DHE mulling 20 per cent cap on SF courses in Odisha colleges

The move is aimed at maintaining academic standards of such courses 
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations)
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations)

BHUBANESWAR:  The Department of Higher Education is considering the introduction of 20 per cent cap on self-financing courses in both government and non-government colleges in line with public universities. Officials of the department said while the move is in the proposal stage at present, it is aimed at maintaining academic and examination standards of such courses in the long run.

At present, for the 2023-24 academic session, there are 1,041 degree colleges in the state that have 491 seats allocated for self-financing courses. This includes 10 government-run degree colleges which offer self-financing courses to students. District-wise, the highest number of seats for self-financing courses are in Sundargarh (62) followed by Khurda (53) and Mayurbhanj (49). 

The data, however, does not include private self-financing colleges that were opened within the last one year and are yet to come under the department’s Students Academic Management System (SAMS). Official sources said close to 200 self-financing colleges affiliated to public universities were opened in the last one year for the current academic session. “Since these colleges are not under SAMS, we will not know how many students take admission in them and what is their quality,” said an official of the department, requesting anonymity.

He further informed with universities allowing such self-financing colleges to conduct examinations in their own centres, allegations of malpractice galore. “Since it is convenient for students of such colleges to clear examinations, they prefer taking admissions in them. This is one of the reasons why 55,000 degree seats had fallen vacant in the state in the last academic session,” he added.

Principal secretary of the department Arvind Agarwal said the focus of the department is currently on maintaining high academic quality in not just self-financing colleges but also regular ones. Teaching-learning of all the courses and in all colleges will be strictly monitored to maintain academic and examination standards, he said.   

Last year in April, Governor and Chancellor of Universities Prof Ganeshi Lal had directed public universities to refrain from launching any self-financing courses from the 2022-23 academic year. Subsequently, former principal secretary of the department Saswat Mishra has directed the universities to cap the students strength of all such courses at 20 per cent of the total strength of all regular courses. 

Regulating institutions

1,041 degree colleges have 491 seats allocated for self-financing courses

Around 200 self-financing colleges opened in last one year

Since it is convenient for students of such colleges to clear exams, they prefer taking admissions in them

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The New Indian Express