The government will allow under-graduate colleges to introduce new courses but only in subjects “based on frontline areas”, such as biotechnology, microbiology, journalism and mass communication and computer science.
On Friday, Satyasadhan Chakraborty, state higher education minister, held a meeting with the vice-chancellors of a number of state-aided universities, at which he said colleges keen to offer under-graduate courses in emerging areas should be given the clearance to introduce these from the current academic session.
The government will temporarily not grant permission to colleges to open new under-graduate courses in conventional subjects, such as history, philosophy and political science, after realising that students graduating in subjects in emerging areas stand a better chance to land jobs than students of conventional subjects.
“We are ready to open new courses in emerging areas, as suggested by the government. But, the government must realise that the colleges require infrastructure of a very high standard to run such courses,” said a vice-chancellor, after attending the meeting at the office of the state higher education council.
Senior officials of the state higher education department were present at the meeting.
The government had given an indication about its plans regarding opening more courses in emerging areas last year. This was decided after it noticed that, along with those wanting to study engineering and medical degree courses, many meritorious students from Calcutta were going away to other states to study under-graduate courses in the emerging areas.
Concerned at the trend, the government directed the state higher education council to examine if it was possibile to teach such courses in the 340 (approximately) colleges with their present infrastructure.
On the basis of the survey, the council shortlisted over 100 colleges presented to the vice-chancellors at the meeting.