabandhu Sri Pallab, Dr Nakul Sahu and Dr Sriram Patnaik were present.