JAMMU: The focus of Higher Education must be the quality of learning and teaching. To this end, all colleges would get themselves evaluated and accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) within the shortest possible time. Besides, an academic audit to determine the quality of academic input, need for course or options revision and modernization of syllabus must be introduced in all colleges.
This was instructed by the Principal Secretary Higher Education Department, Rohit Kansal who was chairing a meeting of Principals of colleges of Jammu Division here today. He said that with the introduction of the New Education Policy NEP 2020, the focus had moved to quality education, flexibility in curriculum and globalization of outlook.
In his message to the principals, the Principal Secretary stressed that while good infrastructure was important for any institution, the true aim of an institute of higher learning was to impart a humanistic, modern and high quality education. He asked the Principals to introduce regular systems of pupil feedback and added that the feedback of the educators would form an important part of their evaluation. The Principal Secretary instructed the principals to adopt technological tools like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Learning Management Systems (LMS).
He also said that colleges would be given greater flexibility and autonomy, they too would need to strive hard to achieve quality standards and learning outcomes. He also assured that conditions for utilisation of Local Funds would be made more flexible.
During the course of the meeting, the Principal Secretary informed all about the implementation of New Education Policy-2020 from academic session 2022-23 onwards. He also informed about the new Bachelor in Vocational Skills (B. Voc) degree. Besides, colleges would now be encouraged to exchange knowledge and expertise globally. Innovation and incubation would be fostered in a hub and spoke model and expert assistance and guidance would be provided by the universities and other premier institutes such as the IIT-Jammu, IIM-Jammu and others. Startup competitions and research would be given special attention under the NEP-2020, he added.
Earlier, the Principal Secretary reviewed the physical and financial expenditures under Capex for the current financial year of the various degree colleges. He also reviewed status of infrastructure and other projects in these colleges. He took a serious view of projects which had been completed and handed over but not yet put to use because of pending issues such as water supply and electricity. He directed the Principals as well as executing agencies to ensure that all future DPRs should be comprehensive include all relevant items so that once handed over, a project should be put to use immediately. He directed rectifications of all pending matters in Bani and Paloura within 2 weeks. The Principal Secretary assured that wherever there was a genuine need, funds would not be a constraint.
The Principal Secretary reviewed the status of the newly established colleges. He noted that the enrollment in most colleges was below expectations and called upon principals of the colleges to ensure that the enrollment ratio was improved. He reviewed the availability of land in colleges where there were bottlenecks and asked the Divisional Commissioner top resolve the same immediately.
He also asked the executing agencies to prepare phase-wise Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for the college buildings so as to make them functional within the shortest possible time period. He called for creating standardised designs for different kind of projects which could be easily replicated by other colleges with minimal intervention as and when required.
Besides the above, languishing projects, staff vacancies, disciplines and streams and many other issues of the colleges were also discussed at length in the meeting.
Those present at the meeting included officials of the Higher Education department including Special Secretary Rakesh Badyal, Director Finance Abdul Majid Butt, Director Planning Ghulam Ganie, Superintending Engineer R&B Kuldeep Nathyal besides Principals of degree colleges and other senior officers.