The Telegraph
Friday , March 7 , 2014
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Conclave on future of higher education
- Geetashree Oraon cites land laws as major hurdles in developing state cradles

At a time when scores of students are migrating outside the state to pursue higher studies, a discussion on the challenges, opportunities and ways to strengthen the education system becomes almost imperative.

Thus, Indian Chamber of Commerce organised a conclave at a Ranchi hotel on Thursday where state HRD minister Geetashree Oraon, who graced the event as chief guest, said that the answer to the problem lies in improving the infrastructure of the institutions. However, she pinned the blame on laws that posed a hurdle for building better infrastructure.

“Certain traditional laws come in the way of improving the infrastructure. But, the government has tried its best to solve the problem,” said Oraon.

Highlighting a few positive things, the minister said that the government had introduced a skill development programme, drawn up in association with TISS, at under-graduate level in Ranchi and Kolhan universities last year.

Notably, the state also lags behind in supplying trained personnel to the manufacturing sector, pointed out BIT-Mesra dean P.K. Barhai, who spoke during the technical session. “The courses needed to be modified in such a manner that it becomes outcome-oriented,” he said, adding that the state had enough scope for development of certain industries and trained students would feed into those sectors.

According to chamber director Kamal Sahi, the objective of this conclave was to discuss the road ahead.

Speaking about the status of higher education in the state, Ranchi University pro vice chancellor M Raziuddin said Jharkhand had the lowest college density across the country and none of its 10 universities have accreditation from National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).

The average college density in the country is 25 that is to say that there are 25 colleges per 1 lakh students. While Puducherry has the highest density of 64, in comparison, Jharkhand has only five.

Besides, academic research is also at its lowest ebb in the state, said Raziuddin, adding that quality must be ensured in order to improve the higher education scenario.

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