Promoting higher education
The need to have good institutions of higher learning in the state is felt very badly. This is evident from the fact that every year almost 12,000 students from Kashmir valley end up joining various professional colleges outside the state to seek education in those streams which are not available here.
The movement of such a large number of students every year is also affecting the economy of the region as rough surveys suggest that around Rs 1800 crore of cash moves out of the region because of this phenomenon.
Under these circumstances various questions are raised as to why Kashmir valley is lacking in establishing institutions of higher learning. And secondly, why isn’t the local breed of investors coming out with a solution to this problem.
The question also remains as to why the government is not allowing the local entrepreneurs to invest in education sector so that they could establish colleges, universities in Kashmir which could boost employment opportunities in investment starved Valley and also help in retaining the flight of cash from this region.
The education sector has seen negligence is evident from the fact that very few colleges have come up in the private sector in Kashmir valley. For this the onus lies on the government as well as no effort has been put in into this crucial sector and set things straight.
The government should have promoted investment even from private sector in higher education and professional streams. For this a clear cut policy such as a single window clearance system should have been put in place so that more and more private players could have entered the sector.
Under ease of doing business, there has to be a mechanism in Kashmir that anybody having requisite infrastructure and capital in place should be allowed to establish quality educational institutions which could hold the students back.
For turning this effort into a reality no proposal has been even mooted over the years which tells about the sincerity of the government in this regard.
Though the entrepreneurs and even the academicians have resources to open world-class colleges and universities in Kashmir, but it is the government that has been repeatedly blocking any such move.
As of now more than 100 proposals are pending in government offices for want of clearance for the establishment of private colleges. Such is the seriousness of the government that the state is yet to bring a private universities Act.
Even various proposals to establish zones and special areas to develop educational institutions too have not been cleared by the government so far. Though some effort has been spared in this regard as several proposals have been submitted by some private players, but so far no movement forward has been reported on this.
As for the government it needs to come out of the slumber and help promote investment in education sector. It will be good for our economy and will also help in creating employment opportunities as well.