As you are aware, the Government of Orissa has made legislations for establishing a few private universities in Orissa, which is unprecedented in the history of Orissa. Most of the existing government run universities (that serve the higher educational needs of the most of the students in Orissa) are starving for funds, lack of adequate infrastructure, unfilled vacancies and so on. On the other hand, the private universities are prospering with tacit and direct government promotion as well as huge donations and fees charged from the students. It is also lamentable that the private higher educational and technical institutions in Orissa are practicing illegal resource mobilization policies without any paper work in the name of management seats. All the money generated through these management seats go directly to the promoters of the educational institutions as black money and the Government does not get a single rupee as tax out of this money.
There are 12 government run higher education institutions of university status in Orissa which are in precarious condition due to lack of adequate resources both human and financial. The only Cultural University in Orissa, which is first of its kind in the entire Asia namely Utkal University of Culture which was established through a former Chief Minister from the Tribal Community is suffering from government apathy, rampant corruption and it is often alleged that the problems in this government institution is instigated by the educational lords of the State. The fees collected from each student from private educational institutions in a poor State like Orissa is so prohibiting that in certain instances it reaches Rs. 2 crore per student in medical education seats. While there is a need to put a control on these institutions, the present move by the government to have separate legislations for establishments of two universities such as the Vedanta University and Sri Sri University needs specific attention from the perspective of the future of education in the state. Higher education has become a privilege of a few in Orissa.
In the most recent initiative, the Government of Orissa has promoted two Private Universities namely, the Vedanta University and Sri Sri University through two separate legislations in the State Assembly. The Vedanta University has been given permission to operate on a huge area of 6000 acres of land which is more than the geographical area covered by all the government run universities in the State taken together. Again, quite undemocratically, the government of Orissa has also issued a notice to prohibit people to undertake any construction and other work within a distance of 5 KMs surrounding the allocated 6000 acres of land. Permission to a private university to run on such a huge area has threatened the local biodiversity and displacement of local people from their ancestral homes and land they had been tilling from centuries over generations. The Vedanta University authorities have also gone a step ahead with eviction of people from their homes by employing criminals and goons who enter into the villages and torture the inhabitants.
This is to appeal to you to speak out against such injustice and private enrichment at the cost of unprecedented distress of the common masses and to take appropriate steps at your level to stop such injustice.
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