| Ravenshaw University in Cuttack |
Cuttack, Jan. 18: Orissa High Court today issued notices to the state government for the delay in starting construction for the proposed second campus of Ravenshaw University and persisting inadequacy in teaching staff there.
The notices were issued on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the court’s intervention to utilise the land allotted for the second campus and filling up of the vacancies in faculty positions along with creation of new faculty positions. Advocate Chittaranjan Mohanty, former president of Ravenshaw College (1970-71), filed the PIL.
“After a preliminary hearing, the division bench of acting Chief Justice Pradip Mohanty and Justice S.K. Mishra issued notices to the secretary and director of the higher education department and the vice-chancellor of Ravenshaw University,” petitioner counsel Kshirod Rout told The Telegraph.
“The court directed the respondents to file their responses within four weeks,” Rout said. The petition stated though two years had passed since land was allotted to the second campus of the university, construction work was yet to begin.
The state government had allotted a 141-acre plot at Brajabiharipur in Athagarh tehsil on the western outskirts of Cuttack city. The university authorities have already taken possession of over 126.40 acres of the allotted land.
The petition pointed out that the university had been undergoing a major crisis in teaching because of a large number of vacancies in faculty positions. Students had been staging protests demanding immediate measures for timely completion of courses at various departments.
As of now, there are 75 faculty members in various departments against a total sanctioned strength of 153. The UGC-prescribed teacher-student ratio required the sanction of over 300 more faculty positions, the PIL contends.