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More colleges, modest fees
- Public sector participation in education

The departmental promotion committee (DPC) has recently recommended that Ashok Kumar Basu, principal secretary of the department of science and technology and information technology, be granted the salary of a chief secretary, thus catapulting him in the race for the top slot.

The war for the chief secretary’s job has further intensified with at least two

former Jharkhand chief secretaries vying for the post.

A 1969 graduate from Presidency College, Calcutta, Basu passed out from IIT Kanpur in 1974 and joined IAS in 1976. Initially, with the Bihar cadre, after November 2000 Basu was awarded the Jharkhand cadre.

Basu has underlined for himself the task of stopping the annual migration of thousands of students from Jharkhand to other parts of India from neighbouring Orissa to Maharashtra and the southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Speaking to Rudra Biswas, Basu unveiled his plans for the future stressing that all his plans are intended to benefit the needy of the state.

How do you propose to stop the annual migration of students from Jharkhand and the resultant outflow of crores'

We are trying to set up a technical university in Jharkhand, which would supervise and control all technical institutes. All efforts are being made to finalise the draft bill for the creation of the university, so that it can be put up before the state Assembly latest by the monsoon session this year.

At present, the number of seats in the five technical institutions in the state is 2,500. By the end of the 11th plan period in 1911, the state would boast of 20,000 seats.

What concrete steps are being initiated to increase the number of technical institutes of quality in Jharkhand'

We are trying to get the public sector interested in setting up quality technical institutes in the state. Bokaro Steel has already agreed to set up an engineering and a medical college in Bokaro. Talks are on with top private institutes to set up shop in Jharkhand.

Though quality education comes at a price, how do you propose to control the fee structure'

According to a recent Supreme Court judgment, the quantum of fees to be charged is to be decided by a committee to be set up under the chairmanship of a retired judge of the high court. In Jharkhand, too, we have instituted such a committee in line with the apex court directives. This committee would decide the fee structure for 2008-2011 after examining all aspects before arriving at a decision.

Do you also propose to increase the number of polytechnics in the state, particularly for those who cannot afford degree level studies'

We propose to increase the number of polytechnics from 13 to 34 so that each district has one in its area. We have already approved 8 polytechnics. Eleven polytechnics are to be created in the more backward districts of the state.

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