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HRD ministry seeks Rs 1, 000 crore for ‘technical institutions of excellence’

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The New Indian Express | Express News Service  |    10th January 2017  |

NEW DELHI: In line with its bid to develop 20 top world class institutions, the Narendra Modi government has chalked out plans to develop 50 engineering colleges, including industrial training institutes (ITI), as “technical institutions of excellence” in 19 educationally backward states. Top government sources said the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has sought Rs 1,000 crore in the upcoming Budget for the purpose. The states include Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, north-eastern states among others. The regions also include Naxal-affected areas that desperately lack requisite faculty and infrastructure. Official sources said the 50 “technical institutions of excellence” may not have world class infrastructure, but will be comparable to institutions of global standards. HRD ministry sources said the proposal for Rs 1,000 crore was sent to the Finance Ministry in September last.

Sources said the states have been asked to provide a list of such institutions which are badly lacking in faculty and infrastructure. “Other parameters like the remoteness of the location of the institute are also being considered and those will be preferred for an upgrade,” said an official. The fund for the purpose could partly come through financial assistance from the World Bank under the third phase of the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP-III), which has been approved by the government. India has been facing problems related to low-skilled workers, though the country has the biggest numbers of young population in the world. Technical schools opened by private bodies have mushroomed over a period and government-run engineering and ITI schools largely lack faculty and infrastructure.  Besides, the high cost involved in enrolling for these courses is driving away talent, said an HRD ministry official. Recently, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe said industry bodies are not too sure about the employability of the technical graduates. Similarly, architect of Delhi Metro, E Sreedharan had said engineering institutes in the country produce engineers of “very sub-standard” quality. Sreedharan had referred to a study, which surveyed some 300 engineering colleges to conclude that only 29 percent of the engineers are employable, while 30 per cent can be made employable after further studies, whereas 48 percent are simply not employable. –  Courtesy

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