The state government will help colleges run courses in management, engineering and applied sciences, along with conventional courses in arts, science and commerce.
“A policy decision on this will be taken soon,” state finance minister Asim Dasgupta said on Thursday, while inaugurating a technology campus of Calcutta University in Salt Lake’s JD Block.
“People with technical knowledge are in demand in the petrochemical and chemical, construction and the information technology sectors. So, we need to develop more engineering and polytechnic institutes,” he added.
Many colleges, Dasgupta pointed out, have competent teachers and the infrastructure to produce graduates in management studies, engineering and applied sciences. “Colleges offering commerce and economics courses can as well run management programmes. But there should be scope for research, too.”
Calcutta University, he felt, should take the lead in introducing such courses, as it has the largest number of affiliated colleges. “It should negotiate with the All Indian Council for Technical Education and the University Grants Commission and prepare a draft of the policy decision,” Dasgupta said.
The government will provide funds to colleges for setting up infrastructure, like workshops and laboratories, if they are willing to introduce the technical or management courses.
The minister announced that the government will provide Rs 4 crore to the university to complete the Salt Lake campus. Around Rs 12 crore has already been spent to construct a five-storeyed building on the campus, spread across 160,000 sq ft.
The departments of computer science, applied optics and photonics and information technology will be shifted to the Salt Lake campus from Rajabazar. The university also plans to open a nanotechnology department, said B.R. Saha, a teacher in the chemical engineering department.
Vice-chancellor Ashis Banerjee was present at the programme.