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Wanted: fine arts college

- State HRD minister keen, now babus must get cracking

A fine arts college in Jharkhand is still a distant dream.

HRD minister Geetashree Oraon announced to open one — the first in the state — in November last year to promote local talent.

The minister, who is also in-charge of the arts, culture and youth affairs, had asked two of her departments to work in tandem to prepare a draft proposal for the college to be set up on the lines of Lalit Kala Academy.

However, officials of the HRD and arts departments have already spent five months debating who should initiate the work on the project.

Last year, a group of artists led by painter Dilip Toppo had called on Oraon, demanding a college to provide a platform for creative people of the state.

“I initiated the matter after some local artists met me. I asked them to prepare a format. But, I could not pursue the matter because of the model code of conduct. I will find out how much progress has been made on this issue,” said the minister.

She said they were trying to arrange for a temporary venue for the proposed college at Khelgaon, but needed a suitable plot to develop infrastructure.

“A lot has to be done,” she admitted.

Following the minister’s announcement, director of higher education D.N. Ojha held a meeting with a few artists to discuss the matter around two months ago.

The artists also presented a paper highlighting all that was needed to set up a fine arts college.

“Sometime in January, we submitted the format of the college and subjects to be taught. I don’t know what happened after that,” Ajeet Roushan Tete, an architect who was part of the team, said.

However, sources said, Ojha told them that it would be good if Ranchi University (RU) prepared the draft proposal that would be sent to the HRD department for further scrutiny.

When contacted, Ojha sought to pass the buck on to the arts and culture department. “The matter is related with the arts and culture department, which needs to work out a strategy,” he said.

Secretary of the arts and culture department Vandana Dadel said there had been no significant progress on the project so far.

“Nothing concrete has happened. Only a team of officials has been sent to Odisha to study the structure of Lalit Kala Akademi there,” she said.


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