Global Higher Education community, facilitated by Department of Higher Education, Government of Odisha/Odisha Society of Americas (OSA), had a productive meeting with the Higher Education minister Dr. Arun Sahoo on January 30, 2021 on enhancing the quality of Higher Education of public universities in Odisha.
The meeting was also attended by Mr. Saswat Mishra, IAS, Principal Secretary of Higher Education; Prof. Asoka Das, Vice-Chairman of Odisha State Higher Education Council; Prof. Sabita Acharya, Vice-Chancellor of Utkal University; Prof. Dinabandhu Sahoo, Vice-Chancellor of Fakir Mohan University; Prof. Harihar Hota, Vice-Chancellor of Shree Jagannath Sanskrit Vishvavidyalaya; Prof. Aparajita Chowdhury, Vice-Chancellor of Rama Devi Women’s University; Prof. N. Nagaraju, Vice Chancellor of Gangadhar Meher University; Prof. Kishore Kumar Basa, Vice-Chancellor of Maharaja Sriram Chandra Bhanja Deo University; Dr. Manas Pujari, Registrar, Odisha State Open University, Sambalpur; and Mr. Akash Dasnayak, Chairperson, Mo College program. The international committee was represented by Ms. Kuku Das, President of OSA, Prof. Anil Patnaik, Vice-President of OSA, Prof. Durgamadhab Misra, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA, Dr. Ajaya Mohanty, Deloitte & Touche, USA, Prof. Chitta Baral, Arizona State University, USA and Prof. Sanjib Kumar Panda, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
The Higher Education Minister Dr. Sahoo welcomed everybody and addressed current issues and challenges of Higher Education of Odisha. The summary of the discussions is as follows.
- The international community is ready to give webinars including topics on institutional development depending on the need of various departments and universities.
- The universities will facilitate the international student and faculty exchange programs starting with US universities.
- As per the Higher Education Secretary’s report Government of Odisha is analyzing the WiFi broadband availability in the university campuses which is going to be upgraded expeditiously in all campuses.
- As per the possible research collaboration, the faculty profiles and their research interests will be clearly placed in the university websites so that Global/OSA HE Committee will facilitate the collaboration with the international faculty members and researchers.
- The proposal of formation for an External Advisory Council for the universities was well received by the Higher Education Minister, Dr. Sahoo, Principal Secretary Mr. Saswat Mishra and the VCs of various universities, starting with inclusion of eminent individuals as Syndicate members.
- Formation of a strong Alumni Database for each university is a requirement which was approved by everyone leveraging the forthcoming “Mo College” initiative.
- Foster industry collaboration by innovation/incubation centers.
- The Higher Education Minister Dr. Sahoo agreed for a follow up meeting to be held quarterly with VCs for exchange and implementation of ideas in the future.