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New chapter for higher education




Informing that an amount of Rs 52 crore out of the total central share of Rs 206.93 crore has been sanctioned towards higher education in Goa,  Chief Minister, Laxmikant Parsekar on Monday said  the degree colleges in Goa affiliated to the Goa University need to be encouraged to conduct post-graduation programmes as the fresh graduates are not able to procure admissions at Goa University’s post-graduation courses, and are forced to approach universities in northeastern states, or even distance education programmes, not all of which are genuine.

“The Goa University should seriously think over this aspect,” he added.

Parsekar, who was addressing the first meeting of the Goa State Higher Education Council, which is a prerequisite for implementing the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, a central government scheme for promotion of higher education, said that his government has proposed an outlay of Rs 318.35 crore under this scheme, and therefore, Goa will have to contribute 35 per cent of the amount – Rs 111.42 crore – while 65 per cent of the central share amounts to Rs 206.93 crore.

“The central government has already cleared an amount of Rs 52 crore from its share towards Goa’s higher education, which includes Rs 20 crore towards grants to Goa University, Rs 4 crore for up-gradation of the Government College of Arts Science and Commerce, Quepem to a model degree college, and Rs 28 crore – Rs 2 crore each – as infrastructural grant for 14 colleges in Goa that have accreditation from NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council), in either A or B category,” he added, further stating that 35 per cent of the money sanctioned by the Centre for higher education would go towards new constructions, another 35 per cent would go for renovation of existing structures, while balance 30 per cent would go for procuring educational equipments.

“I have also made a provision of Rs 16 crore in this year’s state budget for higher education, of which Rs 5 crore has already been released towards the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan,” Parsekar, who is also the chairman of the GSHEC and holds the education portfolio, revealed.

Education secretary Virendra Kumar,  director for higher education Prof Bhaskar Naik and the GSHEC vice-chairman Ashank Desai, besides the members of the council were present on the occasion.

Two subcommittees of the GSHEC were also formed on the occasion; one headed by Shrinivas Dempo to handle issues such as striking a balance between increasing salaries of the higher education teachers and constant fees of the students, regularisation of self-financing courses, etc, while the other one headed by Dr Mangesh Korgaonkar for discussing the issues pertaining to private universities, technical universities, and so on.

The director of higher education made a presentation on the occasion as regards the RUSA Plan for Goa. The presentation maintained that the expected academic outcomes vis-à-vis RUSA grants includes doubling the present 1,100 student intake capacity of the Goa University by 2017 at the post-graduation level, quality research output to match the contemporary relevance, enhancement through collaborations and MOUs within India and abroad, and academic exchange programmes to enhance visibility at the international level.

Prof Naik also informed that the Margao-based Smt Parvatibai Chowgule College of Arts and Science is the first autonomous college in the state, and has a potential of reaching the level of a university.

“However, any institution of higher education needs to be autonomous for a minimum period of seven  years, and we hope that the Centre considers other parameters of the Chowgule College for the same,” he added.

Ashank Desai stated that Goa should be the centre for education. He also mentioned about the need of the state for industries based on education, stating that the RUSA committee has a bigger role to play in the future of Goa.

The meeting also discussed other issues like creation of a Goa State Educational Estate, enactment of Goa Private Universities Act and introduction of innovative higher education courses.

It was further informed that the RUSA premises would be set up at the earliest, with the appointment of adequate workforce. A sum of Rs 45 lakh will be utilised for setting up of RUSA office, date collecting and monitoring.

The Chief Minister remained present throughout the over 3-hour meeting.

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