Khallikote Autonomous College will be the first cluster university in Odisha under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) programme.
Under the scheme, about four to five colleges in a region will be turned into a cluster and granted autonomy to share infrastructure and teaching faculty and function like a university.
Pradeep Panigrahy higher education minister said, “Khallikote College, as the first cluster university, and Rama Devi Women’s College, as the first women’s university, are the New Year gifts for the people of Odisha. The higher education sector will be completely revamped with major quality and infrastructural boost in the coming days.”
Four colleges affiliated to Berhampur University — Chhatrapur College, Shashi Bhushan Rath Government Women’s College, Binayak Acharya College and Gopalpur College — will be the constituent colleges of the newly created cluster university. Similarly, all women’s colleges under Utkal University will be affiliated to the new Women’s University, the minister said.
Both the new universities will get Rs 55 crore each for infrastructure development and hiring of faculty members. Three colleges — SCS (Autonomous) College, Government Degree College, Sundergarh, and KKS Women’s College — will be converted into model colleges and get Rs 4 crore each while 31 other colleges will get Rs 2 crore each under RUSA.
“The state government aims to increase the gross enrolment ratio from the existing 18 per cent to 30 per cent by 2020. To this end, there is a need for opening new colleges and improving the quality of education and standard of infrastructure. These steps will help achieve the target,” said Panigrahy.
As a prerequisite, the colleges to be upgraded to university status should have adequate academic, physical and technical infrastructural facilities, must have been in existence for 15 years, should have an existing combined enrolment of 2,000 students and should ideally be within a radius of 15-20 km from the lead institution.
Odisha will get Rs 380 crore fund under RUSA for five major universities — Utkal University, Berhampur University, Sambalpur University, Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) and Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT), reported ToI.