Establishing specialized higher education institutes need of the hour, opine experts

VIKAS SHARMA

JAMMU :  As the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has completely shifted its focus from the classroom study to skill education recommending number of skill/job oriented courses for the higher education institutes, the experts believe that the it is high time that the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir Administration should establish specialized institutes.

J&K UT lacks specialized universities and colleges. According to the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) report recently released by the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, J&K UT specialization-wise has very few colleges as well as varsities.  The report stated that J&K UT has 6 universities in General, 2 in Agriculture, 1 in Cultural Studies and 3 each in Management and Technical.

There are no varsities having specialization in Education, Fine Arts, Fisheries, Gandhian Religious Studies, Journalism and Mass Communication Language, Law, Management, Medical, Oriental Learning, Rural Development, Sanskrit, Science, Sports/Yoga/Physical Education, Veterinary.  Overall there are 15 universities in J&K.

“The higher education experts have expressed concern over the prevailing scenario. Of total 313 colleges in J&K, 188 are General, 3 in Agriculture, 1 each in Architecture, Arts,  Commerce, 3 in Computer Application, 70 in Education/Teacher Education, 8 in Engineering and Technology, 1 in Fisheries, 5 in Law, 1 in Management, 6 in Medical Allopathy, Medical 2 in Ayurveda, 3 each in Medical-Dental, Medical/others, 6 in Nursing, 3 in Oriental Learning, 2 in Paramedical, 1 in Physiotherapy, 1 each in Sports/Yoga/Physical Education, Veterinary 1 and 3 in Others-3. This needs to be changed if  the government really wants to make the institutes a hub for different skills”, experts maintained.

“There are no specialized colleges in Fine Arts, Home Science, Journalism and Mass Communication, Hotel and Tourism Management, Medical-Homeopathy, Pharmacy, Science, Sanskrit and Social Work. Unfortunately, some of these colleges are even running from rented buildings or higher secondary schools, leaving aside infrastructural facilities. Even the existing colleges are still grappling with infrastructure woes one can imagine the plight of newly established degree colleges”, they added.

Total enrollment in colleges is 225771 including 28975 in private unaided, 3083 in private aided and 193713 in government colleges.  Number of colleges per lakh population in J&K is 26 and average enrollment per college is 721.