J&K assembly favours establishing private varsities

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Srinagar, October 25: A panel of the upper house of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly has favoured the establishment of three private universities in the state.
To discuss establishment of Transworld Muslim University, Sheikh-ul-Alam Research University and Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa University in the state, a meeting of the Select Committee of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council was held here.
Member Legislative Council, Devender Singh Rana, who is Chairman of the Committee, presided over the meeting while MLCs B R Kundal, Ravinder Kumar Sharma and Syed Asgar Ali were present.
At the outset, the members sought information with regard to procedures and parameters in vogue for establishment of Universities and ways and means thereof, an official said.
The Committee held a detailed discussion on different aspects with regard to setting up of these varsities in the private sector while appreciating the crucial need for expanding the outreach of higher learning across the state in view of larger number of students, especially belonging to far off pockets, evincing keen interest in shaping their academic career in a big way.
The panel observed that the participation of private players in this effort should be encouraged, saying this is imperative to supplement the governmental endeavours in making available quality and standard education to the reach of students belonging to various segments of the society, he said.
However, the members said that there should be no compromise on norms to ensure highest standards of education with an effective oversight mechanism.
The issues like management of Universities and control of the government over these institutions came under thorough discussion, he added.
“The members observed that before establishment of such institutions, it is necessary to have a thorough view of the infrastructural facilities being put in place and the financial backup thereof. The Committee felt that there was need for adhering the prescribed guidelines in this regard which need to be laid out after due diligence,” he said.
The Committee, in particular, felt the necessity of upgraded infrastructural facilities for raising the intake capacity of higher educational institutions in view of growing number of students. The stress, however, should be on introducing job oriented courses which are relevant to the job market, the Committee observed, he added.
The Committee asked the Secretary, Higher Education department to provide the copies of relevant documents pertaining to the subject and the copies of the Bills for creation of other universities for purview of the members. It also stressed the need for making available the guidelines set by the Supreme Court for establishment of Universities for perusal of the members by December 15.
The Committee also decided that after obtaining all the relevant papers and after due consideration the Committee would also like to invite the authorities of the proposed Universities to make a presentation about their road map along with the financial details for the setting up of the Universities.

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