Jammu has walked away with lion's share in the allocation of new degree colleges by the governor administration.
Out of 40 colleges, 22 have been allocated to Jammu while only 16 have been sanctioned for Kashmir. Two colleges have gone to Ladakh region.
Jammu division has got more colleges despite having less population as compared to Kashmir.
"The government should have considered population of Kashmir and approved more colleges for the Valley," said an official in the civil secretariat. He said the colleges were supposed to be allocated on the basis of the population.
The population in 10 districts of Jammu division is 53.5 lakh while as in Kashmir it is around 69 lakh, besides 3 lakh in Ladakh.
"12 districts of Kashmir division have got 18 colleges including 16 in Kashmir and 2 in Ladakh, which is questionable given the population of the region. Despite having less population Jammu has got four colleges more than that of Kashmir," an official said, adding that allocation of colleges has been done on "political considerations" instead of keeping the population a criterion.
As per the data available on official website of the higher education department, out of 97 existing government degree colleges, 47 are in Jammu, 46 in Kashmir and four in Ladakh.
The state administrative council in September directed the higher education department to process the "creation" of 40 new government degree colleges including 26 colleges (24 degree colleges and 2 administrative staff colleges) that had already been sanctioned in a phased manner.
In the wake of this direction, a committee was constituted to finalize the opening of colleges on the basis of the feasibility of the locations and making these new colleges operational.
The committee had administrative secretary finance department as it chairman while as administrative secretary of planning development and monitoring department, higher education department and school education department were its members.
Commissioner secretary higher education department, Sarita Chauhan said the population was not the lone criteria for establishing a college in any area.
"There are other general norms for it; like in Kashmir and Ladakh colleges we have students from respective regions; and in Jammu we have students from all the three regions," she said, adding that the enrolment in the existing colleges was also considered for opening of new colleges.