Published: 04th March 2023
Demand for university at Rourkela grows louder. Here's what students, experts are saying
Rourkela residents and students demand a university in their city, citing the burden of travelling long distances to attend college and the overburdened state of the current university in the area
After the twin city of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, the residents and students of Rourkela, a hub of technical education and the third-largest city in Odisha, have renewed their demand for a university to cater to the educational needs of the city and surrounding areas. The demands were renewed because the state government announced upgrading the Vikram Deb College in Koraput into a university. According to sources, students have to travel over 180 km to Sambalpur University for education, causing significant inconvenience. Over two decades ago, the demand for a branch of Sambalpur University in Rourkela was overlooked, stated a report by The New Indian Express.
Social activist Ved Prakash Tiwari (58) shared his experience of completing his LLB from Rourkela Law College under Sambalpur University in 1985 and being forced to visit the SU campus twice for his final law certificate. He said, "I stopped pursuing it and still have not received my law degree," he said. Despite his best efforts, he never received his degree.
An affiliating university in Rourkela named after former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik would cater to 40-50 existing colleges in Sundargarh and Deogarh districts and pave the way for opening more colleges in rural areas. Currently, Sambalpur University covers seven districts namely Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Deogarh, Bargarh, Boudh and Athamallik sub-division of Angul district and is overburdened with 196 affiliated colleges, making the establishment of a new university necessary, as reported by The New Indian Express.
Government Autonomous College, Rourkela, is considered the most appropriate institute to be upgraded to a full-fledged university, according to Bishnu Mohanty, an alumnus and CITU's national vice-president.
However, sources say that the college, with a student strength of around 3,300 and 21 PG departments, Government Autonomous College, Rourkela, lacks adequate space. Biren Senapati, the former president of the Rourkela District Congress Committee, supports the demand for an affiliating university at either GACR or nearby Kuanrmunda to strengthen the higher education eco-system and save lakhs of students from harassment, stated The New Indian Express report.