The Jammu and Kashmir government has taken up development of infrastructure for new and existing higher education institutions at a massive scale so that students get the desired benefits at the earliest.
The development of campuses for new degree colleges, national level institutions and upgrading of infrastructure of existing ones has been taken up under wide range of schemes and special funds provided under the Prime Minister Development Package(PMDP). This was stated by Minister for Education Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari while reviewing the academic and development activities here today at a high level meeting.
He said that Government firmly believes that no institution can achieve excellence without having standard infrastructure and faculty. “Running classes is no achievement until we don’t have infrastructure and faculty as per standard norms” he asserted asking the department to put in extra efforts to achieve the development targets.
Minister of state for Education, Priya Sethi was also present in the meeting which was attended by Jammu University Vice Chancellor, Dr R D Sharma, VC Central University Jammu, Prof Ashok Aima, VC Cluster University Jammu, Anju Bhasin, Commissioner Secretary Higher Education, Asgar Ali Samoon, Senior faculty members of the three varsities, heads of various colleges of Jammu province, officials of R&B, JKPCC and other construction agencies.
Laying stress on academic activities, the Minister asked heads of institutions, especially Principals of colleges to engage with students to understand their problems and issues. “The first contact of students is college principal. You have to establish a close relation with them and know their problems and clear their doubts,” the Minister told the college heads. He asked the college heads to engage students by holding frequent interactions and provide them enabling environment for studies and other productive activities.
The Minister also stressed on minimizing outside interference in the educational institutions to keep inimical elements away from the academic environment.
Citing incidents of student protests in Kashmir, the Minister appreciated the role of the heads of maximum colleges in the valley who did not let the situation go out of hand. He said such a role from a college head is highly appreciable. “For facing such challenges and uphold the sanctity of education, the college heads have to own the students and the institution” he asserted.
The Minister also stressed on solving the issues of college faculty members including their promotion avenues. He asked the Higher Education department to come up with a comprehensive proposal before Darbar move mentioning steps for solution of all outstanding issues of college and university faculty members.
The Minister also ordered for organizing youth festivals to provide college students, drawn from different regions, a platform to share their views and experiences.