Bhubaneswar: The State Government has urged the Centre to set up five Model Degree Colleges in far-flung areas to provide more opportunities to tribal students to pursue higher education, where there are no degree colleges at all.
Higher Education Principal Secretary GVV Sarma, reviewing the requirement of Model Degree Colleges, found out five places, Chitrakonda in Malkangiri, Raighar in Nabarangpur, Kashipur in Rayagada, Nuagaon in Sundargarh and Dharakote in Ganjam district.
In view of dismal literacy rate of the State’s tribal communities, the State Government has taken many initiatives and establishment of Model Degree Colleges is one of those attempts.
The literacy rate of tribal in Odisha is 52.24 per cent against national average of 72.9 per cent. The State has a very Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 19.6 per cent against all India’s 24.5 per cent in 2015-16. However, the GER increased to 21 per cent in 2016-17.
However in case of tribal students, the State’s GER was 11.3 per cent against national average of 15.4 per cent.
There are eight Model Degree Colleges are now operating in the State. While the Rashtriya Uchchatar Siksha Abhiyan (RUSA) has provided supports to colleges and universities greatly for construction of physical infrastructure, the Government expects more support for development of academic infrastructure.
The Higher Education Department has also approached the MoRD to approve a proposal for providing “Centre of Excellence” status to three leading universities of the State so that they can enhance their capacity into world-class universities.
Special funds are required to improve infrastructure for separate residential complex and hostels for research scholars as well as faculty members.
The Higher Education Department has also sought financial support under the RUSA scheme to attract NRIs and other talented faculty for the universities, said an official.