Srinagar: Pending concurrence by the Finance Department for the majority of institutions, only one out of 26 degree colleges announced earlier this year by the Higher Education Department is operational in the state, even as the department had proposed to start academic work at 20 of them, officials revealed.
While the state government this year had announced 17 new degree colleges for the state, a top Higher Education Department official said that 9 more colleges were approved by the state government later on.
As per the official, out of the 26 new colleges announced, only the Degree College Drass in Kargil district has been made operational from the current academic session, under the Finance Department’s concurrence.
The official said that the 25 remaining colleges were awaiting the Finance Department’s concurrence, even as the Higher Education Department “had proposed to make 20 colleges operational from this very academic session” he said.
Although Degree College Padder in Kishtwar district had announced admissions earlier this year, the official said that the college has however not been able to start actual class work.
To mention, the Higher Education Department had in May this year constituted a four-member panel to recommend the subjects to be introduced at the new colleges.
The Higher Education Department had in February said that it would soon commence academic activities at the new degree colleges.
The then Education minister, Altaf Bukhari, had stated in December last year that “there are many important tehsils” in the state that were “still lacking the facility of higher education”.
Bukhari had cited the examples of Pahalgam in Kashmir and the border tehsil of R S Pura in Jammu which, as per the ex-Education minister “deserve degree colleges” for which the state government had “decided to meet such demands”.
While establishing the new degree colleges, Bukhari had said that “priority is being given to the uncovered areas and keeping in view the availability of land, feasibility of demand with the sufficient number of feeding higher secondary schools in the area”.
Commissioner Secretary, Higher Education, Sarita Chauhan and Director Colleges Zahoor Ahmad Chat did not respond to callsby this reporter.