The Higher Education department has agreed to withdraw its five-year restriction on the opening of new private degree or professional institutions in Odisha, which is a significant step toward increasing the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in the state.
A brief about the Five-year ban lifted in Odisha as new private colleges are allowed to open:
For higher education institutions (HEIs) to apply for raising seats or establishing new courses, a strong National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) score or National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) rank are no longer required.
In a recent meeting, the department’s high power committee (HPC) unanimously voted to permit the opening of new colleges while taking the academic requirements of nearby students into consideration. In order to prevent the emergence of private institutions without the necessary infrastructure and faculty, the department decided in 2019 not to issue approval for the formation of new private degrees or professional colleges for five years beginning with the 2020–21 academic year.
For the academic session 2022–2023 and moving forward until further orders, it was also decided at the meeting presided over by the principal secretary and chairman of the HPC Bishnupada Sethi to grant permission for seat increases and the opening of new subjects, streams, and courses (including PG courses) under the OE Act, 1969, regardless of NIRF ranking, NBA accreditation, or NAAC CGPA score.
The decisions were made in response to the results of the most recent All India Survey of Higher Education, which shows that Odisha has 24 institutions per lakh people, compared to the average of 30 colleges throughout all of India. Additionally, Odisha’s GER is 21.7 compared to the average of 27.1 for all of India. In order to attract more students to higher education, Sethi remarked, “it is vital to open additional colleges and boost seats in current colleges.”
It was also determined that the HPC will ask the state government to reimburse educational organizations that want to close their colleges owing to poor enrollment 100% of the pledge money. To start a degree college or professional college, one must currently deposit pledge funds of Rs. 15 lakh and Rs. 10 lahks, respectively. However, if one is forced to shut down the organization, one must forfeit 50% of the pledged funds.
“Many colleges are struggling, and their administration wants to close them. They choose not to, nevertheless, because of fear of losing 50% of the pledged funds. In these situations, continuing to operate the college results in a decline in educational quality, an official claimed.