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Plea for more low-cost colleges

The state government, buoyed by success of 15 community colleges launched in September this year, is mulling over starting 15 more such institutes.

Principal secretary, education, Amarjeet Sinha said: “The state government has sent a proposal to the ministry of human resource development with a request to start 15 more community colleges in the state.”

The academic session in the first phase of community colleges started in September this year, with each college running two courses. The seat intake in each of the colleges is 20, while the course fee for each one-year diploma is around Rs 6,000.

The community colleges offer courses different from vocational ones taught in universities in the state.

According to sources, the Centre had planned to start 200 community colleges in the country this year to promote vocational and job-oriented education in the states. However, many states have failed to start community colleges. So slots for more than 50 community colleges are still vacant.

Sinha added: “With the success of existing community colleges in the state, the education department has requested the Union government to set up more such colleges.”

Sources said the Bihar government has prepared a list of colleges, which already have the status of centre of excellence tag, and requested the Centre to accord the status of community colleges on them. Two such institutes are Magadh Mahila College, a constituent unit of Patna University, and Government Women’s College, Gardanibagh.

The community colleges are part of the Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (Rusa), which aims at increasing the gross enrolment ratio of students along with their employability in the higher education sector. Community colleges are set up with 90 per cent funds from the Centre and 10 per cent from the state. They offer courses on healthcare, retail management, jewellery designing, information technology and agriculture among others. Out of the 15 colleges started in Bihar, three are from Patna — Patna Women’s College, AN College and JD Women’s College.

Apart from three colleges in Patna in the first phase, the selection of colleges was done in such a way that students from across the state derive the advantage of studying in such colleges. Gaya College, MS College, Motihari, LS College, Muzaffarpur, CM Science College, Darbhanga, and RK College, Madhubani, are all community colleges.

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