CAG Flags Odisha’s Utkal University For Students’ Poor Employability

Bhubaneswar: Following an audit of ‘Higher Education Outcomes’ in Odisha, the CAG has flagged Utkal University for poor employability of students through placement cells and job fairs.

The central audit body also faulted the premier institution for irregularities in career counselling cells and curriculum design, according to a CAG report tabled in the Assembly on Thursday.

Ironically, the poor review came on the same day that Utkal University improved its NIRF ranking by nine points.

Poor Placements

The CAG reported that only 26.1 per cent of students of Utkal University got employment through placement cells and job fairs organised by the institution in the five-year period between 2014 and 2019.

Besides, of the 5,334 students from 26 PG departments of Utkal University who enrolled for on-campus job interviews, only 285 from 12 departments got placed.

Career Counselling

The CAG also reported irregularities in setting up of the UGC-mandated career counselling cells (CCCs).

According to the audit report, Utkal University has received Rs 17 lakh (Rs 12.5 lakh in 2016-17 and Rs 4.5 lakh in 2017-18) for the purpose. However, the institute could manage to spend t only Rs 0.29 lakh of the funds so far and that too on just inaugurating the CCC on March 4, 2017. Thereafter, the CCC was never made functional.

UPSC Coaching

The State government provided Utkal University Rs 30 lakh under the Civil Services Coaching Centre scheme between 2017 and 2018. The scheme was meant to provide UPSC training to students through its Directorate of Distance and Continuing Education (DDCE).

The audit, however, revealed that the funds were never transferred to DDCE and the scheme was discontinued by the government in 2018-19.

Faulty Curriculum

The CAG also found fault in the curriculum designed by Utkal University in accordance with UGC guidelines. It found that four departments in the varsity had not taken the mandatory feedback from stakeholders while designing the curriculum

CAG had sought responses on the curriculum from all the 27 departments in the university but only five responded, the report added.

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