Five districts to pilot college bifurcation work in Odisha

The chief secretary advised for relocation of higher secondary schools to the nearest high schools or any other location with separate construction plans.
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

BHUBANESWAR: The Higher Education department will take up the districts of Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Angul, Sundargarh and Jharsuguda as pilot districts to implement the much-delayed college bifurcation work. The districts can help in the bifurcation and integration of colleges with financial assistance from the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds.

This was advised at a high-level meeting of the Higher Education department chaired by Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena recently. The department has been asked to prepare a comprehensive analysis of each composite college (a campus where higher secondary education and Plus III are offered together) and prepare a database of its land availability, sharing of faculty members and infrastructure.

The data will be used by district-level committees formed by the department for the purpose, of deciding on bifurcation and relocation of the higher secondary schools. The chief secretary advised for relocation of higher secondary schools to the nearest high schools or any other location with separate construction plans.

As per official reports, the state at present has 787 composite colleges (both autonomous and private) where higher secondary schools, degree and PG colleges continue to function from the same campus and share the infrastructure and even faculty. Of the 48 government colleges, 40 are composite. Out of 517 colleges in the 488 category, 304 do not have separate campuses for higher secondary and degree colleges. Similarly, 443 colleges under the 662 category are composite in nature.

For better administration of campuses, the government in the 2016-17 academic year brought Plus II under the School and Mass Education department and named them higher secondary schools while Plus III remained with the Higher Education department. Separate teaching posts were created for both higher secondary and Plus II.

However, owing to a lack of adequate infrastructure and faculty members, common campuses could not be separated till now. Land ownership is being attributed as the main roadblock in the process. Colleges in urban areas need a minimum of 5 acres of land and those in rural areas need 7 acres of land for the bifurcation of campuses. Officials said although many of the colleges have the required land, the ownership is yet to be transferred to institutions.

WORRY OVER SAME CAMPUS

Total composite colleges - 787
Government-run composite colleges - 40
Decision to bifurcate Plus II and Plus III colleges taken in 2016-17

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