Committee suggests reconsidering continuation of colleges under-500 roll, no permanent campus

Committee suggests reconsidering continuation of colleges under-500 roll, no permanent campus
Representational ImageFile/ GK

Srinagar, Sep 24: The high-level committee constituted to oversee the rationalisation of higher educational institutions in Jammu and Kashmir has recommended that the government should reconsider continuation of the newly-established degree colleges that do not see any increase in the student enrollment in next three years or availability of land for permanent campus.

The committee comprises Administrative Secretary, Higher Education Department (HED) as its Chairperson while Director General (Budget), Finance Department, Director General (Codes), Finance Department, Director (Finance) Higher Education Department (HED) and Director (Planning), HED are its members.

The committee was constituted to study the requirements of higher educational institutions in J&K besides examining rationalisation of existing higher educational institutions in J&K.

The committee recently convened a meeting and drafted an outline for functioning of the newly-established degree colleges wherein the members have not recommended discontinuation of any college so far.

“We prepared an outline in which we did not recommend any college for discontinuation as these colleges have been set up two years ago. But we have set certain parameters for functioning of the colleges which have meager student enrollment and non-availability of land for construction of a permanent campus,” a top official said.

Around eight out of 50 colleges have been enlisted which have meager enrollment of students and do not have availability of land for the construction of permanent buildings.

“We recommended to the government that they should reconsider continuation of these colleges if they fail to improve student enrollment and if there is no land available for permanent buildings in the next three years,” said an official, who is a member of the committee.

Government Degree College (GDC) Chittisinghpura, Anantnag is one such college.

The college has had only 10 students for the last two years and does not have land available for construction of a permanent campus.

“The college is functioning from a makeshift arrangement and there is no improvement in the enrollment of students. Another college is in Jammu which has only 47 students and there is no state land available for construction,” the official said.

He said that the private land available to construct a permanent campus for the college in Jammu costs Rs 20 crore.

“The department cannot afford to establish such colleges due to financial implications. Our Chief Secretary is also of the same opinion that such colleges cannot be established,” the official said.

He said that three members of the committee had put forth their recommendations which would first go to the Administrative Secretary of HED.

“Later it will be submitted to the Chief Secretary to take a final decision on this,” the official said.

The committee was constituted as the government was mulling to wind up the newly-established colleges which have meager enrollment and were started in makeshift arrangements due to non-availability of land.

However, the official said that the student enrollment in Hyderpora College was over 200 while the degree college at Aloochi Bagh has over 100 students.

“Hyderpora College doesn’t figure in the list of colleges which need to be closed but the Aloochi Bagh College may fall in the list if the enrollment does not increase to 500 in the next three years,” the official said.

The government after announcing establishment of new 102 degree colleges in two phases – 52 in phase I and 50 in phase II - decided to put on hold operationalisation of new degree colleges announced in phase II, citing lack of resources.

Even most of the colleges announced in phase-I were made operational in makeshift arrangements.

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