Jammu, February, CNS:Minister for Education, Mr Naeem Akhtar today called for building an integrated academic and career plan for the students to train them with coherent skills and knowledge.
“The Cluster Universities should mark the beginning of the new era of integrated education in the State to provide the students with not only the formal education, but also train them in job-intensive skills to help pursue specific careers,” the Minister said at his maiden meeting with the newly appointed Vice-Chancellors and Registrars of the Cluster University Srinagar and Cluster University Jammu.
VC, Cluster University Jammu, Dr Anju Bhasin, VC Cluster University Srinagar, Dr Sheikh Javaid, Commissioner Secretary Higher Education, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, Registrar Cluster University Jammu, Mr Jatinder Khajuria and Registrar Cluster University Kashmir, Yaseen Ahmad Shah were present at the meeting.
“While several initiatives have already been taken to integrate vocational education with academic education, the Cluster Universities can institutionalize the new system to connect learning to the real world,” he said and added that the Cluster Universities besides starting integrated courses in science can also introduce specific courses like Economics in Science Colleges.
The Minister said that the latest course modules in science can be worked out with institutions of repute like BARC, ISRO, CSIR and others. He also called for starting internship programmes for the graduates with specific focus on local economic potential and employment avenues. “Similarly, courses can be started in Liberal Arts and Kashmir Studies,” he said and asked the Vice-Chancellors to do a comprehensive study on which rewarding courses can be started in these Universities to benefit the students.
The Minister also called for restricting the admissions in the Cluster Colleges and the limit the intake on the basis of aptitude and merit.
He said given the heritage character of SP College Srinagar and GGM Science College Jammu, these institutions need to be developed as premiere colleges with major facelift and attractions.
Pertinently, the Cluster Universities have been established in the state under centrally-sponsored Rashtriya Ucchtar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) to run series of additional and novel courses in the existing colleges, with one of the colleges each in Srinagar and Jammu acting as the Lead College.
The Cluster University in Jammu comprises GGM Science College, Government MAM College, SPMR College of Commerce, Government College for Women, Gandhi Nagar and Government College of Education Canal Road.
Similarly, the Cluster University in Srinagar comprises Amar Singh College Srinagar, SP College Srinagar, Women’s College MA Road Srinagar, Government Degree College Bemina and the College of Education, Srinagar.
While in Jammu GGM Science College is the Lead College for the new Cluster University, in Srinagar Amar Singh College is the Lead College for Cluster University, Srinagar.
A grant of Rs 55 crore each has been provided under RUSA for development of additional infrastructure for these Cluster Universities.
The State Government has already created 124 posts for these Universities and has appointed Vice-Chancellors and Registrars for these institutions.