In the regime of number one, Governance needed to have set up Institutes and Research Centres for research and capacity building at different/appropriate places. Introducing teachers to Technology Enabled Learning to increase the scope and coverage of higher education was unsuccessful. Ineffective in Revamping the Doctoral Programmes.
Needed to improvise ICT infrastructure and leverage ICT to develop teachers’ skills but successfully imposed biomatrix attendance to reside inside the campus for eight hours daily without giving any work to Academia of the state and drastically failed to create model University statute for State Universities as recommended.
Key Challenges were identified in 2009 in the task force on higher education report, such as Shortage of Faculty and Staff, Dilution of focus on higher education and research, Burden of rapidly increasing affiliating colleges, Lack of innovation, research and capacity building of teachers, Employability of graduates, Outdated governance systems, financial constraints for infrastructure, Revision of Syllabus, Examination System and Quality of Education. The challenges are still going from bad to worse.
The Task Force has taken into consideration all these in the preparation of the Report. The Report Based on the above baseline study, the task force on the higher education committee recommended some key recommendations embodies the collective endeavour of the members of the Task Force and the stakeholders of regional consultations
“The challenge is immense, but the potential gains are commensurate with the challenge,” told in the Report hence studied baseline status during the intervention in 2009; there were 12 State Universities, one Central University, 3 Institutes of National Importance (IIT/ NIT/ NISER), 2 Private Deemed Universities, 43 Government colleges, 262 Aided Non- Govt. Colleges, 308 Unaided Colleges, 142 professional colleges, 164 Sanskrit Colleges and 31 Law Colleges (Dept of Higher Education, Government of Odisha, 2009). In addition, the state has AICTE approved 68 Engineering/ Technology, 29 MBA, 37 MCA, 10 Agriculture and allied, 15 pharmacies and 15 PGDM Colleges. The enrolment scenario in Odisha stands at 2, 81,686 at the junior level, 1,96,287 at the degree level, 3,496 at the Postgraduate level and 3,347 in professional colleges (Department of Higher Education, Govt. of Odisha, 2010).
These numbers put tremendous pressure on the existing institutes of higher education, thereby calling for a careful assessment of the current situation and measures to expand the scope of Higher Education with its essential parameters of excellence, equity and inclusion. Utkal University’s 332 Constituent Colleges District under its jurisdiction were Angul, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, Nayagarh, and Pur. Berhampur University had 91 Constituent Colleges, and the districts under its jurisdiction were Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nawarangpur, Phulbani, and Rayagada. Sambalpur University had 177 constituent Colleges, and the communities under its jurisdiction were Baragarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Deogarh, and Jharsuguda. Kalahandi, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Sundergarh, Sonepur, Athamallik Sub-Division of Angul.
Fakir Mohan University had 63 constituent Colleges, and the districts under its authority were Balasore and Bhadrak. North Odisha University had 69 constituent Colleges, and the communities under its jurisdiction were Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar. Biju Pattnaik University of Technology (BPUT) had 149 constituent Colleges in all 30 Districts. Sri Jagannath Sanskrit University Puri had 165 constituent Colleges in all 30 Districts. The Utkal University of Culture had 37 constituent Colleges in all 30 Districts. Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar, had nine constituent Colleges in some of the Districts.
Unitary Universities were Ravenshaw University, Cuttack VSS University of Technology, Burla, National Law University, Cuttack; Deemed Universities: KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Siksha O Anusandhan University, Bhubaneswar; Central Universities and other Institutes of Importance were Central University, Koraput; Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar; National Institute of Scientific Educational Research, Bhubaneswar; National Institute of Technology, Rourkela; Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar; Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar; Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar; Regional Institute of Education, Bhubaneswar; Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Bhubaneswar; Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar.
The Government of Orissa constituted Task Force on Higher Education on October 7 2009. During four months the under the Chairmanship of Physicist Padmdbibhusan Prof Trilochan Pradhan, the Task Force completed eighteen interactive sessions, two State Level Workshops and five regional workshops, one each in the North, South, East, West and Central Regions of the State. In addition, sectoral consultations were organised for stakeholders of the School and Mass Education, Industry, Medical, Agriculture and Management sectors. The suggestions of the members of the Task Force and citizens from all sectors of civil society were received through emails, surface mails, written submissions and discussions across the table.
The NEP 2020 intends to boost the spending on education by enhancing the education budget to 6 per cent of the GDP. As per the policy document, the Centre and the States will work together to increase public investment in the Education sector to reach the targeted budget of 6 per cent of GDP at the earliest
The Task Force has taken into consideration all these in the preparation of the Report. The Report Based on the above baseline study, the task force on the higher education committee recommended some key recommendations embodies the collective endeavour of the members of the Task Force and the stakeholders of regional consultations.
The key recommendations of the Task Force are in three major areas: Restoration, Expansion and consolidation, covering the periods of 2010-12, 2012-17 and 2017-22, respectively. As suggested, the principles of expansion, inclusion and excellence have been the guiding basis of the deliberations and outcomes.
To Form State Council of Higher Education (OSCHE)
Along the lines of the NCHER, a State Council of Higher Education needs to be created. Financial provisions must be made in the budget for the council’s creation in the coming financial year. The OSCHE would implement many of the recommendations of the Task Force.
This has been formed, but there is no scope for what The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is doing as we know, the NCHER is the nation’s oldest and largest national trade association that represents higher education service agencies that help students and families develop, pay for, and achieve their career, training, and postsecondary educational goals.
Delinking Higher Secondary (+2) from the ambit of Higher Education
The +2 classes need to be separated from the degree colleges. Budgetary support to augment infrastructure and funding from Rashtriya Madhyamit Sikhsya Abhiyan (RMSA) may be used to make this a smooth transition. Delinked higher secondary has yet to achieve any milestone due to late consideration and lack of appropriate workforce and plan.
On Degree Colleges
All degree colleges should adopt a semester system and choice-based credit programmes. All vacant posts must be filled with permanent staff. Selected autonomous colleges may be made into branch campuses of universities. Teachers should be regularly evaluated to ensure accountability. The situation is as it where basis no vacant posts were fulfilled significantly.
Model University Act. Statutes should be drafted so universities can use their autonomy for better Governance. All regular vacant positions at the universities should be filled up on a priority basis but have yet to think of it as a priority so far. Faculty must be regularly evaluated to ensure accountability, but nothing severe Governance is going on. Programmes of the universities need to be revamped, and a choice-based credit system may be followed. Each university campus should have about 50 affiliated colleges and a few identified research centres but failed to make it restructure. Each university must have an up-to-date website with all information about the university. But many universities need to upload the resume of their faculties to run a website.
On new state universities and branch campuses
Several new affiliating universities, unitary universities, branch campuses of existing universities, a recent University of Management Education and a new State Open University have been recommended. Suggestions for locations of these institutions have been received in the consultation process after assessing the educational need. An expert committee may be formed to look into these and come up with final locations based on the detailed project report based on feasibility. After this recommendation, a relevant review has yet to be made to implement.
On attracting private edupreneurs
Private universities should be established through Acts passed by the state legislatures. But Odia University is in the pipeline to run.
On setting up research centres
The establishment of research centres of excellence in various areas of local relevance must be pursued, and these should be affiliated with the existing universities and institutions of national importance such as IIT, NISER, IIIT etc. Central funding for the same must be vigorously pursued to strengthen the current and planned research centres. State governance needs to take the initiative to make it fulfil.
On enhancing the quality of education
All expansion plans must have a significant thrust on enhancing the quality of education. Hence due care must be taken to develop skills of teachers for enhancing teaching-learning transactions, creating conducive academic environment, improving the learning infrastructure, putting technology-enabled learning into practice wherever possible, reforming examination systems, need-based revision of curriculum, etc., so far, a think tank has yet to be constituted to attain quality performance.
On engineering colleges
The existing state-funded engineering colleges must be revamped, and their vacant positions must be filled soon. In addition, five new State Institutes of Technologies have been proposed in the model of NIT with a focus on postgraduate education to cater mainly to the faculty needs in the state.
On medical education
By 2022 each of the 13 undivided districts of Odisha should have one operational medical college, be it private, state-funded, or PPP based. The three major medical colleges of the state should be upgraded to affiliating Health University status so that institutions in medical and allied subjects, such as nursing and pharmacy, can be brought under their fold. A Rural Health Practitioner (RMP) program should be introduced in conjunction with all district hospitals to address the critical shortage of medical practitioners in the state’s rural areas.
On skill and vocational education
Odisha should create a community college system imparting skills that are in demand and providing opportunities for distance education, non-conventional career progression, developmental education, and continuous learning.
On education development fund
Financial mechanisms need to be devised so that all deserving students can access the opportunity to pursue higher education, and finance should not be a constraint. Similarly, no educational institution should suffer from a lack of long-term low-interest capital to pursue its development goals. For this purpose, Education Development Fund should be set up along the lines of the Educational Financing Corporation being contemplated by the Central Government to enable infrastructure development and provide study loans.
From mineral resources to human resources
All private and public sector companies using Odisha’s mineral resources must be encouraged to contribute to creating higher education institutions.
On public-private partnership
Encourage public-private partnership mode to set up institutes of higher learning. The proposed OSCHE needs to have a mechanism to monitor and regulate such efforts for the stakeholders’ more significant interest.
On financial implication
The Task Force proposes that State funding for Higher Education must increase to meet the cost of the proposed expansion. The Task Force has estimated the resource requirement of about 55000 crores over 12 years to implement its recommendations at current prices. Similarly, similar amounts may be generated through the private sector and centrally funded projects.
On taking advantage of the Central Government schemes
Taking advantage of the Central Government’s ambitious plan to achieve 30% GER by 2020, the state should seek all available resources under different schemes such as those for the establishment of the National Innovation University, IIM, National Institute of Design, Model colleges in Educationally Backward Districts, Tribal University etc. Besides, all efforts must be made to emphasise the particular need of the state to develop its infrastructure in the remote tribal areas, and priority funding must be. The state governance prefers to fight with the central Governance for not taking any significant advantage. Phases of implementation as recommended.
The Task Force proposes the following plan to implement the above recommendations.
Restoration and Preparation for Expansion (2010-12)
Separation of +2 from higher education and integration in School Education b. Filling up vacancies in regular positions and setting up Model colleges in educationally backward districts d. Initiate the establishment State Council of Higher Education and other legislative actions needed to carry out the recommendations. Set up communication laboratories and high-speed broadband internet access TASK FORCE f. Set up Management Information System and e-admission g. Prepare the ground for rapid expansion.
1. Rapid Expansion (2012-17)
Set up new affiliating Universities and institutions b. Set up Unitary Universities by up-gradation of existing institutions c. Set up branch campuses d. Take initial steps for setting up research centres.
2. Consolidation (2017-22)
Expand Technology Enabled Learning b. Strengthen quality initiatives c. Strengthen Governance through State Council (OSCHE) d. Mobilisation of additional resources.
The Task Force had taken note of the hopes and aspirations generated throughout the whole process of its activities. The significant recommendations based on the inputs received from the stakeholders centre around three critical areas: i) the Creation of new institutions, ii) financing of higher education and iii) bringing governance reforms. Hence the Task Force recommends setting up a committee to advise the Government to work out further details.
Besides this plan, the Government of India announced New National Education Policy 2020 on July 29, 2020. This comprehensive education policy proposes ground-breaking changes in the fundamental framework of education at various levels in the Country. It replaces the old education policy, which was adopted way back in the year 1986. The NEP 2020 lays down the framework for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems in the Country.
The new policy targets a 100 per cent Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education in the next ten years (by 2030) and envisions universalisation of education from preschool to secondary level. The structure of school education has been overhauled with the addition of a preschool provision for kids. The NEP 2020 also allows students to choose subjects in place of streams for their higher education. This aims at strengthening the cross-functional study environment and developing critical thinking amongst students. Also, multiple entry and exit options will be there for students in the form of certificates, diplomas and degrees during their higher education.
According to the NEP 2020- New Academic Structure, the old 10+2 system will be replaced with the new 5+3+3+4 system. It will consist of the Foundational stage (3 to 8 years), Preparatory stage (8 to 11 years), Middle stage (11 to 14 years) and Secondary stage (14 to 18 years). The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) has emphasised using the mother tongue or local language as the medium of instruction till Class 5 while recommending its continuance till Class 8 and beyond. It suggests that all students will learn three languages in their school under the formula. He also spoke about the five main pillars of this policy- Enhancement of Capacity, Accessibility, Quality, Fairness and Accountability. He said that the benefit of India’s knowledge and research should not be limited to India only, but the whole world should receive it.
This set of policies can broadly be classified into two groups: the stabilisation measures and the structural reform measures. The teaching community must coordinate, work well together, and be driven by a desire to change students’ lives by developing their skills and character as the NEP is implemented on the ground.
The National Education Policy states that by 2030 the minimum educational qualification for teachers would be a four-year integrated B.Ed degree. If this happens, only candidates with a four-year B.Ed degree and CTET or TET certificate will be eligible to apply for teacher recruitment in Government schools.
The NEP 2020 intends to boost the spending on education by enhancing the education budget to 6 per cent of the GDP. As per the policy document, the Centre and the States will work together to increase public investment in the Education sector to reach the targeted budget of 6 per cent of GDP at the earliest.
Restoration and Preparation for Expansion (2010-12); Rapid expansion (2012-17); Consolidation (2017-22) disowned their owned plan in 2010 by the Higher Education Department, Government of Odisha. The State Governance has failed to Introduce new job-oriented courses to students in colleges and Universities, and this is high time to work together, more over education is a concurrent list; hence no student or aspirant Academia should be denied to get the opportunity to study higher education and perusing quality research for renovation.