Srinagar, Feb 10: The Higher Education Department (HED) has constituted special teams to ascertain the reasons of meagre enrolment in some of the newly established degree colleges across J&K.
The teams will also come out with solutions to expedite the construction of permanent buildings of the colleges besides resolving the issues of non-availability of the land for the construction of the college buildings.
The decision in this regard was taken in a high level meeting convened on February 7, under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary HED Alok Kumar and was attended by the other officers of the department.
The agenda of the meeting was rationalisation of existing colleges besides recommending the criteria for opening new Higher Educational Institutions and discuss future course of action in respect of colleges with low enrolment.
The meeting was convened after a government committee earlier revealed that some newly established degree colleges were not showing any progress in enrolment and also lacked basic infrastructure as well.
“The meeting discussed all the issues which included slow pace of work on college buildings, non-availability of the land for the construction purpose and meagre enrolment in some colleges which were made operational some two years ago,” said a top official who was part of the meeting. “There are issues of non-availability of land as the government has made it clear that the buildings should be constructed on state land instead of property land because the government cannot bear the compensation to be provided to the land donor,” he said.
As already reported by this newspaper, some of the newly established degree colleges failed to attract the students for the admissions in the last two academic sessions while the construction of permanent buildings for the majority of the colleges has been caught in official wrangles. “In some cases there are disputes over location of the college and the issue has become sub-judice while in some cases there is no land available,” the official said.
Notably, the J&K government in 2019 announced the establishment of new 102 degree colleges in two phases – 52 in phase I and 50 in phase II. Soon after making an announcement for making these colleges functional, the J&K administration led by then Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu decided to put on hold the operationalisation of colleges announced in phase II, citing lack of resources.
“The colleges were opened with a purpose to take higher education to the door steps and the government is firm to make all the colleges operational which were announced in the first phase. The government will ensure that all the colleges are operational with an improvement in the enrolment as well,” the official said.
Earlier in 2021, the J&K government constituted a high level committee to oversee the rationalisation of Higher Educational institutions in the J&K. The committee had recommended that in case the enrolment of these colleges does not improve, measures for rationalization of colleges may be taken by the government.
Meanwhile, the HED in a fresh meeting has decided to constitute special teams, comprising Nodal principals of colleges in Jammu and Kashmir division, besides some senior principals who have been entrusted to ascertain the reasons for the meagre enrolment.
“The teams will visit all these colleges and ascertain the reasons for meagre enrolment, slow pace of work on buildings and also resolve the issues about non-availability of the land,” the official said. The official said the enrollment in all the colleges will pick up and will be made operational in the upcoming academic session in J&K.