The Higher education department should strive to make the current year the year of academic excellence. This was exhorted by the Principal Secretary, Higher Education Department, Rohit Kansal. He was chairing a review meeting with principals of Degree Colleges of Kashmir division at Government College for Women, M A road, Srinagar.

Special Secretary Higher Education Department, Rakesh Badyal, Director Colleges, Professor Yasmeen Ashai, Nodal Principal, Kashmir division colleges, Dr. Khurshid Ahmad Khan and Principals of all degree colleges of Kashmir Division attended the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, Principal Secretary shared his vision of giving a fillip to higher education sector of J&K. He listed out the priority areas including academics, research, innovation and collaboration to improve quality of education in colleges.

Referring to relevance and importance of New Education Policy 2020, Principal Secretary instructed the principals to ensure its implementation in letter and spirit. He added that in the spirit of the NEP, the colleges should strive towards quality and employability. He also informed that while admissions for the current session would be shortly initiated by the universities and colleges, the academic calendar throughout J&K would be made uniform and synchronized with the national calendar.

Principal Secretary stressed on enhancing the employability of college pass outs in line with NEP-2020. He said colleges have to act as real agents of change and the success of NEP 2020 depends on how well they implement it at the ground level.

He said, as envisaged by NEP, the curriculum must include basic arts, humanities, languages, literature, culture and values in addition to science and mathematics to develop all aspects and capabilities of learners.

Principal Secretary said the main thrust of NEP is to end fragmentation of higher education by transforming higher education institutions into large multidisciplinary universities, colleges, and knowledge hubs.

He exhorted upon the college authorities to give equal emphasis on teaching and research. He said research ecosystem can be improved and enhanced through a holistic and multidisciplinary education approach. He added that the colleges need to enable and encourage high-quality multidisciplinary/cross-disciplinary research.

He referred to decision of the UT administration of ensuring that all higher education institutions move progressively towards greater autonomy. He said all the degree colleges would apply for accreditation or provisional registration (PAC) under the NAAC framework this year.

Principal Secretary said research and teaching collaborations and faculty and student exchanges with reputed foreign institutions will be facilitated through mutually beneficial and relevant MOUs.

He said student feedback shall be solicited online to ensure valuable input at regular intervals to ensure efficiency in working of the colleges.

He emphasized the need for revitalization of the career counselling cells of the colleges and directed that each college should ensure workshops and lectures by professionals to guide the students in the placement process. He also advised the colleges to encourage and guide the students to access higher learning and research opportunities not just in the rest of the country but reputed institutions overseas too.

Earlier, Principal, GCW M A Road, Professor Nasreen Aman, briefed the Principal Secretary about the rich legacy of the college besides ongoing research and skill enhancement projects.

Professor Nasreen presented a memento as a token of affection to Principal Secretary on his first visit to the college.

On the occasion, Principal Secretary also released latest edition of the college magazine ‘The Pamposh’.

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