JK Government to ‘overhaul’ higher education

Srinagar, Feb 25: Realizing the need to address the “mess” in J&K’s higher education sector, the state government has appointed noted economist Prof Nisar Ali as Advisor (Higher Education) to “streamline and overhaul ways of teaching-learning by augmenting infrastructure and introducing a slew of job-oriented courses in colleges and varsities across the State.”
The government candidly admits that there were “large scale shortcomings” in the state’s higher education arena. “The post for Advisor Higher Education has been created after due approval by the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah,” official sources said.
This is the second new post created by the government in the past two weeks. A few days back, National Conference spokesman Tanvir Sadiq was appointed as political secretary to the Chief Minister against a newly created post.
Minister for Higher Education Muhammad Akbar Lone said he “desperately needed an Advisor to take the department to new heights.” “I am happy with the appointment of Prof Nisar Ali. He is a man with a vast experience and vision. His advices will be implemented in letter and spirit to open up new vistas of higher education in J&K,” Lone said.
He said with the fresh appointment, the main thrust would be on conducting a “post-mortem” of the state’s higher education system. “After that, we will augment the infrastructure, improve learning and teaching facilities and also introduce job-oriented courses in colleges and universities across the State,” Lone said.
Sources said Prof Nisar has already taken up the new assignment and has submitted a detailed report on ‘Higher Education Reforms’ to the government with special focus on introduction of job-oriented courses in colleges and universities.
Confirming his new assignment, Prof Nisar said he would put in his best efforts to see the Higher Education sector flourish at par with other institutions in India and abroad. “I have visited 200 colleges and universities across India. What I felt so far is that once the youth complete their degrees (in India and foreign countries), they land in multinational companies with good job packages,” he said. “I will suggest to the government to implement my research findings in its policy making.”
Sources said the J&K government had a strong feeling to address the genuine problems faced by the department of higher education at various levels. “There are many shortcomings in the department. Ironically, many schemes and programs of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and Government of India have not been implemented on ground,” they said.
Prof Nisar is a noted economist of the state with 40 years of experience. He has served as Professor of Economics at the University of Kashmir. He has served the University in many capacities — Head, Department of Economics, Head, Media Education and Research Centre (MERC) and Islamic Studies department. He has also been a member on various statutory bodies and working groups on Plan formation.


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