The Government of Jharkhand is in the process of establishing digital library and smart classrooms in the State’s higher educational institutions. The State government is also upgrading libraries and establishing Wi-Fi in all the universities, says Ajoy Kumar Singh, Secretary, Higher and Technical Education and Skill Department, Government of Jharkhand, in conversation with Gautam Debroy of Elets News Network (ENN).
Tell us about the steps taken by the government to improve higher and skill education in Jharkhand.
We have taken a lot of new initiatives in higher, technical and skill education, which resulted in the improvement of our gross enrollment percentage from 13.4 to 15.5 per cent. More than 1.25 lakh enrollments have taken place after our initiatives. Enrollment in the technical education institutes has also increased because of the State government’s efforts.
For higher education, we have opened new universities in the State – both in the public as well as the private sector. In the government sector, we have opened Raksha Shakti University which is the third such university in the country after the ones opened in Gujarat and Rajasthan. We are also establishing Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal University and Shyama Prasad mukherjee University in the State. Overall, four universities will be established in the government sector in Jharkhand.
“We have given six polytechnic to the private parties. We constructed the entire structure and handed over the private parties. We have given a long-term lease of 30 years.”
The government has sanctioned opening of 11 women colleges, 12 model colleges and seven degree colleges. Sessions in 10 colleges have already begun and the rest of them will start their sessions by the end of this year. We are in the process of establishing digital libraries and smart classrooms, while language labs have already been established in many colleges. We are in the process of upgrading our libraries across the State. We are also working on setting up the Wi-Fi facility in all our universities. This facility will be launched in two universities by 15th August this year.
The government has also allowed the hiring of contractual teachers for institutions across the State. Five technical universities are going to be started this year. We have also sanctioned opening of polytechnic colleges. Three engineering colleges have been sanctioned.
The State government has also signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Cisco, Oracle, Siemens, HP and Tata Group to impart quality education. Siemens will soon establish three centres of excellence in the State.
We have made a very good progress in the area of skill development. More than 70 skill development centres have been established in the State. Under Jharkhand Kaushal Vikas Yojana, we have trained more than 15,000 people.
We are going to start a skill development programme in our existing colleges for full-time and part-time students. This is also for students who have passed their Class 12 exams but don’t want to pursue formal college education and instead go for skill education. The Tata Institute for Social Sciences and IL&FS Skill is collaborating with us in this initiative. This will improve the employability of the students.
The sites for commercial vehicle training centres, which will be established with the help of the Government of India, have been selected in 21 districts.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Singapore to develop a higher education skill development centre in the State. ITE’s team is going to visit our State in the first week of August.
You recently organised the Momentum Jharkand Global Investors’ Summit 2017. How has been the response of the investors after the summit?
The Momentum Jharkand Global Investors’ Summit 2017 was organised on 16-17th February this year and the response from investors has been great. The Industries Department as well as the Department of Higher and Technical Education have entered MoUs worth Rs 3,400 crore to bring in private sector investment. The investment is primarily coming into the private sector and into the establishment of the Centre of Excellence in the State. We have also entered into eight MoUs for the establishment of private universities in the state.
What are the challenges you are facing in the State?
We have provided a lot of flexibility to the private universities which has been appreciated by them also. One major challenge is the availability of land in the State.
What is the USP of your government in terms of higher, technical and skill education?
We want our students to remain in the state to pursue their education. We want to provide them all those facilities which are available anywhere else in India.
Are you willing to adopt the public private partnership (PPP) in higher, technical and skill education sectors?
Yes, in fact we have given six polytechnic colleges to the private parties. We constructed the entire structure and handed it over to the private players. We have given them a long-term lease of 30 years. The Siemens project is a good example of public private partnership in higher, technical and skill education sectors.