Categories: Editorial

Making Goa an Educational Hub

GOA’S status as an educational hub gets a boost with the Union human resource development ministry deciding to set up an IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), followed by an IIIT (Indian Institute of Information Technology) in the state. The state already has a National Institute of Technology (NIT). The state government has promised to give 13 lakh square metres of land for IIT in Loliem village of Canacona taluka, while another 2 lakh square metres of land has been sought for setting up IIIT, which in all probability will come up in Pernem taluka. Goa has a tremendous potential of emerging as a popular educational hub like Pune and Bengaluru. A lot of economy of the Pune city is driven by the education sector. Goans have been opposing industries almost everywhere for fear of pollution and unequal benefit sharing by the local population. The education sector has the capacity to drive growth in housing, hospitality, food and retail sectors. Apart from employment in the education sector, there can be jobs created in the sectors spurred by growth in the number of educational institutions. Apart from government institutions, good, reputed private institutions should also be encouraged to set up their centres in the state.
The proposal to turn Goa into educational hub was mooted by the BJP soon after it came to power in 2012. The then chief minister Manohar Parrikar announced his government’s intention to invite educational institutions of repute to set up units in the state. The former governor of the state Bharat Vir Wanchoo too said Goa had the potential to be a prime education hub and could become the ‘Boston of India’ as it had the right mix of stakeholders who could enable this change. While top technical institutions of the country are going to set up centres in the state the proposal to bring top management institutions as well as medical institutions like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) should also be given a push. As these institutions would require large areas of land the government should earmark certain areas in the Regional Plan of the state to facilitate easy availability of land as and when any of such institutions comes to the state. These institutions could be spaced out and not located in one place.
Unlike the National Institute of Technology, whose setting up took considerable time in the state because state authorities failed to identify the land to locate it, the permanent campus for the IIT would be a reality soon as the land identified for its location has been earmarked and already inspected by the authorities who have also given their approval to take the land proposed by the state authorities. The location of IIT in the state could help local students in getting right exposure in their chosen field of engineering. This could also help and promote better standards in the other engineering colleges of the state. This would encourage an overall competitiveness and enhance students’ knowledge and outlook in their respective disciplines. The location of the IIT and IIIT in the state would also solve the problem of distance for those students who do not want to leave the state for education or not allowed by the circumstances in the family.
While the location of the prestigious institutions in the state is welcome, there appears to be no chance of getting a certain percentage of seats reserved for Goan students on the lines of NIT, where 50 per cent of the seats are reserved for local students. The local authorities could make an attempt with the central authorities to make provision for admitting at least 15 per cent of seats for local as the state-run institutions like Goa Medical College and Goa Dental College give admissions to 15 per cent admissions from all-India quota, at least for the first few years at least. Alternatively, the state authorities should set up training centres all over the state so as to prepare local students to not only compete for the entrance test but also to make it to the grade. The training courses for joint entrance examination at the moment are in the private sector where fees are high which most of the parents cannot afford. State- sponsored guidance courses could go a long way in preparing local students for the all-India entrance test for technical courses in institutions like the IITs. If the local students do not make it to these institutions then the whole purpose of having them in the state would be defeated.

nt

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