Correspondent

Vikram Dev School of Art and Craft of Jeypore will be upgraded as

degree college

BHUBANESWAR: Much to the respite of scores of aspiring artists of the KBK districts, the government has decided to upgrade the six-decade-old Vikram Dev School of Art and Craft of Jeypore as a degree college from the current academic session. Henceforth, the school will be known as Vikram Dev College of Art and Craft, sources in the Culture Department confirm.

The oldest institution of its kind in the State, it was established in the pre-independence era. But, despite the demand from public and the artists’ community for State patronage, it was a strange case of negligence.

Following a hue and cry from political leaders of the region recently, Culture Secretary Gopinath Mohanty set up a committee, comprising Orissa Lalit Kala Akademi secretary Chandramani Biwal, Utkal University of Culture’s Officer on Special Duty Bhawani Charan Biswal and city-based B.K. College of Art and Craft (BKAC) principal A.C. Sahoo, to have an on-the-spot assessment of the situation and suggest measures for its improvement.

Recommendations

The committee, in its report, observed that while the institution had five departments – graphic art, oil painting, commercial art, sculpture and craft – with an intake capacity of 20, a mere five students were on the roll last year. Since 2001, the annual intake was between three and seven.

Non-availability of higher courses in the school led to the situation, the committee pointed out. It recommended introduction of bachelors degree programme in visual art under Utkal University of Culture from the current academic year.

The students who pass out of the institution would be directly admitted to degree courses while those who were intermediates would be considered for admission after an aptitude test, the committee recommended.

As in the case of the BKAC, students should be provided stipend.

Sunday schools

To groom aspiring art and craft students of the region to take admission in the institution, faculty members of the institution were advised to run government affiliated Sunday Art Schools at Koraput, Malkangiri, Nowrangpur and Jeypore immediately.

The committee also recommended for posting of an experienced lecturer of Government College of Art and Craft of Khallikote or BKAC as principal of the proposed college to look after the teaching and administration in an effective manner.

In spite of the District Culture Officer acting as the drawing and disbursing officer for the institution, the senior most faculty member should be entrusted with the financial powers, it suggested.

The abandoned office of the Irrigation Department in Jeypore town could be allotted to the institution till a permanent campus came up, the committee suggested.

It also suggested opening of an exclusive gallery in the institution for exhibition and sale of tribal art.