Minister for Education Naeem Akhtar called on the Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD), Smriti Irani, here today to discuss the issues pertaining to education sector in Jammu and Kashmir. He was accompanied by Minister of State for Education and Information, Priya Sethi.
Seeking the intervention of the Union HRD Minister for early release of funds withheld by the Centre under Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyan (SSA), Akhtar said that hundreds of teachers, drawing their salary under the scheme, have not been paid for the past several months because of non-availability of adequate resources. "The new Government in J&K has already started contouring the state finances and the state share under SSA which was withheld by the previous regime, has also been released," he told the Union Minister. He said the Centre should now expedite the release of funds under SSA so that not only the salaries of the aggrieved teachers are released, but infrastructure development is also speeded up in the crucial school education sector.
Akhtar also sought the intervention of the Union HRD Minister for the release of special funds to rebuild the flood-hit infrastructure in education sector in the State. He said while the educational institutions across the State were badly hit by devastating floods in September 2014, educational hub in the heart of Srinagar was the worst affected with prestigious institutions like SP College, Amar Singh College, Women's College MA Road, Degree College Bemina, College of Education, SP Higher Secondary School, Girls Higher Secondary School Kothibagh, Girls Higher Secondary School Amirakadal and others suffering massive damage to libraries, laboratories, furniture and other items. He said the Vice-Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) visited the flood-affected institutions of higher education in Srinagar recently for personal assessment of the damages and has submitted his recommendations to the Union Ministry of HRD for special funding to rebuild the damaged infrastructure. He sought the personal intervention of the Union HRD Minister to expedite the release of special grant for the purpose.
Akhtar also sought the intervention of the Union HRD Minister for speeding up the process for setting up the proposed IIT at Jammu so that the classes can be started from the current academic session. He said the State Government has already identified the site for the purpose.