SRINAGAR: Commissioner Secretary, Higher Education, Talat Parvez, on Saturday had an online interaction with the first batch of PhD students and 5th Batch of MBA students of IIM Jammu.
More than 250 students participated in the online conference which was also attended by other faculty members and dignitaries from different Universities.
“Higher Education Department aims at enhancement of quality education in order to foster outcome based research with an objective to address problems faced by the society and to devise models for socio-economic development of the UT besides enhancing employability and competitiveness of educated youth”, the Commissioner Secretary maintained.
Talat Parvez highlighted the present education scenario across India besides elucidating the role of Universities and role of Higher Education in J&K. He also elaborated upon broad contours of International covenant and legal position.
Commissioner Secretary, while highlighting challenges and opportunities in Higher Education, said that Higher education aims to serve as a hub for developing ideas and innovations that enlighten individuals and help propel the country forward socially, culturally, scientifically, technologically, artistically and economically.
Regarding goals of Higher Education, he said that the universities must built expertise that society will need over the next 25 years and beyond. The future work place will demand critical thinking, communication, problem solving, creativity and multidisciplinary capability so we all have to work on this in a collective manner, he added.
Commissioner Secretary, while speaking on access to higher education, said that instead of massification of higher education, we must redefine GER as gross employability ratio and work towards enhancing the employability of youth. ‘We need to lay more stress on research and practical exposure about the concepts being taught by laying more weightage on the field studies and acquire knowledge through experimental learning and survey rather than mere instructions in the classrooms’, he asserted.
Highlighting initiatives by the Government, he said that the government acts as a provider as well as the regulator. He said Sarva Shiksha Abyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abyan (RMSA) are two major programmes launched by the Government to lay a strong foundation for primary and secondary education. However, in the sphere of higher education, RUSA aims at improving access, equity and quality education. He said that we must strive to prepare and educate productive workforce through concerted efforts to improve the quality and relevance of higher education to the local, national and global needs and remove inequalities.
Referring to Higher Education in J&K, Commissioner Secretary said that there are 487 institutions which comprise of 154 Government Degree Colleges, 208 private colleges and 25 professional colleges affiliated to State Universities. We have 8 Government Universities, 3 Semi-Government Universities besides, NIT, IIM, IIT, SKIMS, NIFT, IIMC, 7 autonomous institutions of national importance. Besides, two cluster Universities have been constituted by pooling resources of 10 prestigious colleges of the UT and Kashmir University is one of the top 50 universities on NIRF ranking while Jammu University ranks 52 and SMVDU 83 in Engineering discipline, he added. Both the state universities are A++ while as IUST and SMVDU have B++ NAAC ranking, 48 colleges are NAAC accredited.
Under RUSA, Rs.500 crore have been made available for 2 Cluster Universities, 2 Professional Colleges, 5 Degree Colleges, Up gradation of infrastructure in 42 colleges and 50% of the grants have been provided to universities for infrastructure and research projects taken up.
Commissioner Secretary informed that Jammu University is in the process of establishing research clusters as Centres of Excellence in Data Science and Artificial Centre, Bio-Technology, Centre for nano technology and material science, Centre for climate change and sustainable development and Centre for global corporate governance society whileas Kashmir University is establishing such centres for advanced instrumentation for research and establishment of centre for interdisciplinary research and innovation (CIRI).
He informed that Rs.30 crore are being spent on starting vocational courses in colleges affiliated to both universities so as to foster employability, innovation and entrepreneurship. Besides, IIM Jammu has been taken as a partner in this area for mentoring and hand-holding for linkages with industries and corporate sector. Also, 100 new colleges have been sanctioned for providing access to the higher education to enrol additional 1.5 lakh students, especially in remote areas while 50 colleges have already been rolled out last year.
He further informed that 40 girl hostels have been established to accommodate 7000 students for equity participation from hilly and remote regions where girls drop out ratio is significant. Besides, 3.50 lakh students have been enrolled for higher education, GER in J&K is 30.6% which is above the national average of 26% with the peculiarity that girls outnumber boys. Under Technical Education Quality Initiatives (TEQIP), Rs. 40 crore has been provided for professional universities (BGBSU,IUST, SMVDU and GCETs), 54 M.Tech seats in the computer, mechanical, electronics and communication for session 20-21.
He informed that under the transformation of academic curriculum transaction about 20% of credits have been adopted through online courses on MOOCS (SWAYAM) to enhance student mobility across the UT universities. Besides, more than 150 employability enhancement skill courses for 16 credits under the new reform and add-on certificate courses as per NSQF framework and AICTE approved curriculum have also been introduced, he added.
He apprised that LOCF for all courses has been adopted from current academic year under which 26 IG programmes and 40 honours programme have been offered in premier colleges, SWAYAM and National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) courses being used by the teachers and students. Also, 50,000 electornic tablets are being provided to bridge the digital divide and enable transaction for e-learning. He said that about 50 colleges of Valley have been connected on intra net with Kashmir University to extend National Knowledge Network connectivity of 2 GBPs. Besides, all universities in the UT have at least 1 GB connectivity to support academic and research programmes, he added. Also, 300 class rooms have already been upgraded as digital class rooms and remaining 1200 would be upgraded this year under ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ initiative, launched by Government of India post COVID-19 and college campuses being enabled with wi-fi facility.
Commissioner Secretary, while elaborating on initiatives being lunched to deal with prevailing situation in the valley, informed that 6 SWAMYAM PRABHA channels are being dedicated for higher education to reach out to remote and distant colleges in synchronous and asynchronous mode under e-vidya. Besides, establishment of 16 online examination centres with 400 to 500 each for timely examinations and results and to overcome the peculiar situation of the valley.
He informed that 54 libraries have been automated and 76 colleges have been registered on N-LIST, NDL, e-SHODH SINDHU and e-content has been customized for 84 subjects and NPTEL courses offered on LMS in premier colleges in an endeavor to enrich teaching-learning resources. Besides, 50 start ups have been supported by business incubation centres at SMVDU and 11 design innovation centres have been established by Central University Kashmir for honing local skills in indigenous crafts and food preservations to promote local enterprises.
As many as, 5000 students are being provided scholarships worth Rs. 100 crore every year to pursue professional courses outside J&K UT under the PMSSS scheme.
In order to enhance employability, GATE coaching, IT domain skilling, competitive examinations’ coaching, employability skill training, cost accountancy training and certificate courses have been provided to thousands of students of UT since last year. Besides, Carrier counseling, training and placement being strengthened and institutionalized for guiding the students.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Secretary Higher Education Department, Talat Parvez Rohella also visited Government Degree Colleges Magam and Tangmarg to review the ongoing overall development works in these colleges.
Principal Degree College Magam, Dr Salma Ahad briefed Commissioner Secretary about functioning and infrastructure of the college, besides informing about the courses being offered to the students in the college.
The Commissioner Secretary directed the executing agencies to expedite all the ongoing works so that the construction works of additional new blocks of the college would be completed on fast track basis.
Later, the Commissioner Secretary also visited Government Degree College Tangmarg to review functioning of the college and ongoing development works of new college building.
The Commissioner Secretary discussed in detail about the ongoing projects, infrastructure and functioning of the institution with the Principal, Government Degree College Tangmarg, Prof. Yasmeen Farooq. He stressed on introducing skill development courses in the colleges as per the job market requirements.
Among others, Director Colleges, Yaseen Ahmed Shah, Nodal Principal, Kashmir Division, Dr Yasmeen Ashai, Director Planning, Higher Education Department, G M Ganie and other concerned officers were present.