Cap on admissions in degree colleges

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The Higher Education Department (HED) has roped in district administration to provide feedback regarding the decision of putting a cap on the admission in the Government Degree Colleges (GDCs) across J&K.

The move comes in wake of the strong opposition by the students over the HED’s decision to put a cap on the admission of students in GDCs.

However, the officials justify the decision saying that it was part of the rationalisation process started by the government to strike a balance between the number of students and availability of the staff besides infrastructural facilities.

But the students have persistently opposed the move saying that the government was not providing higher education to the students as per their choice.

Over the past few weeks, the students staged protests in various districts after their admission forms were not accepted by the college authorities citing availability of limited seats.

“The decision should have been taken after taking feedback from the students. Putting a cap on admission in colleges is against the interest of the students,” said Sadia, a student from Handwara.

Like Sadia, hundreds of other students have opposed the government to limit the intake capacity of colleges for admission of students in the first semester.

Government Degree College Handwara has received more than 1700 application forms from the students for their admissions.

However, the HED has limited the intake capacity of the college to only 960 seats.

“Nobody is bothered about the fate of the left-out students. Why can’t the college accommodate 1700 students this year when it accommodated over 2000 students the previous years,” said Ibrahim, a student from Handwara.

GDC Handwara is not the only institution where the application forms have exceeded the availability of seats.

The situation is the same in colleges elsewhere which has left the students “high and dry”.

The students have urged the HED to reconsider its decision of putting a cap on admission in the colleges. “Let students be given liberty to choose the colleges to pursue undergraduate courses as per our own choice,” the students said.

Secretary Higher Education Department, Sushma Chauhan, who recently assumed the charge, told Greater Kashmir that the decision to put a cap on admission was taken before she joined the department.

“I also received complaints from some of the college principals that their intake had been exhausted and scores of students were in the waiting list,” she said.

Chauhan said the department had taken up the matter with the concerned Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to do an independent analysis of the situation on a college to college basis.

“I am taking it case by case on the basis of feedback from the DCs. Till now six DCs reverted on 10 colleges and we have accordingly increased the intake of these colleges,” she said.

Chauhan said the aim of putting a cap on the admission in the colleges was to maintain a proper distribution of college professors and students.

“Even transfers of teaching faculty of the college were done in line with the decision as well. The department has to strike a balance between what the students want and what is achievable,” she said.

Chauhan said the decision had been taken to streamline the posting of the Assistant Professors in the colleges.

“I received the feedback that the Assistant Professors would manage their posting in the colleges which were easily accessible despite having surplus staff. On the other hand, the peripheral colleges were left staff deficient,” she said.

About the plans to do away with limited intake in colleges, Chauhan said it was not possible to “suddenly” reverse the process.

“It is a chain reaction. If I increase the intake of a college, I have to increase the number of professors as well. So, it will impact another college,” she said.

Chauhan said there should be availability of resources in colleges where students want to pursue their degrees.

“I have asked the DCs to take a considerate view and whatever my DCs report to me after reviewing the decision, I will go by it,” she said.