24 January 2020
Bhubaneswar: Higher Education Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo's statement that elected representatives will no longer be members of the college governing bodies has come under fire from an unusual quarter, his Cabinet colleague.
Rural Development Minister Susant Singh has said that MLAs should definitely find a place in the college governing bodies since it would help in the development of infrastructure in the colleges in their respective constituencies.
He has however, said that MLAs should remain as a member in the governing bodies of colleges instead of being its president.
Singh said he would be discussing the matter with the Higher Education Minister in this regard.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Congress MLA from Khariar Adhiraj Mohan Panigrahi.
Panigrahi said that he is opposed to the idea and hoped that the government would certainly do away with the proposal.
He was of the opinion that if local MPs and MLAs are excluded from the college governing bodies' development of colleges will be affected. He pointed out that often developmental works in the colleges are undertaken using funds from MLA LAD funds.
Issues faced by the colleges are often raised by MPs and MLAs in parliament and Assembly, he added.
The Higher Education Minister speaking on the sidelines of State Level Parents Convention of +3 Colleges, convened by Odisha Abhibhabaka Mahasangha on Thursday had stated that the government is mooting steps to strengthen the governing bodies of colleges across Odisha.
The Minister had said that people from different walks of life who have expertise in managing educational institutions and experienced academicians will be appointed as president of the governing bodies.
He had further said that elected representatives will no longer be members of the college governing bodies and the Department will chalk guidelines in this regard soon.