Odisha plans mega educational complexes for tribal students

All the three campuses will have state-of-the-art facilities

Published - June 08, 2020 12:32 am IST - BHUBANESWAR

Students from Class I to XII will be able to enhance their academic and sporting skills at the complexes.

Students from Class I to XII will be able to enhance their academic and sporting skills at the complexes.

The Odisha government is coming up with three mega educational complexes exclusively for tribal students, where both academic and sporting skills will be harnessed.

The complexes will be established in tribal dominated districts such as Keonjhar, Sundargarh and Mayurbhanj. Each complex will house 3,000 tribal students, which is being dubbed as a unique initiative in government sector in the country.

“We are going to set up mega educational complexes in Keonjhar, Sundargarh and Mayurbhanj where 3,000 students could study under one roof. Land has been identified. We are in process of preparing detailed project report,” said Ranjana Chopra, Principal Secretary of ST and SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Department on Saturday.

Ms. Chopra informed that the campuses will have state-of-the-art facilities to improve educational and sporting skills of tribal students from Standard I to XII. Moreover, skill development centres will be an integral part of the projects.

Though the department had asked for 30 acres of land, district administrations have come up with vast land stretches for the proposed institutions. Mayurbhanj district administration has identified 80 acres of land. In Keonjhar and Sundargarh, adequate land is available.

Funds required for mega complexes will be sourced from Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC), which was formed for focused development of mineral rich districts. Incidentally, most mineral rich districts are tribal dominated.

Most diverse tribes

According to 2011 Census, Odisha’s tribal population constitutes 9.17 of country’s tribal population. In Odisha, tribal population is 22.85% of State’s total population. With 62 tribal communities, Odisha has most diverse tribes in India. In terms of tribal population, it occupies the third position in India. Similarly, of India’s total 75 particularly vulnerable tribal groups, 13 reside in Odisha.

Santal and Bhuyan are two dominant tribal groups living in Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh district.

Iron mining hub

Incidentally, Keonjhar, where other tribes such as Sounti, Ho, Juang, Kharwar, Mahali, Oraon Kolha and Kora is the most mined district of the State. Keonjhar district itself contains more than 70% of the iron ore reserves of Odisha. Jharsuguda, Koraput and Mayurbhanj having extensive mining activities follows Keonjhar.

A city-based private educational group has set up similar educational complexes exclusively for tribals in Bhubaneswar and their branches in different districts.

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