Bhubaneswar: To improve gross enrolment ratio (GER) in the state, the Higher Education Department has decided to lift the five-year ban on opening new private degree or professional colleges in Odisha.
The decision was taken by the High-Power Committee (HPC) at a meeting held on Friday on basis of findings of the last All India Survey of Higher Education, according to which Odisha has 24 colleges per lakh population as against the all-India average of 30 colleges. Besides, the GER in Odisha is 21.7 against the all-India average of 27.1.
Higher education institutions will also be able to apply for increasing seats or opening new courses irrespective of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) score or National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) rank for the academic session 2022-23.
The HPC will propose the state government to refund 100 per cent pledge money to colleges that wish to close down due to low enrolment. Currently, one has to forfeit 50 per cent of Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh deposited for opening a degree college and professional college respectively.
In 2019, the department decided not to grant permission for establishing new private degree or professional colleges for five years from 2020-21 academic session to check the mushrooming of private institutions without proper infrastructure and faculty.