The Khallikote Autonomous College, one of the oldest colleges in Odisha, was given the status of a unitary university, officials said on Tuesday. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced in May that unitary university status would be granted to the 165-year-old college, located in Berhampur town in Ganjam district.
Some of the university’s existing problems, including staff crunch, will be solved gradually, while recruitment of new teachers will be carried out, an official said. The institution was started as a school in 1856 in Berhampur and became an intermediate college in 1878. The autonomy was conferred to it in 1990.
It got an ’A’ grade from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in 2017, according to the college website. A unitary university is a varsity that acts as a single unit without any affiliated college under it.
”Unitary university status to this college has fulfilled the aspirations of the people of southern Odisha,” Berhampur MP Chandra Sekhar Sahu said. It will usher in a new academic journey, promoting research, he said.
”We hope the new university will provide quality education to the students, along with the research activities in contemporary subjects,” he added. Khallikote College is one of the oldest and famous colleges in the state, having a rich academic tradition, he said.
Many of its alumni have established themselves in various fields, said Sahu, who is also one of the alumnus of the college. The student strength of the college is presently around 5,000. The college offers teaching in 21 different subjects, including six self-financing courses.
Khallikote Cluster University (KCU) Vice-Chancellor PK Mohanty will be acting as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) of the new university, officials said. The government has also decided to merge the KCU with Berhampur University. It will come into effect from October, they said.
All the regular employees of the KCU would be absorbed in Berhampur University as regular employees, they said.