Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The State Government resolved to day to encourage commercialization of higher education in Orissa. It shall provide prime land with all infrastructures in concessional rate to private operators and allow them absolute independence in fixing up their fees and charges.
Mr. Bhagavat Prasad Mohanty, when he was the Higher Education Minister, was used as the first machine of private industry for paving the way towards this goal. At his behest, the government college teachers were acquainted for the first time with the possibility of private funding in higher education in a seminar on the subject at S.C.S.College, Puri. The Cabinet resolution of to day stems from that endeavor.
Informing the public of the Governmentís decision after the cabinet meeting, Chief Secretary P.K.Mohanty disclosed that an Act to allow establishment of private Universities in the State would soon be promulgated. The proposed private universities would be self-financed and autonomous and work in accordance with the U.G.C. guidelines. The State Government shall have no control over them excepting granting permission to start. Inspection of their activities, even though touted at the moment to be the Stateís responsibility, is an area where the governmentís bare confusion is a matter to see. What shall the government do on such inspections when it has utterly failed to fix up responsibility on any of its own paid officers for proven transgression of official ethics and for mismanagement of public funds and public sector undertakings? So, the boasting of reserving to itself the right to inspect the private universities as and when they start their operation is nothing but a design to hoodwink the public at the moment.
The entire design is against the interest of the State. The law, when framed, shall restrict Orissaís academic interest to 25% of the scope the private universities should be offering. It shall give a guarantee that minimum 75% of the seats under the private universities would be reserved for students from out side Orissa.
Thus shall begin commercialization of education in the State.(SCP)