SRINAGAR: Stressing upon the need for quality education the Minister for Higher Education J&K State Mohammad Akbar Lone has called upon the college Principals, academic administrators, academicians and other stakeholders in education sector not to compromise on quality education " and adhere strictly to the UGC guidelines for the overall betterment of higher education scenario in the state.
During his maiden visit to the University of Kashmir after taking over as the Minister for Higher Education Lone while addressing the college principals and academic administrators during the inaugural session of a two days seminar -cum -workshop on Management Development in Higher Education organized by Academic Staff College at KU saidUniversities and colleges should strictly follow the UGC guidelines while ensuring quality education and whatever support they need from the government it will be provided on priority in the possible manner.
"Providing quality education should be our priority .We need to identify the lope holes in the education sector as early as possible so that we can plug them to move ahead,added Lone.
Stressing upon the need for introducing job- oriented courses in the colleges and Universities to increase the employability of the huge human resource in the corporate and other sectors the Minister said There is need for introducing those courses which increase the employability of our youth in the job market and at the same time universities can continue their process of the entering into meaningful MoUs and tie-ups with both national and foreign universities and research institutions.
The Minister said that all the stakeholders of education have to work in an integrated manner for the betterment of education and constitution of a strategic forum which will have representatives from colleges, Universities and government can help to a great deal in providing timely suggestions and inputs to authorities in higher education for effective planning and framing of policies regarding expansion and delivery of quality education at the grass root level.
The inaugural session of the seminar was attended by principals of some 47 degree colleges of the Kashmir division .Besides several Deans, head of the departments of various faculties of KU, senior academic administrators of the Kashmir University were also present on the occasion..
Earlier in his Presidential address Vice Chancellor University of Kashmir Prof Talat Ahmad briefed the Minister and the other participants of the seminar about the functioning of the University and its performance over the last two years in higher education sector.
Prof Talat gave a detailed description about the progress and the major events which University has been doing till now, besides apprising the Minister and the participants about different problems which the university is facing right now in various areas.
"Every year we have to face a lot of challenge in terms of enrolment .We receive nearly 40000 applications from various aspirants for seeking admission at KU for PG courses but we have an intake capacity for only around 3500 students in different PG departments," said Prof Talat.
Prof Talat said that every year around 2.5 lakh examines appear for exams held by KU at graduate and PG level and this year KU has conducted more than 386 examinations which he said puts huge amount of pressure on the entire machinery and limited workforce available with the university.
While maintaining that there is a pressing need for large scale expansion of the University in order to address these issues of infrastructure and dearth of man-power Prof Talat said However despite these difficulties we have been able to perform better than the previous years and the number of students who qualified NET/SET/JRF has jumped to 450 now which was just 200 in 2010.
Prof Talat said that there has been a phenomenal increase in the number of research papers produced by the scholars at KU from 280 in 2009 to 611 in 2012.
He added that the Alllam Iqbal Library of KU hosts around 6.22 lakh books and has 14 thousand on-line journals which can be accessed by the students , scholars and teachers through remote access facility (RAF)
In his keynote address Dean Academic Affairs KU Prof AM Shah while presenting his paper on Management strategies in Higher Education said that there must be a three-pronged strategy based on internal quality assurance, interface quality assurance and future quality assurance in order to see and evaluate the fact that paradigms which were relevant some 10 years back in education sector are relevant today or not.
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