Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Success recipe charted for MDCs

Courtsey : TheTimesofindia.com
PATNA: Courtesy a proposal by the Centre, the state has been gearing up to establish autonomous model degree colleges (MDCs) in rural and semi-urban

areas with multi-pronged objectives so as to emerge as local centres of excellence and also become model for other colleges under its university and college education system.

The human resource development (HRD) department has focused on establishing 15 such colleges. As per the Union HRD guidelines in this regard, the areas of their location should have the gross enrolment ratio (GER) lower than the national average of 13.4 per cent.

By definition, GER stands for the volume of enrolment of students in colleges after the completion of school education, which in the rural areas is lower than the urban areas, implying, on the one hand, that a large proportion of rural students do not enter the college education system, and on the other, the nation remains deprived of skilled youths even as the market demand requires an army of them', said a state HRD department official.

At present, the proposal regarding the opening of 15 MDCs in the state has been pending clearance at the state's finance department. The finance department has to see if the money involved could be pooled in to sustain it.

While each MDC would entail an expenditure of Rs 8 crore, the Centre would provide one-time grant of Rs 2.67 crore. The state would pay the remaining Rs 5.33 crore and also meet the cost of land (10 acres for an MDC in rural area, and 5 acres in urban area) along with all annual recurring expenditures. "The state government has accepted the proposal and has also been working on it," the official said, adding: "Our information is that the work on MDC has not yet started in other states. We have participated in all-India meetings held in Delhi in this regard."

The salient features of the MDC are its autonomous functioning, nominal attachment with the local university concerned, independent selection and appointment of staff as well as framing of curriculum and courses of study among other academic activities. The stress would be on vocational courses, skill development, specialisation and incorporation of job-oriented syllabi. There would also be general studies, including humanities.

The HRD department is trying to find if CM Nitish Kumar's recent announcement to open constituent college at every sub-divisional headquarters could be linked with the proposal regarding MDC. It, in effect, has caused the delay. The serious danger, however, is that it might result in dilution of the very aims. For, the state's nine university administrations are yet to tune themselves with the essence and reality of autonomy granted to them.