The Odisha government has asked universities and college authorities to install hoardings displaying government-aided scholarships. The hoardings should be installed by September 18, the government said.
However, the decision of the state government to put hoardings on the campuses has triggered a debate. Both the Congress and the BJP smelt politics behind the move of the government ahead of the forthcoming general elections in 2024.
The hoardings will be installed at strategic locations highlighting the promotion of pragmatic schemes and scholarship provision for higher studies. The objective is to achieve comprehensive awareness of various schemes and scholarships offered by the state government for pursuing higher studies.
In a letter, the higher education department said: “The display of the hoarding of different pragmatic schemes and scholarship provisions for higher studies shall
create awareness among students, parents, colleges, institutes and the general public.”
As per the order, the display of the hoardings and banners is to be 16X8 square feet size.
Higher education minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said: “The objective of the government is that the students be aware of the various benefits given to them by the government. They should avail benefits in pursuing their higher studies. No students miss out on any schemes and scholarship programmes of the government.”
President, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC)’s students’ wing, Yashir Nawaz said: “The government is doing it with an ulterior motive. The state government has not allowed the authorities to hold college unions for the last four years but is now planning to install hoardings. What’s the objective behind it? If installed, the hoarding should give us information on how many posts of the teaching and non-teaching staff are lying vacant. We will go to court if the college and university authorities install hoardings.”