Sunday, October 29, 2006
Monday October 30 2006 10:22 IST
BHUBANESWAR: The University Grants Commission (UGC) will send a team, headed by a joint secretary, to review the proposals and funds utilisation by various universities of the State.
Since utilisation of funds by the varsities has been a cause of concern, UGC is keen to find out the underlying problems. The team would be here for two days - November 14 and 15.
This was decided after a meeting chaired by UGC Chairman Prof Sukhdeo Thorat at Raj Bhawan here on Sunday. Thorat had an interaction with VCs of the State universities. In fact, the UGC chief was here at the invitation of Chancellor and Governor Rameshwar Thakur.
Thorat was to attend the convocation of Sambalpur University on Saturday but since he was indisposed, he could not make it. The UGC Chairman made it clear that many proposals presented by the VCs don稚 meet the guidelines which is a a major reason for their rejection.
Currently, five universities of the State are eligible to receive funds from the commission since they meet the norms specified under Section 12(B) of the UGC Act. While Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) has submitted its proposal, Utkal University of Culture has been asked to put forth its case.
However, utilisation of funds for various projects and schemes of UGC by the State varsities remain far from satisfactory.
As per a presentation delivered by the UGC joint secretary, Eastern Regional Office, Prof Ratnabali Banerjee, utilisation by Orissa is just about 40 percent during the period 2002-2006.It, however, ranks better as compared to other states of Eastern India, she pointed out.
While funds utilisation by West Bengal is a little below 30 percent, Bihar, Jharkhand and Sikkim have utilised only about 20 percent of UGC funds.
The Governor urged the UGC chief to consider sanction of grants to the State varsities keeping in view the number of backward districts they cater to.
He said Orissa is in need of a vibrant education system because the State is now attracting a lot of investment. The UGC should assist Orissa in this process. he pointed out.
During the meeting, V C of Sambalpur University proposed that varsity should be allowed to set up a satellite campus at Bhawanipatna.
It would help tribal students, girls particularly, to take advantage of higher education. Both Berhampur and Sambalpur universities sought permission for opening coaching centres for SC/ST students.
Utkal University also submitted its plans to open centres on aquaculture, water harvesting, IT and bio-informatics.
Among others, Finance Minister PC Ghadei, Agriculture Minister SN Nayak and Higher Education Minister Samir Dey were present.