Only 20 percent professional colleges in rural India

March 4th, 2008 - 8:10 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) Rural India, where 65 percent of the population lives, has less than 20 percent of the country’s professional colleges to fulfil their skill-based educational needs. Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh informed the Lok Sabha Tuesday that there are “significant disparities in the availability of colleges in the rural and urban areas in the country”.

“Over three fifths of colleges imparting courses in general education are located in urban areas. This figure is over 80 percent in the case of technical and professional colleges,” Singh said in a written reply.

He said the government is working to bring improvement in the situation.

It has been proposed to start 370 colleges in districts where the enrolment ratio is very low, he said.

“Most of these districts also have a concentration of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities,” he informed.

The ministry is also planning to support over 6,000 colleges, which were not given any funding by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

There is also a proposal to launch incentive-based schemes for state governments for expanding and starting new institutions of higher education.

The UGC provides special grants to universities and colleges located in backward areas to improve their infrastructure to a level where they are able to introduce innovations and meet challenges of globalisation of higher education.

On the vocational education side, the HRD ministry is planning to establish 600 polytechnics on public-private partnership basis. Similarly, another 400 polytechnics in the private sector are on the anvil, the minister said.

“The above proposal will ensure support for starting a polytechnic in every district which do not have a polytechnic,” the minister added.

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