NEW DELHI: The Centre has proposed to start about 100 community colleges on a pilot basis across the country in 2012-13.
The Human Resource Development Ministry will discuss the matter at a state education ministers’ conference on February 22 here.
The number of colleges can be gradually scaled up after evaluation, said a Ministry official.
As many as 80 colleges from the UGC list of recognised institutions and 20 polytechnics in the government system will be identified by the UGC-AICTE in consultation with the respective state governments for implementing the Community College Programme.
“As a result of this, it is expected that about 1 lakh additional students can get access through these 100 colleges or polytechnics and the number would rise with the progress of the implementation of the programme,” the official added.
With the continuing demand-supply mismatch, where some colleges have cut-offs as high as 100 per cent and setting impossible exclusion targets while others struggle to get the minimum number of students, the HRD Ministry pointed out that it was imperative to ensure a seat for a local student seeking higher education in a college or institution in the district in which he or she resides, based on local needs, employer satisfaction and student interest.
According to the agenda notes for the state education ministers’ conference, the concept of community college should be such that anybody, who wants to go to a community college, must be allowed and academic excellence should not be a barrier.
The community colleges could be operationalised from the existing colleges or polytechnics near industries, and where employment opportunities exist to take advantage of the local industry’s needs and employment opportunities, as per the agenda notes.
The HRD Ministry suggested that some incentives from the government could be provided to the institutions acting as community colleges in shifts when normal colleges do not utilise their labs or classrooms (infrastructure).