TAD to modernize residential hostels in all districts

File Photo of Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary

With an aim to provide the best available facilities and a competitive platform to students, the J&K Tribal Affairs Department (TAD) has initiated the process for time-bound modernisation of its residential hostels in all districts concerned. The plan comprises and envisages infrastructure upgradation, technological interventions, management revamp and decentralised functioning.

Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, and Chief Executive Officer, Mission Youth J&K, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Thursday laid out the roadmap for the ambitious hostel modernisation plan which sets strict timelines for modernisation of all hostels managed by TAD. The plan was finalised in a meeting of senior officers including among others Director Tribal Affairs Musheer Ahmed and Secretary Advisory Board Mukhtar Choudhary.

Under the plan, each hostel will also get a Career Counselling Centre (CCC) for mentoring the students right from their admission. CCCs shall organise 4-5 interactive sessions each month with qualifiers of competitive examinations, innovators, entrepreneurs, educationists and domain experts. Separate budget will be provided to hostels for CCCs.

The meeting was informed that skill development courses shall be mandatory for all students in the hostels. It was informed that the J&K Skill Development Mission will sign a MoU with the Tribal Affairs Department for approved courses, certification and assured placement upon completion of education in a hostel.

Infrastructure upgradation as planned will also include establishment of gymnasiums and sports clubs with all requisite equipment as a model intervention. To ensure good use, there will be regular deployment of physical fitness trainers through district administrations.

The TAD will also establish standard and digital libraries with offline and online repository of books, journals, references and documents. The existing tuition system will be replaced with online classes — for which smart classrooms will be established in each hostel and one state-of-the-art studio each in Jammu and Srinagar for resource persons to connect with hostels.

Shahid said that there will also be a parallel process to digitise the entire J&K Board syllabus of Class VI-XII — to be provided to students in tablet computers to do away with school bags. The Secretary has also directed for revising food menus and uniform, which currently has Rs 100/day and Rs 2200/annum allocation for each student, instructing for enhancement for ensuring better quality.

It was further informed that the modernisation plan also includes installation of CCTV cameras, biometric attendance for students and staff, RO water purifiers, power backup facility, heating equipment and other amenities.

The TAD will invest over 15 crore rupees on modernisation of hostels, educational support like scholarships, and providing improved standard facilities in its hostels.