Odisha: No new SFCs, varsities told to focus on job-oriented courses

This was decided at a meeting between Higher Education department with officials of 11 public universities recently.
Odisha Higher Education Department logo
Odisha Higher Education Department logo

BHUBANESWAR: The state Higher Education department has yet again asked the public universities not to introduce any new self-financing courses (SFCs) except those that are job-oriented.

This was decided at a meeting between Higher Education department with officials of 11 public universities recently. “No self-financing courses shall be regularised or opened further by the department. Only job-oriented courses are to be opened,” the meeting decided.

Besides, admission to existing SFCs at undergraduate, post-graduate and BEd levels in all public universities will be done only through the department’s students academic management system (SAMS) and not at the institution-level. Professional SFCs like BBA, BCA and LLB will also be included under SAMS. An advisory on the above-mentioned decisions has been sent to the universities, official sources said.

The move, officials said, is aimed at streamlining self-financing education system in public universities and degree colleges including autonomous ones where questions are being raised on the quality of education being imparted. Besides, the department is now aiming at opening skill development courses that would improve employment prospects of students.

Of the 11 public universities, all except Utkal university are offering SFCs in direct mode. Utkal offers two SFCs in PPP mode - PG in agri-business management in the department of Business Administration and MTech in computer science under the Statistics department at its Bhubaneswar campus. It also offered BSc in Nursing (Chandikhole rural campus) under self-financing mode by roping in a Bhubaneswar-based organisation SUHCET. However the course was discontinued in 2022 due to gross mismanagement by the private party. Maharaja Sriram Chandra Bhanjadeo university runs the highest 12 SFCs in direct mode.

None of the SFCs being run by different departments of universities currently have adequate number of faculty. While University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines mandate the presence of one professor, two associate professors and three assistant professors, the SFCs are managed by one or two faculty members of the host department. Besides, admissions to the SFCs are held directly by universities instead of being done through the common PG admission test of the state government.

“The faculty members are often hired directly without going through any government prescribed recruitment process. Such faculty members after a few years demand to be regularised, which is impossible and illegal. Through this advisory, we also want to tell them that such requests will no longer be entertained,” said an official, requesting anonymity.

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