Digambara Patra, an Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry, American University of Beirut, thanked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for announcing the Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna (GACB) a “Unitary University” during his visit to Kalahandi on Saturday.
“Indeed, the GACB has always kept high standard of education practice in KBK-Kandhamal region. It was among the country’s first 52 colleges, the State’s first three colleges and the KBK region’s first college to receive Potential Center of Excellence (PCE) by the University Grant Commission (UGC). The other two colleges that had received the PCE were the Ravenshaw College, Cuttack and the GM College, Sambalpur.
He said while Cuttack-Bhubaneswar-Khordha region has already many national and State institutions including IIT, NISER, IIIT, AIIMS, five Government universities, five private universities, Brahmapur has multiple numbers of Government institutions, including two universities and the IISER. NIT at Rourkela and IIM in Sambalpur boost number of national institutions in Sambalpur-Rourkela region, which has four Government universities. North Odisha has also two State Universities in Balasore and Baripada.
In contrast, the KBK region comprising 30 per cent of Odisha’s geography and 20 per cent of its population has only one Central University of Orissa (CUO) at Koraput.
The two new universities, Rajendra University in Balangir and Bhawanipatna University in Kalahandi would serve the interest of KBK region in this regard, he said.
He demanded that the Chief Minister look into the issue of illegal encroachment of 9.1 acres of Government land given to GACB in 1960s that is hindering development work in the college campus now. Now, transferring of newly built 300-bed Women’s Hostel to the college authority is pending by the district authority due to illegal encroachment, he mentioned.
During his visit, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated the Ret Medium Irrigation project built at a cost of Rs 768.46 crores in Kalahandi district. The project would benefit 79 villages.
He inaugurated and laid foundation stones for 38 developmental projects worth Rs 1,346 crore.
He also announced that the Bhawanipatna Women’s College will have Science Stream, Science lab and other infrastructure facilities for which Rs 5 crore has been sanctioned.
The CM also released Rs 15,000 each to 11,122 women Self Help Groups (SHGs) as seed money, Rs 25 lakhs each to 14 block-level ‘Mahasanghs’, Rs 3,000 each to 9,836 SHGs as digital empowerment assistance under the ongoing Mission Shakti programme.