Started mid-session, new colleges in Kashmir fail to attract students

Srinagar: Most of the newly sanctioned degree colleges in Kashmir have failed to attract students for first academic session, with officials citing mid-session operationalisation as the main problem.
The colleges were made operational without a permanent staff, from make shift accommodations, in the middle of the academic session.
Of the 52 new government degree colleges sanctioned by the Governor administration earlier this year, 24 were announced in Kashmir province.
However, barring a couple of colleges in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, most of the institutions failed to enroll students this year, official sources told Kashmir Reader.
They said that by the time the new degree colleges were made operational, students had already taken admission at existing colleges.
Unlike Kashmir, new degree colleges in Jammu including those at Bhagwati Nagar, Kunjwani, Chenani, Nilli Nallah and Darhal succeeded in enrolling students as the admission session there starts later, a top official in the Higher Education Department told Kashmir Reader.
In North Kashmir’s Baramulla district a couple of colleges “admitted a few students, who were already on the rolls of other colleges”.
To ensure availability of teaching staff at the new colleges, the government had, earlier this year, directed authorities to deploy staff to the institutions from existing colleges in the valley.
However, a top official informed that each college immediately needed a principal, four assistant professors besides non-teaching staff including accounts assistants, junior assistants, physical training instructors and orderlies.
Another top official in the Higher Education Department told Kashmir Reader that a proposal for creation of 572 teaching and non-teaching posts for the new degree colleges had been forwarded to the government.
The proposed posts include those of 52 principals, as many physical training instructors, junior assistants, laboratory assistants, accounts assistants, orderlies and chowkidars, and 208 posts of assistant professors with four professors for each college. Given the “concurrence by the Finance Department” to the proposal, the official hoped that the posts would be sanctioned by the next academic session.
He said the government had also approved Rs 12 crore for each college building.
“As of now, the designs for the college buildings are being approved and they will be tendered out shortly by the construction agencies including R&B, JKPCC and Housing Board,” he said.
Director Colleges, Dr Yaseen Ahmad Shah told Kashmir Reader expressed hope that class work at all the new degree colleges would start from the upcoming academic session.

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