Forum demands central university status to Sambalpur varsity

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Sambalpur, Apr 23 (UNI) Hundreds of students, teachers, political representatives and citizens today brought out a procession here demanding central university status for the Sambalpur University.

The procession was organised by the Forum for Central University.

Later, a memorandum addressed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was submitted to the RDC urging the former to impress upon the Union Human Resource Development ministry to expedite the processing of granting Central University status to Sambalpur University The memorandum signed by the students, teachers and employees of Sambalpur University drew the Chief Minister's attention on the recommendation of the Orissa government in 2004 to the Centre to consider granting central university status to the Sambalpur University while considering factors like economic and educational backwardness of the region and commendable track record of the University.

The teacher-student ratio is precarious in Western Orissa, the least developed region in south Asia, and KBK districts, is probably the lowest in the country, the memorandum said and demanded that there should be equitable distribution of resources in order to ensure social justice and empowerment of the weaker sections.

Upgrading Sambalpur university to Central level would transform the area coming under the jurisdiction of the University into a major hub of educational and research activities.

The University by covering two districts of the KBK region (namely Bolangir and Kalahandi) within its catchments area deserves the status of a Central University for fulfilling the long-felt educational needs of people of this region of Orissa.

The University has 180 affiliated colleges with 75,000 undergraduate and 3,000 post-graduate students. The territorial jurisdiction of the University covers 11 backward districts of the state. Major part of the drought-prone KBK region (Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput) comes under the jurisdiction of Sambalpur University.

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