OIF is to address the issues of the higher education system to the Gov. of Odisha

OIF is to address the issues of the higher education system to the Gov. of Odisha

5 October 2020
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Why this petition matters

                              ODIA INTELLECTUAL FORUM


We, the Doctoral (Ph.D.) and Post-Doctoral (PDF) scholars from the various corner of Odisha spread across India and in several countries all over the world, have come forward to address the important issues in the higher education system and propose a feasible solution to build a new Odisha. It has been observed many research scholars are forced to serve their brilliant ideas in other states or countries due to the lack of opportunities in our state Odisha. We believe our state cannot achieve greater heights in any field without brilliant minds. We have formed a forum of Odia research scholars (500<) from various national (70) and international (20) universities/institutions and named as Odia Intellectual Forum (OIF), to bring a revolution in our education system. 

Our higher education policies do not provide enough employments to the researchers after finishing a long strenuous career like a Ph.D. or PDF. As a result, the life of a researcher does not illuminate in our state universities. We face a lot of insufficient workforces, funding, and research facilities in the universities. The primary purpose of OIF is to address the issues of the higher education system by ringing an alarm to the Government of Odisha. Here, we demand our immediate requirements and suggestions to enhance the higher education system through vibrant discussions. 

The following agenda to be addressed: 

1. Providing Full Autonomy to State Universities: 

We appreciate Govt. of Odisha is going to follow UGC guidelines for teaching posts. However, it is unfortunate that the autonomy of the state universities is snatched away by replacing the senate with political and bureaucratic syndicates. We strongly oppose the Odisha universities amendment ordinance-2020 to retain the quality of our education system. 

We request to provide full autonomy to state universities to recruit teaching and non-teaching staff. 


2. Fulfilling of Regular Teaching Posts:

It is noticed that more than 60 % of permanent teaching staff and laboratory technician posts are vacant in various departments of each university and autonomous colleges in Odisha. This plight of our education system causes an exponential decrement in productivity.

We demand an immediate appointment of all teaching and non-teaching posts in all the universities as well as colleges, and the recruitments should take place at regular intervals or every year. (All the advertisements for teaching staff recruitments should be completed in one go within a stipulated time, i.e., backlogs should not be entertained.)   

3. Making a Transparency in Recruitment:

To bring transparency in the recruitment of teaching posts, an independent committee for each department should be formed by Govt. of Odisha (strongly follow regulations of the Ministry of Education). These committees should consist of experts from the respective department of each university/institute/colleges with prior approval from Vice-Chancellor(s) / Principal(s). 

We demand the recruitment process must be included research experience (e.g., SCI / Scopus papers publications, sponsored projects, consultancy), teaching quality, and interview for a Ph.D. holder while applying at the state university teaching posts. Audio-visuals of each step should be carried out with full responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor and head of the respective department as evidence if any disputes arise. 

To improve teaching standards to the bachelor students (B.Sc. / B.A. / B.Com.) the teaching staff must be obtained/qualified Ph.D. degrees or a national level or equivalent exams (NET / GATE / JEST / SET). So, we strongly oppose the SSB recruitment process because of OPSC recruitment is already exist to fulfill teaching posts. For posting a Ph.D. holder at colleges, there should be only interview-based selection. The OPSC committee should be formed with at least one professor or equivalent from each state university of the respective department (as a compulsion). The recruitment committee/department (University / Institutes / Colleges) must give a valid explanation if any candidate does not get shortlisted or not qualified in an interview before the appointment.

N.B: The Govt. of Odisha should bear all the expenditure, including accommodation and travel, for the shortlisted candidate, without accepting any application fees. If the shortlisted candidate cannot present physically, then the committee should proceed for an online mode for the respective candidate without any fail. 


4. The Subject Matter in Recruitment:

Nowadays, research fields are more interdisciplinary. So, we demand corresponding field expertise should be present in the recruitment panel. This will ensure that no candidates were rejected based on the subject matter (For example, if a candidate holds a master degree in bioinformatics; however, Ph.D. in Marine Science, in that case, the candidate should be allowed to apply vacancy in bioinformatics and get a chance to compete in the interview). 


5. Upgrading of New Universities and to Increase the Funding: 

We appreciate Govt. of Odisha for upgrading some autonomous colleges to universities. The present status of these universities is not up to the mark in light of proper infrastructure, development of laboratories, libraries, funding, workforce, etc. Therefore, we demand the necessary steps should be considered along those lines. 


6. Fellowship Scheme for The Full-Time Ph.D. Students On Behalf of Govt. Of Odisha: 

It is a sad reality that there is no fellowship scheme existing on behalf of Govt. of Odisha for the full-time Ph.D. and PDF. A full-time Ph.D. student receives Biju Patnaik Research Fellowship (notification: No. 27562800382017/ 20,3165, ST Bhubaneswar, Dt. 19/06/2017,  https://st.odisha.gov.in/Advertisement/advertisement/2017/3165.pdf at the universities, which is less than half of the fellowship provided by UGC or any other states like KSCSTE Research Fellowship scheme. 


We demand to provide an equivalent amount of UGC fellowship scheme to the bright Odia students to pursue a full-time Ph.D. at any state universities, which should not less than Rs. 30,000/month. Every year the number of fellowships should be a minimum 1000, including all departments. Besides, there must be a full/partial funding from Govt. of Odisha for National / International conference at least once during the Ph.D. tenure. 


A separate PDF fellowship should be initiated for the bright Odia research scholars after completion of their PhDs for conducting further research in other institutes across India / abroad on a competitive basis. The number of fellowships should be more than 100/year. The fellowship amount should be a range of Rs. 55,000/month (in India only), similar to National Post-Doctoral Fellowship (N-PDF) scheme. These selected candidates can be asked for service in teaching in the respective departments, along with their research. 

7. The Revival of Idle Laboratories:

The laboratories in universities and colleges are not appropriately functioning due to a lack of staff and funding. We demand the revival of the existing non-functional facilities such as experimental laboratories and machinery etc. Well-furnished computer centers with a 24×7 internet facility must be established at all universities as it is a basic need of research scholars.


8. Establishment of a Central Instrumentation Facility:

A central instrumentation facility with high-end technology should be established independently with adequately trained technicians in Bhubaneswar or the central region of Odisha to conduct superior research at our state universities.

These facilities can be availed on a payment basis, which can be streamlined via an online portal. These sophisticated instruments can be maintained by using collected money along with some state Govt. support.

9. Increasing Seat Strength of Master Degree Courses, Restructuring New Courses: 

Inadequate seats for pursuing master courses in our state universities is a sad reality. Nearly 40 % of bachelor degree holders can be accommodated in our state universities to obtain their master's degree. So, we demand to increase in seat strength in master's degree courses.

New courses should be introduced in the master's degree in the existing universities such as Nanotechnology, Marine Science, Food Science, Forensic Science, AI & ML, etc. We request to restructure the master's degree courses with some research exposure (at least 6 months) followed by a certain amount of fellowship, which will create research temperament during these courses. 


10. Lab Manager Post for All Professors:

We demand to appoint a lab manager post (Ph.D. holder) for all professors or equivalent levels to manage lab-related issues at universities. For example, in Israel, one lab manager manages two labs, whereas in China, every professor gets a personal assistant).

11. Digitalization & Subscription of Journals:

We request all university libraries must be digitized. The Govt. should support to subscribe to important journals and periodicals (e.g. AIP, JSTOR, ELSEVIER, Springer, Emerald, EPW, IEEE, ACM, APS, Wiley, and Black Swan, Sage, and Taylor & Francis, etc.). The GoO can participate in the Indest Consortium/ e-soudh shindhu program of GoI. It will help the researcher to access respective research papers effortlessly. 

12. Supercomputing Facilities:

We demand a supercomputing facility for simulations and analysis of Big Data, Deep Learning, and Artificial Intelligence research in our state universities.                                                                                           

13. Seed Grant for All-New teaching staff: 

We demand a seed grant of a minimum of 5 lakh rupees to all newly recruited teaching staff at universities for establishing a new laboratory or purchasing some chemicals and equipment. Many foreign universities including in Israel and the USA, and IITs /NITs follow the same trend. 

14. Collaboration with International Research Institute:

It is equally essential to make our state universities to the world-class level in providing cutting edge knowledge. So we have to work collaboratively with various international research institutes on real-world problems, especially that our state is dealing with. Therefore, we request Govt. of Odisha to establish a special unit that would lesion memorandum of understanding (MoUs) with international research institutes. 

15. Participation of Industries in R&D:

We urge to create an initiative of industrial relationships with state universities to deal with real-world problems. Various industries in Odisha must be asked to participate in research activities by providing sponsored projects or consultancies. So, the students can get involved in these projects and motivated.

The industries must be asked to donate specific amounts to the research or establish and maintain laboratories as CSR for state ground research. A research scholar can be employed to wok jointly with the university and corresponding industry.

16. Conference and Publication:

The Govt. of Odisha should organize international/ national level conference participating all state universities. Every year, the inter-university and inter-departmental research activities and outcomes can be presented and the high-quality papers can publish in peer-reviewed journals with reputed publishers namely Nature, Elsevier, Springer, IEEE, etc.

17. Research Database:

The Govt. of Odisha should maintain a research database for all universities. This would primarily maintain the database of researchers in various fields in Odisha. The Odia researchers who graduated from outside Odisha would register in the database.

Also, PhD and Masters thesis should maintain in it and can be available for the public. This database will also ensure the researcher’s document copyright.

18. Funding for Research:

The Govt. of Odisha should announce a special package in the budget for providing sanction to outstanding research proposals. It will help to conduct world-class research by our bright Odia professors/scientists at the state universities.

The Day from Which These Rules Will Be Strongly Followed by Our State Govt. Then Within Five Years of Our Education System Will Be the Best in All Over India and Further Stages It Will Be Furnished More to Maintain Its Quality. Faculty Recruitment Is the Basic Need to Amendment the Aforesaid Issues.

Let’s Hope to Build a New Odisha!

Bande Utkala Janani!

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Signatures: 362Next Goal: 500
Support now