Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, June 13:
Balabhadra Majhi, the newly elected MP from Odisha’s Nabarangpur Lok Sabha constituency, today urged Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani to set up two medical colleges with Nursing and Paramedical courses in Nabarangpur and Malkangiri districts and Degree colleges in six blocks of the two districts where there are no colleges.
“It is requested to set up one Medical College with Nursing and Paramedical course in each of Nabarangpur and Malkangiri districts. Till such time Medical Colleges are set up in these districts, at least 50% of seats should be reserved for the students from original Koraput district (now divided into four districts Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri and Rayagada), in the Medical College being set up at Koraput,” said Majhi, who met Irani in New Delhi.
The Central government has sanctioned one medical college at Koraput while there is no Nursing school or School for Paramedical course in this area.
Informing that the doctors are reluctant to stay in the Naxal affected areas, he said reservation for local students would produce enough doctors locally which can only improve medical services in this area.
He also urged reservation of 50% of the seats in this Central University for students of this area.
“The only Central University in this area, set up at Koraput during 2009 by the Central Government, is yet to function full-fledged. There is no regular Vice Chairman, and only 18 faculty members against the sanctioned post of 66 and no regular class rooms and Administrative Building.” he said in a memorandum submitted to the Union minister.
Even though this area consists of 55% ST population, only 7.5% of seats are reserved for this category, Majhi pointed out. “Thus, true benefit of this institute is not going to the students of this area. There is a need to look in to it,” said Majhi in his memorandum.
The BJD MP urged Irani to set up at least one Degree college in blocks without any college at the moment from Central funds and also finance Junior colleges for those streams which the local people are not able to finance.
“All such colleges should be provided with 100% hostel with all amenities for girls and boys as the area is thinly populated, covered by thick forest and mountains which makes it impossible for students, especially girls, to travel long distance,” said the MP.
It is to be noted that 6 of the 21 blocks in the area are not having Degree college in the two districts. One block is not having even a +2 College, 8 of 21 Blocks are not having +2 Science stream, 14 of 21 Blocks are not having +2 Commerce course. 18 Blocks are not having +3 Science stream and Commerce stream, the MP said.
These two districts have the stigma of being among the 10 districts with the lowest literacy rate in India, as per 2011 census. Literacy rate in these districts is yet to cross 50%. Female literacy stands at about 40%. Literacy rate among Scheduled Tribe is about 40% and female literacy among tribals stands at 25%, he said.
While there are some private colleges, Nabarangpur district has one each Kendriya Vidyalaya and Ekalabya School at Nabarangpur and Nabodaya Vidyalaya at Khatiguda up to +2 level. Malkangiri district has one Kendriya Vidyalaya and one Ekalabya School at Malkangiri upto +2 level.