THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state budget has given an unprecedented boost to the state’s higher education sector, which had been relegated to the background due to the LDF government’s extra focus on its flagship mission to improve school education.Finance Minister Thomas Isaac announced a six-point action plan for the higher education sector, billed as a “development strategy”. The budget proposes improving enrolment ratio in higher educational institutions to 75 per cent as against a national average of 37 per cent.
A Rs 200 crore grant to universities to improve their infrastructure, another Rs 1,000 crore to affiliated colleges and setting up of 30 fully autonomous inter-university study centres within universities at a cost of Rs 100 crore are among the highlights. The state has granted 500 Nava Kerala post doctoral fellowships ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh per month to attract the best minds to the state.The budget also proposes filling of 886 teaching posts in universities. In addition to this, the state government will create 150 more faculty positions, Isaac said.
The All Kerala Government College Teachers (AKGCT) has lauded the state government for giving high priority for the higher education sector. In a statement, AKGCT said the various proposals announced in the budget would help the state become a hub of higher education.
The All Kerala Private College Teachers’ Association (AKPCTA) said the state budget gives strength and hope to the higher education sector. In a statement, AKPCTA said the announcement that 1,000 new faculty appointments would be carried out, has given hope to a large number of young aspirants.
Colleges and universities to accommodate 3-4 lakh more students.
1,000 more faculty will be appointed in the higher education sector
30 Centres of Excellence would come up in the universities
500 post-doctoral fellowships with a monthly stipend of up to Rs 1 lakh
Rs 200 cr aid from KIIFB for infrastructure development of universities
Rs 1,000 cr financial aid for colleges affiliated to various universities