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Varsities on upgrade path

Bhubaneswar, March 24: The higher education department has asked three state universities to update their course curricula following other leading varsities of the country and abroad.

The three institutions — Utkal University in Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur University and Berhampur University — have also been directed to submit a report with regard to a possible tie-up with universities of the UK, the USA and Australia by the end of March.

The directive was issued earlier this month during a meeting chaired by state higher education secretary Gagan Dhal.The state government has decided to set up 13 centres of excellence in different subjects in these three premier universities.

Utkal University has been asked to establish such centres in physics, chemistry, geology, psychology and anthropology departments, while Sambalpur University has been directed to upgrade its courses in economics, English, sociology, physics and chemistry. Berhampur University has also been asked to open centres of excellence in subjects such as industrial relations and personnel management, botany and zoology.

Utkal University vice-chancellor Prashant Kumar Sahoo said they had identified some subjects for modernisation and planned a new course curriculum.

“Besides the five subjects directed by the state higher education department, we have extended the centre of excellence status to business administration and computer application departments too. The choice-based credit system, which was recommended by the University Grants Commission, has been introduced for 2012-14 session,” he said.

Opening centres of excellence in premier universities is the need of the hour, said a senior official of the higher education department.