Govt Engineering College in Valley a distant dream
Proposal To Upgrade KGP Fails To Take Off
Srinagar, Mar 5: At a time when government is asserting its commitment towards technical education, a proposal to establish the much needed Government Engineering College in the Kashmir valley remains a distant dream, puncturing the oft-repeated claims of government in the wake of rising unemployment in the region.
Official sources told Greater Kashmir that a proposal to convert the Kashmir Government Polytechnic (KGP) at Gogji Bagh here into Government Engineering College has been impeded due the ‘dual management’ on technical education in the state.
In a strange situation of its kind, the Technical Education Department is controlling the Polytechnic Colleges and ITIs in the state while engineering colleges come under the purview of Higher Education Department. “There is no synchronization among the officials of the two departments that is the main hurdle for pushing the proposal of establishment of college for the cabinet nod,” sources said.
The Technical Education Department lost control over engineering colleges on 17-03-2008 vide order No. 322 GAD of 2008.
“Normally in all the states both engineering colleges and polytechnics are controlled by Technical Education Department. But here it is completely different. Since KGP is under the Technical Education Department, its conversion into an Engineering College seems to be becoming a bone of contention as the latter has to be taken care of by the Higher Education Department then,” the sources added.
The proposal, which was mooted in 2004-05, was submitted to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Kashmir University and the concerned department for further necessary action. That time it was proposed that the KGP and Jammu Government Polytechnic shall be converted into Engineering Colleges.
“But somehow it couldn’t click and afterwards a fresh proposal was made on the issue in 2008-2009. This time it was decided that the two polytechnics shall offer degrees in the core branches of engineering like Civil, Mechanical, Automobile, Electrical, Electronics and Communication etc. It was also proposed that the diploma courses shall remain intact at the polytechnic colleges,” sources said. But the proposal is yet to be approved.
While Valley-based aspirants have sent repeated pleas to the government that the decrease in the number of Kashmiri students at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar calls for a government engineering college in the Valley, the government has not made any attempt to establish an engineering college in the Valley and allow the aspirants to pursue technical and job-oriented courses.
In absence of Government Engineering College, the non-medical students of Valley are forced to either opt for REC Jammu or go outside the state for degrees after investing a huge amount. “For the past few years, degree in engineering is being offered at the Islamic University and Kashmir University as well. But they offer the degree courses in limited branches of engineering. We are thus depriving hundreds of aspirants to pursue technical education in the braches which have high employability,” said a Professor.
A student of Civil Engineering at KGP, Tanveer-ul-Hassan, said the state government was beating the drum of equitable development of all regions, but the Valley is without a Government Engineering College since the Regional Engineering College in Srinagar was converted to NIT years back.
“The successive regimes have turned blind eye towards the issue despite promising the establishment of engineering colleges in their election manifesto,” he said.
Aliya Bakshi, an NIT Final Year student, believes that the Government should discuss the issue threadbare with the AICTE authorities. “The establishment of colleges will provide equal opportunities to poor students,” she said.
As per official figures, less than 30 percent students studying in NIT Srinagar right now are from Kashmir. “Not many Kashmiris candidates find a place here, though they could easily make an entry into the Regional Engineering College. This is because the students have to now undergo a rigorous All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE). Though some candidates qualify it, but given the number of participants, it becomes difficult for them to get through. Lakhs of candidates appear in the AIEEE annually,” said a senior NIT official, insisting not to be named. “It is not that the Kashmiri aspirants are not competent enough to qualify it. The only problem is the limited intake capacity in the NIT Srinagar and the overall number of participants.”
Repeated attempts to contact the Minister for Higher Education, Abdul Gani Malik, proved futile.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Mar 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Mar 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Mar 2012 00:00:00 IST
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