Minister for Education, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari chaired a high level meeting here today to review the operational modalities for newly established Cluster Universities in the State.
Commissioner Secretary Higher Education, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, Vice Chancellor Cluster University Srinagar, Dr Sheikh Javaid Ahmad and Vice-Chancellor, Cluster University Jammu Dr Anju Bhasin besides other concerned officials were present at the meeting.
Various decisions for management and functioning of these universities were taken at the meeting.
Pertinently, it has been already announced that the two Cluster Universities will be made functional from the current academic session.
During the meeting, the Minister directed the Vice Chancellors of both the universities to submit proposals under revenue and capital budget by May 15, 2017 for the allocation of funds by the Higher Education Department.
On the guidelines for utilization of preparatory grants under RUSA, the meeting was informed that under preparatory grants an amount of Rs 1 crore each for Cluster University Jammu/Kashmir stands already released. The VCs of the two cluster universities were asked for submission of utilization certificate to the Higher Education Department at the earliest.
Since the Vice Chancellor Cluster University suggested deputation of M Aslam Baba, Principal, A S College, Srinagar to Cluster University Srinagar, the Minister conveyed authorization.
Accordingly, Prof Mohammad Aslam Baba (Principal AS College) was proposed to be appointed as Controller Examinations for Cluster University Srinagar and for Cluster University Jammu, the appointment of Controller Examinations will be made in a week’s time.
The VC Cluster University Jammu was asked to submit recommendation for deputation of a Principal as Controller Examinations to Cluster University Jammu by 15-05-2017 for approval of the Higher Education Department.
On the appointment of Deans the meeting was informed that proposals have been submitted by VCs through Pro-Chancellor (Minister for Education) to the Chancellor (Chief Minister).
Regarding hiring of faculty, the Minister asked the VCs to hire faculty as per Cluster University Act and State government guidelines. However, hiring of faculty in colleges will be done by governing body in consonance with the UGC guidelines.
Regarding the regularization of faculty, both the VCs were asked to submit the proposal to the government duly recommended by University Governing Body for approval of the Chancellor.
For regularization of faculty, both the VCs were directed to submit proposals to the Higher Education Department duly recommended by Universities’ Governing Body for the approval of Chancellor.
Regarding the age of superannuation, the Minister said that a policy decision shall be considered by the Competent Authority in due course after statutes are finalized by Cluster University Jammu/Srinagar within a month.
The meeting also discussed various issues including the revision of grades for non-technical positions and the deputation of personal staff.
The two Cluster Universities, one each in Srinagar and Jammu, have been established in the state under the centrally-sponsored Rashtriya Ucchtar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) to run series of additional and advanced courses in the existing colleges, with one of the colleges acting as the Lead College for the new University. The Government has already approved creation of 124 posts for these Universities.
The Cluster University in Jammu comprises GGM Science College, Government MAM College, SPMR College of Commerce, Government College for Women Gandhi Nagar and Government College of Education Canal Road.
Similarly, the Cluster University in Srinagar comprises Amar Singh College Srinagar, SP College Srinagar, Women’s College MA Road Srinagar, Government Degree College Bemina and the College of Education, Srinagar.
All the participating colleges will be converted into constituent colleges of the Cluster University. While in Jammu GGM Science College has been designated as the Lead College for the new University, in Srinagar Amar Singh College will be the Lead College.
“Setting up of Cluster Universities, one each in Srinagar and Jammu, will not only augment the existing higher education facilities in J&K, but help diversification of the academics with introduction of latest job-intensive courses at the graduate, post-graduate and diploma levels,” said Minister for Education, Altaf Bukhari.
“The move shall go a long way in expanding access to higher education by increasing the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in the State,” he said and added that each Cluster University will offer post-graduate and diploma courses in social sciences, liberal arts, humanities, engineering, science, teacher education, languages, entrepreneurship development, management and other job-intensive courses.
With the setting up of two Cluster Universities in J&K, the total number of Universities in the State has gone up to 11.
Pertinently, J&K already has nine universities including University of Kashmir, University of Jammu, Central University Kashmir, Central University Jammu, Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Islamic University of Science and Technology Awantipora, SKUAST-Kashmir, SKUAST-Jammu and Mata Vaishnov Devi University Katra.
Besides there are six satellite campuses of the University of Jammu and University of Kashmir in the State. These include North Campus Delina, South Campus Anantnag, Leh Campus and Kargil Campus affiliated with Kashmir University and Kathua and Bhaderwah Campuses, affiliated with Jammu University.