‘Stresses improvement in quality of education, monitoring placements’
Convocations to be held in May, June
JAMMU: Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today issued directions to the Vice Chancellors of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah (BGSBU) University, Rajouri, and Islamic University of Science & Technology, Awantipora, to encourage students from outside states willing to pursue higher education in Jammu and Kashmir State. The Chief Minister, who is the Chancellor of the two Universities, also asked the Vice Chancellors to start preparations for holding Convocations of their Universities in the months of May and June respectively.
The Chief Minister was chairing a high-level meeting called to review the functioning of the two Universities.
Minister for Education, Nayeem Akhtar and Minister for Finance, Dr. Haseeb Drabu attended the meeting. Also present were Vice Chairman, J&K Waqf Board, Peer Mohammad Hussain, Vice Chancellor, BGSBU, Dr. Irshad Hamal and Vice Chancellor, IUST, Prof. Abdul Rasheed Trag.
The VCs briefed the Chief Minister about the status of academics, infrastructure, placements and perspective plans vis-à-vis their Universities.
Describing the Universities as the seats of great learning, the Chief Minister stressed the need to give the scholars from outside the State a level-playing field in getting admissions in J&K State. “Our students are studying all over the country for higher and advanced education. We should also take effective steps to facilitate those students from the other States who are willing to seek higher education in our Universities,” he stated.
Emphasizing upon the need to induct competent teaching faculties by offering them incentivized packages, the Chief Minister asked the VCs to introduce career-oriented courses which will accelerate placement of students in the Corporate and Business sectors. “There should be no compromise over quality of teaching faculties at the Universities. We have academics from outside the State and abroad who have distinguished themselves in their fields of expertise. Many times they have expressed desire to contribute in the field of higher education sector in the State. We can involve them as Visiting Professors at our Universities so that our students benefit from the best possible resource faculties,” the Chief Minister said and stressed upon the need to promote the concept of summer schools for Visiting Professors in University Curricula.
While taking a brief on the functioning of BGSBU, the Chief Minister asked the VC to engage a top architect to prepare a uniform façade for existing and upcoming infrastructure at the University which is spread over 6,000 kanals of land. He also passed directions to start work on construction of an ultramodern Guest House for State Guests and Visiting Faculties.
The Chief Minister said he will take feedback from Public Works and PHE Ministries on the issue of double-lanning of Rajouri-BGSBU road stretch and improvement of potable water supply to the University campus. He also expressed the need to explore installation of another solar unit inside the University campus for which the VC was asked to forward a detailed proposal.
Calling for development of sports and co-curricular infrastructure at the University campuses for all-round growth of a scholar’s personality, the Chief Minister said the Government will request the Union Ministry of Youth & Sports to sanction one playground for BGSB University as a special case. He also asked the VC to prepare a Draft Plan for an Auditorium inside the University campus.
Emphasizing the need to acquire more land for expansion of IUST campus, the Chief Minister asked the VC to expedite all acquisition proceedings. “IUST needs more land to create sufficient infrastructure which is in tune with the large number of students seeking admission in the University,” the Chief Minister said and called for expediting all land acquisition cases with the District Collectorate. Presently the University is spread over only 289 kanals of land.
Asking the VCs to strictly focus on quality of education, the Minister for Education, in his remarks, laid stress on monitoring the placement of students in Corporate and other connected sectors. He asked the VCs to build entrepreneurship amongst students and involve the Entrepreneurship Development Institute in helping the students to make right choices in selecting their career. “Our prime goal is to produce scholars of eminence and expertise and ensure that they are gainfully employed,” he said while highlighting the need to fully utilize the intake capacity in all streams at the Universities.
Stressing on importance of starting innovative courses in schemes linked to our culture and tradition, the Minister for Finance called for introducing courses in Crafts & Food Management streams so that we produce trained professionals and save our treasure of crafts and food for posterity. “These are highly paid jobs and I am sure there will be a beeline of students opting for such courses,” Dr. Darbu said.
Asking the University VCs to focus on academics first and infrastructure later, Dr. Drabu said the Finance Department will support all such initiatives that are aimed at improving the quality of education in the Universities.