Urging policy planners to unlock the full potential of education as a driver for growth and jobs, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Monday highlighted the need to revisit various academic programmes of the universities to tailor curricula for enhancing the possibilities of employment of pass-outs in the world of cut-throat competition.

He said the universities are coming under intense pressure to ensure that their graduates are employable, for which placement cells are urgently required to be activated. “A full-fledged campus placement cell with independent officers has to be established both at Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University and the Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora, so that graduates are readily absorbed in the ever-expanding job market,” he observed.

The Chief Minister said this while chairing a high-level meeting of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU) today, during which he took wide ranging decisions to improve its functioning.

This was the first visit of the Chief Minister to the university after Prof Javed Mussarat took over as the new Vice Chancellor. The Chief Minister had last visited the University on June 6, earlier this year.

Asking planners to shift towards looking at skills and their effective utilization, Mufti Sayeed, who is also the Chancellor of the university, asked the VC to give him a blueprint of how he plans to revitalise the university and create strong linkages between education and jobs, which will spur placement of pass-outs.

To augment the requirement for paramedic staff for upcoming medical college at Rajouri, the Chief Minister asked VC to initiate the process of establishing a nursing college. “The VC must also explore enhancing intake capacity of such courses which have a huge demand in the job market,” he stated.

Mufti Sayeed also emphasised upon diversification of higher education to provide right mix of more vocational skills that serve the job market better. He said besides improving quality of higher education, an increase in attention is needed to improve relevance of higher education. “We need to create the right kind of environment to have a better match between skills and jobs,” he explained.

Reiterating his resolve to make J&K a true ‘Knowledge Society’, the Chief Minister said universities can no longer act as independent academic force and need to dovetail major portion of their activity with the needs of the students so as to ensure their employability. For this, he called for forging close partnership with sectors like industry, civil service and world of entrepreneurship that have the potential to employ trained professionals in large numbers. “Cooperation between universities and industry needs to be intensified at all levels for which our campuses need to become vibrant placement centres,” he stated.

Noting with concern existing gaps in university infrastructure, despite funds being parked with the university for a pretty long time, the Chief Minister said he will depute a joint team headed by Administrative Secretaries of Education and Public Works Departments to the university to take a firsthand review and the steps to be taken to ensure that work on the projects is given a start.

The VC apprised the Chief Minister of several works under centrally and state-funded, UGC and Ministry of Tourism projects which are hanging fire for the past few years. Some of these projects include academic blocks of Maths, Botany, Polytechnic, Zoology, Tourism and Hospitality streams, besides work on examination block and central library of Botany and Zoology departments.

Mufti Sayeed also sanctioned Rs.1 crore for construction of a modern Guest House, which can be utilized during various functions, especially the University Convocations. On the demand raised for sanctioning a ‘Central Instrumentation Facility’ for advanced research at a cost of Rs.5 crore, the Chief Minister asked the VC to prepare a Concept Paper for examination of the Planning Department.

In order to improve connectivity from downtown Rajouri to University campus, Mufti Sayeed asked Transport Minister to deploy a fleet of four buses exclusively for ferrying the students. The VC said the university will purchase two buses which will run within the campus to facilitate the movement of students.

On the issue of scientific disposal of waste, the Chief Minister said the BGSB university will be integrated into the solid waste management proposal, once the project is conceived for Rajouri town shortly.

In his address, Naeem Akhtar asked the Vice Chancellor to initiate the process for registration of the university with BoPEE, enabling it to optimally utilize its intake capacity in different graduate and under-graduate programmes. He also asked the university to evolve a Tracking System which monitors the status of the pass-outs in the job market.

In his maiden briefing, VC unfolded his mission to develop BGSB University from a teaching university to a teaching and research university. “We will reorient the academic programmes to make them job-oriented, in line with the requirements of the Corporate world,” he assured the Chief Minister.

Immediately after his arrival, the Chief Minister laid the foundation of women’s hostel with an intake capacity of 120. He also inspected the existing girls’ hostel and took stock of the facilities being provided to the students.

Later, the Chief Minister visited the departments of Management Studies, Computer Sciences and Information Technology where he interacted with the faculty members as well as the students. He impressed upon them to focus on skills to improve their chances of employability in the highly-competitive job market.


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