The Telegraph
Monday , July 30 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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State scripts cradle merit roadmap

Students of 47 colleges across the state could soon expect better facilities at their institutes to be developed as centres of excellence.

The education department has convened a meeting of principals of the 47 colleges on Tuesday to discuss its initiative to boost higher education in the state.

The meeting would be chaired by education minister P.K. Shahi and attended by department principal secretary Amarjeet Sinha and National Assessment and Accreditation Council (Naac) director Hassan Annegowda Ranganath, besides the principals.

Sitaram Singh, the director of higher education, on Sunday said: “The principals of the colleges have been asked to present the detailed project report of their respective institutions.”

Singh said the colleges would be regarded as “role model” for other institutes. Apart from improving the infrastructure and teaching and learning modules in these colleges, special emphasis would be on ways to improve students’ participation in extra-curricular activities.

“The new steps can be seen as a move towards providing quality education to students in higher education. The college principals will be asked to improve students’ participation in extra-curricular activities such as debate, seminars, quiz among others,” he said

Most colleges under Patna University, including Patna Women’s College, Magadh Mahila College, Patna Science College, Patna College, BN College, Vanijya Mahavidhyalaya and College of Arts and Crafts, would be developed as centres of excellence. A number of colleges under Magadh University functioning from Patna, including AN College, JD Women’s College and College of Commerce, would be upgraded. Colleges such as LS College, RDS College (Muzaffarpur) and CM College (Darbhanga) in various districts would also be developed according to the new plan.

Singh said the government would provide all help to the colleges to improve the infrastructure and quality of education. Steps would also be taken to improve libraries and laboratories at all the select colleges. Moreover, the issue of developing subject- and faculty-wise centres of excellence at various colleges would be discussed at the meeting. For instance, the centre of excellence in chemistry might be set up in one college, while another institute might have a centre of excellence in physics.

AN College principal Haridwar Singh told The Telegraph: “The main idea of the state government’s decision to grant the centre of excellence tag to the colleges is to increase the gross enrolment ratio in higher education from the existing 12.4 per cent to at least 20 per cent. Besides, we also want to enhance the quality of higher education to attract more talented students.”

He added, “As far as AN College is concerned, our detailed project report consists of constructing separate building for vocational courses, constructing an auditorium for upgrading the lab and library facilities, among others.”

The sources said the Naac director, at the meeting, would brief the government representatives about the guidelines that a college needs to have for a better grade from the council. In Bihar, there are only three colleges with “A” grade from the Naac — Patna Women’s College, AN College and Gaya College under Magadh University in Gaya.

The Naac director would explain the parameters on which a college is granted a Naac grade. Sources said it was easier for Naac-accredited colleges to get funds from University Grants Commission for various purposes, including infrastructure development.