Cluster Universities to mark new beginning in JK’s academic scenario: Akhtar

KL News Network

Jammu

Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar Sunday said the government Gandhi Memorial Science College Jammu and Sri Pratap College, Srinagar will come up as centres of excellence in science teaching and learning as affiliated colleges of Cluster University Jammu and Cluster University Srinagar.

Naeem Akhtar

“Both these heritage colleges would be transformed into premier institutes dedicated to research and teaching in basic sciences as affiliated colleges of the new Cluster Universities which will mark a new beginning in J&K’s academic scenario,” Akhtar said during his visit to the MAM College here, which is an affiliate college of Cluster University Jammu.

Vice-Chancellor Cluster University Jammu, Anju Bhasin, Secretary J&K State Sports Council, Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, faculty of MAM College and other officials of the Education Department accompanied the Minister.

He said the faculty and students of GGM Science College Jammu erstwhile Prince of Wales College and SP College Srinagar will be linked through a collaborative educational network with a variety of instructional development activities. “Besides upgrading existing courses in basic sciences with most up-to-date curriculum, these Colleges will offer other integrated courses in subjects like economics, humanities, cultural studies and sports sciences,” he said and added that such innovative courses will offer the students a wide range of career opportunities besides honing their talent in scientific research.

The Minister said that these Colleges, as a part of the Cluster Universities, shall have the flexibility of offering five-year integrated Masters programme in the Basic Sciences for students who have completed 10+2 schooling as also post-Masters doctorate programmes. “Apart from classroom teaching, student skills need to be built in areas such as scientific inquiry, problem solving, communication skills, computational sciences, electronics and instrumentation and workshop practices,” he said and added that the latest course modules in science can be worked out with institutions of repute like BARC, ISRO, CSIR, IISC and others.

Akhtar also called for starting internship programmes for the graduates with specific focus on local economic potential and employment avenues. “Similarly, courses can be started in Liberal Arts and Kashmir Studies as a part of the Humanities stream,” he said.

The Minister said the requisite infrastructure like laboratories, libraries, digital classrooms and other facilities would be developed in these Colleges for the purpose. “We have to move away from the tradition of educating our children for the sake of it. We have to facilitate them to pursue their goals and develop the creative courage to make a difference in the world,” he said and added that a modern, flexible, integrated and seamless curriculum has to be developed that places considerable emphasis on practical training and development of analytical and problem-solving skills among the students in addition to formal learning.

Secretary Sports Council, Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, said the Sports Council would extend all possible support to the College administrations in building the requisite sports infrastructure and curriculum for Sports Studies.

Pertinently, the Cluster Universities have been established in the state under centrally-sponsored Rashtriya Ucchtar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) to run series of additional and novel courses in the existing colleges, with one of the colleges each in Srinagar and Jammu acting as the Lead College.

The Cluster University in Jammu comprises GGM Science College, Government MAM College, SPMR College of Commerce, Government College for Women, Gandhi Nagar and Government College of Education Canal Road.

Similarly, the Cluster University in Srinagar comprises Amar Singh College Srinagar, SP College Srinagar, Women’s College MA Road Srinagar, Government Degree College Bemina and the College of Education, Srinagar.

While in Jammu GGM Science College is the Lead College for the new Cluster University, in Srinagar Amar Singh College is the Lead College for Cluster University, Srinagar.

A grant of Rs 55 crore each has been provided under RUSA for development of additional infrastructure for these Cluster Universities.

The State Government has already created 124 posts for these Universities and has appointed Vice-Chancellors and Registrars for these institutions.

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