For this northern-most district of Kerala, a long cherished dream to have a world class level educational institution has finally got fulfilled with the Government handing over 310 acre revenue land to the Central University of Kerala to build its permanent campus at Periye at a function amid exalted jubilation among the largely attended crowd.
The landmark function was inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development E. Ahmed as State Education Minister Abdu Rabb formally handing over documents of the earmarked 310 acre revenue land at Periye to the University Vice-Chancellor Jancy James at the function at the Municipal Conference Hall here on Sunday.
“This is a significant moment in the educational history of Kerala … and the solemn ceremony of the transfer of the land on which the Central University of Kerala (CUK) will stand tall as an enduring monument to the educational legacy of the State and the country, Mr. Ahmed said, formally inaugurating the function attended by cross section of political leaders, social and academic luminaries.
Stating that the Centre had initiated series of reforms and effected policy changes as part of refining the Higher education scenario, which of late was in the news for indulging in unhealthy tendencies especially in technical and Medical educational institutions, he said.
The government, in order to curb the unhealthy practices, had passed the Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical and Medical institutions, and Universities Bill, 2010 and the National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010 and series of other bills to plug out the loopholes plaguing the higher educational sector, he said.
Deliberating on the higher education scenario in the country, which he said, was on the threshold of major transformation, the Minister said the sector had expanded many folds during the last six decades.
Presently India could boast of 560 universities and 33,023 colleges as against the figure of a mere 20 universities and 500 colleges as India became independent, he said.
Stating that there was tremendous growth in enrollment, the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) of 10 per cent in India is quite dismal when compared the figure of 40 to 60 per cent in the Western nations and over 20 per cent in many a developed and developing nations.
India’s major priority, therefore, is to raise the GER ration to the minimum threshold level of around 20 per cent to ensure sustained economic development, he stated adding that the 11th plan period target to achieve 15 per cent GER through multi pronged strategies.
Touching on Kerala, Mr. Ahmed said the State, despite high literacy level and near universal enrollment in primary education, had lagged far behind other states in registering economic growth. The situation could be addressed if higher education sector is accorded priority in the desired level, he argued.