Higher education reforms soon

CM addresses conclave of academics and science, technology experts

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the government will soon initiate steps for a comprehensive overhaul of the higher education sector.

Promising measures to expedite the proposals that figured in the State Budget, he said State universities and other major institutions will be upgraded as centres of excellence.

Infrastructural facilities will be enhanced at these centres to help students maximise their potential. Hostel facilities will also be improved, the Chief Minister added.

Mr. Vijayan was addressing a conclave of academics and science, technology and environment experts to evolve a framework for further growth of the sector on Thursday.

He stressed the need to introduce reforms that could attract Keralite students who aspired to pursue higher education in other States. At a later stage, efforts would be made to attract youngsters from abroad to the State.

Using CSR funds

He said appropriate changes would be made to university statutes to keep up with the changing times. Advocating greater collaborations between the industry and educational institutions, Mr. Vijayan suggested efforts to channelise corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds from various organisations for universities and colleges.

He added industry experts should ideally be inducted into the boards of studies of higher educational institutions. Industry-oriented courses should be launched to equip students with skills required to land jobs in the competitive job market. While more finishing schools will be established, the facilities in the existing ones will be bolstered.

Bridging digital gap

The Chief Minister also announced the government’s willingness to adopt steps to plug the digital divide that existed between senior citizens and youngsters. As part of such measures, training programmes could be organised across local bodies, libraries and day care centres for senior citizens (Pakalveedu).

The government is also open to amending timely changes to its Information Technology policy.

State Planning Board vice chairman V.K. Ramachandran, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment executive vice president K.P. Sudheer, noted academicians K.P. Kannan, K.N. Ganesh, Rajan Gurukkal, Michael Tharakan, S. Geetha, Mini Sukumar, K. Gangadharan, and V.K. Damodaran participated in the conclave.

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