Rajasthan is a fast evolving state in India in terms of higher education. An endeavour is being made to ensure our youth are not just educated but also skillful and employable, says Kiran Maheshwari, Minister, Higher and Technical Education, Sanskrit Education, Science and Technology, Government of Rajasthan, in conversation with Kartik Sharma of Elets News Network (ENN).
How is the Government of Rajasthan planning to promote higher education in the State?
Rajasthan is developing at a great pace. The State government has formulated policy architecture for achieving the task of better literacy rate in the form of skillful students. The government policies help students in achieving their goals easily and make them capable to compete globally. The rules and regulations framed by the Government ideally fulfill all the educational needs of students. The Government is endeavouring to develop this State as an educational hub in the country.
Efforts have been made to initiate Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Programmes for students to optimise their placement and career oriented opportunities. Establishing Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Cells in the colleges was proposed as preliminary initiative that is approved from the competent authorities. With an intense focus on developing next-gen leaders, entrepreneurship and skill development programmes for students are underway in colleges across the State. Universities have been directed to upgrade curricula to include skill development courses. Alongside, a proposal has been made for establishing ‘Kalpana Swarnim Udaan Kendra’ in Girls Colleges to train students for self-defense, skill development and also to act as help centres in their career making.
What Information Communication Technology (ICT) based initiatives are being taken by the government to boost teaching-learning process in the State?
The dynamic e-Classroom initiative has facilitated students across the State to get curriculum-based online academic support and contents to prepare for competitive exams. The first phase of the programme is in final stage, as the installation of equipments in the colleges is under process by the DOIT. A total of 34 colleges have been identified in the first phase, selecting the prominent/leading colleges from each district headquarters in the State. The proposal is to expand this facility to other colleges as well.
BSNL is providing dedicated lease line for internet connectivity to all Government colleges in Rajasthan. To enhance the teaching–learning capabilities of students as well as faculty of different subjects, various smart initiatives have been taken by the State Government. Under the proposal, a lab is supposed to be established having minimum 5 sets of desktops and IT peripherals where quality contents will be made available to students free of cost. This will help to enhance academic quality in colleges. The proposal is for 33 colleges in the first phase, which may be replicated in rest of the colleges after successful implementation.
Bhamashah Sahyog Yojna is a link on Higher Education (HE) portal to have support from philanthropists and corporate sector to fulfill the infrastructure or any other requirements of the institution.
Considering the teaching –learning based difficulties belonging to faculty of science, especially the Zoology subject, Virtual Lab facility is proposed for 33 colleges. Under the proposal, virtual labs in two subjects were established in each college, of the two subjects one is Zoology. The other subjects are Chemistry, Physics and Botany.
Considering the difficulties in teaching– learning processes across the State, especially in remote areas, a unique effort – E-Repository is designed to make quality content easily accessible to the students. Under the proposal a lab is supposed to be established having minimum 5 sets of desktops and IT peripherals where quality contents will be made available to students free of cost. This will help to enhance academic quality in colleges. The proposal is for 33 colleges in the first phase, which may be replicated in rest of the colleges after successful implementation.
Are there some projects in the pipeline to bring the higher education sector of Rajasthan at par with the global standards?
With the aid from central government, infrastructure development grant has been received from five universities and 100 colleges and also to establish one new engineering college at Baran. State higher education plan has been submitted to MHRD o receive more grants from Research, Innovation and Quality improvement and vocationalisation of higher education in the State.
The State government has several plans to boost the higher education sector. The government has proposed to establish “Kalpana Swarnim Udaan Kendra” in girls’ colleges to train them in self-defence, skill development and to act as help centres in their career. This scheme is proposed for 10 government girls’ colleges in the State.
Similarly, establishing “Janjatiya Yuva Unnayan Kendra” in ST dominating colleges is also proposed to train students for skill development and entrepreneurship. Such centres are also supposed to act as help desk in their career making. It is proposed for 32 government colleges in the statee.