CAG finds faults with Utkal University

Analysing the data to find out if higher education led to employability, CAG pointed out that only 26.1 per cent of students of Utkal got placed through their placement cell and job fairs.

Published: 10th September 2021 09:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2021 09:01 AM   |  A+A-

Utkal University in Bhubaneswar

Utkal University in Bhubaneswar (File photo| EPS)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR:  Even as the Utkal university improved its NIRF ranking by nine points, the CAG report on ‘Higher Education Outcomes’ has pointed out massive irregularities in the premier institution as far as teaching, infrastructure and placements are concerned.

Of the nine State-run public universities in Odisha, the CAG audited Utkal University and North Odisha University (now called Maharaja Sriram Chandra Bhanja Deo University) from October 2019 to January 2020 covering the period of five years from 2014-15 to 2018-19. The audit report was tabled in the State Assembly on Thursday.

Analysing the data to find out if higher education led to employability, CAG pointed out that only 26.1 per cent of students of Utkal and a miniscule 3.7 per cent of NOU got placed through the placement cells and job fairs organised by the institutions in the period. Of the total 5,334 students of 26 PG departments of Utkal who enrolled for placements, only 285 of 12 departments got placed. No such cell existed in NOU.

Loopholes were also noticed in the setting up of career counselling cells (CCCs) that are mandated by the UGC for higher education institutions. Utkal university got Rs 17 lakh (Rs 12.5 lakh in 2016-17 and Rs 4.5 lakh in 2017-18) for the purpose while NOU got Rs 12.5 lakh in 2017-18. However, Utkal spent only Rs 0.29 lakh on just inaugurating the CCC on March 4, 2017. 

The CCC was never made functional thereafter. In NOU, only Rs 2.13 lakh could be utilised for setting up of the CCC in November 2019 but 200 students have benefitted from it. While Utkal received Rs 30 lakh from the State government between 2017 and 2018 under Civil Services Coaching Centre scheme for providing UPSC training to students through its Directorate of Distance and Continuing Education (DDCE), the audit revealed that the funds were never transferred to DDCE. As a result, the scheme was discontinued by the government in 2018-19.

The CAG also found fault in the curriculum designed by Utkal as per the UGC guidelines. While the audit sought reports from all 27 departments of the varsity, responses were filed by only five. It was found out that four of the departments did not take the mandatory stakeholders’ feedback while designing the curriculum.  


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