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Meeting of the Governing Council on 03/07/2007
MEETING OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of the Governing Council held on 3-07-2007
The first meeting of the Governing Council was held at the office of the Council at Science and Technology Museum Campus from 2PM to 5PM on 3-7-2007. Shri.M.A.Baby, Hon’ble Minister for Education and Culture presided. The Following members attended the meeting:
1. Dr. K.N.Panikkar Vice Chairman
2. Prof.Thomas Joseph Member Secretary
3. Dr.Fathimathu Zuhara K Member
4. Dr.Achuth Sankar S Nair Member
5. Prof.K. Aravindakshan Member
6. Dr.M.P.Kannan Member
7. Dr.C.Balan Member
8. Dr.M.K Ramachandran Vice Chancellor, Kerala University
9. Dr. Jancy James Vice Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University
10. Dr.P.Chandra Mohan Vice Chancellor, Kannur University
11. Prof.T.A.Ushakumari Sree Kerala Varma College, Trichur
12. Dr.K.Mohandas Director, Sree Chithira Thirunal Institute
13. Shri.C.P.Narayanan Member, Planning Board
14. Shri. P.J.Thomas Secretary to Govt. Higher Education Dept.
15. Dr. E.P. Yesodharan Executive Vice President, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology & Environment
16. Shri.V.R.Padmanabhan Director of Collegiate Education
17. Shri.K.K.Gangadharan Director of Agriculture
In addition to the above members, the following also attended the meeting
1. Dr.C.Gopinatan Pillai (representing the Vice Chancellor, Calicut University)
2. Shri.B.Rajendran (representing Secretary, Finance Department).
In his introductory remarks, the Chairman welcomed the members to the first meeting of the Governing Council. He said that the setting up of the Higher Education Council was a major educational reform initiated by the Government. Making a quick review of the agenda circulated for the meeting, he said that the Council is working in the right direction towards improving the qualitative and equitable dimensions of higher education in the State. He said that the Council should be able to develop into a role model for other states.
The Vice Chairman explained that the draft agenda was formulated through participatory mode involving academics and the larger public. He said that meetings of the Vice-chancellors and teachers’ representatives were held to draw up the draft agenda, which was then put up on the website of the Council, eliciting the views of the public. The agenda notes were elaborated by including some of the feedback from the public.
The agenda was taken up item-by-item and the following decisions were taken
1. Formulation of the State Policy on Higher Education
The Executive Council will nominate a five-member committee of national /state level educational experts for the task of framing the draft policy on higher education in tune with the broad outline given in the agenda notes by holding wide ranging discussions .The Governing Council would consider the same and forward it with/without modification for the consideration of the Government.
2. Mapping of Facilities in Higher Education in the State
This would be undertaken in three stages. Initially, the Universities will hand over the available data relating to institutions, teachers, students, courses, enrolment, examinations, results etc. in respect of all programmes conducted /regulated by the Universities. This will be done in two weeks. In the second stage, the Council will prepare a format for a systematic collection and compilation of data on the basis of the analysis of the available data and by projecting the actual requirements. The data in respect of affiliated colleges as per the format supplied by the Council will be collected by the Universities. The Director of Collegiate Education will coordinate the collection and compilation of data in respect of unorganized sector with the help of NSS/NCC units in the affiliated colleges. The collected data will be handed over to the Council by the Director of Collegiate Education within three months of the receipt of the required format. In the third stage, the Council will analyze the data and prepare the databank. The Executive Council will nominate a committee for coordinating the task on behalf of the Council. Assistance of professional agencies may be sought by the Council, both in the preparation of the format for the collection of data and in the compilation of the databank by crosschecking and analyzing the data collected. The whole exercise of setting up the databank will have to be completed within the next six months.
3. Restructuring Undergraduate Education
It was decided to undertake the restructuring of undergraduate courses on a war footing so as to enable the universities to offer courses under the revised curriculum from 2008 admissions. Credit and semester system will be introduced to the extent possible within the available resources. This was decided on the basis of the understanding that the existing vacancies of teachers would be filled up on a permanent basis. The Council will draw up the broad outlines of the common curriculum frame work applicable to all universities on the lines suggested in the agenda notes .Individual universities will frame their own distinctive syllabi within the broad framework outlined by the Council. A seven member committee consisting of a mix of national and local level educational experts will be nominated by the Executive Council to undertake the task of drawing up the curriculum framework. The Curriculum framework would be made available in three months. Meanwhile the universities should straightaway start the exercise of restructuring and updating the syllabi which would be finalized in conformity with the curriculum framework set out by the Council. The entire exercise should be completed before January next year so that there would be adequate time for teacher training and other preparatory work before launching the new curriculum in June 2008.
4. Credit and Semester System in all University Departments
In universities where the credit and semester system has already been introduced partially , the pattern would be extended to cover all departments and courses. Other universities would switch over to the credit and semester mode on a priority basis. Individual universities would work out the details on their own.
5. Starting of New Universities
The principle that universities should have a multi-disciplinary orientation to facilitate multidisciplinary academic exchanges and interdisciplinary explorations was agreed upon.
6. Review of the Acts of State Universities
The general understanding was that the strengthening of the academic and democratic content of the governance structures of the universities need to be attended to as part of the exercise of de-bureaucratizing and revitalizing academic administration. A five-member committee would be set up to examine all the University Acts together and separately in order to identify the provisions that should be common to all universities and provisions unique to individual universities .Vice Chancellor, Kerala University and Prof. Aravindakshan will be members of the five-member committee. Others will be nominated by the Executive Council.
7. Evolving a Scheme of Cluster of Colleges
The Director of Collegiate Education and Prof. Aravindakshan will explore the possibility of constituting a cluster of colleges on an experimental basis ,with Maharajas college as the lead college and all other aided colleges in the Cochin Corporation area as member colleges. While the lead college in the cluster would undertake the administrative coordination, the subject wise academic leadership would be shared among the colleges within the same cluster .Lead departments would be identified on the basis of objective criteria formulated by the Committee. A working model for the cluster would be drafted on the basis discussions with the proposed member colleges and in consultation with experts and will be submitted for the approval of the Council.
8. Higher Education Scholarship Fund
It was decided that the scholarship fund should be set up with all earnestness. The fund should be generated through the campaign mode by roping in as benefactors all the well wishers and beneficiaries of the equitable system of education that the State had been providing for a long time. It was decided to request the Governor and the Chief Minister to act as patrons of the Fund. The Chairman would act as the convener. The modalities for setting up the Scholarship Fund would be decided by a small committee set up by the Executive Council.
9. Centres for Curriculum Development, Examination Reforms, Capacity Building, Man power Planning and Employment and Assessment and Assistance
The above would be set up under the Council as part of a long term agenda for continual intervention by the Council for the enhancement of quality and relevance in higher education.
10. Adhoc appointment of Staff
Taking into account the urgency of the agenda of action to be transacted by the Council, the Governing Council decided to permit the Vice-Chairman to appoint a skeleton staff on an adhoc basis till permanent arrangements are made, as per details given below:
a. 3 posts of Research Officers
b. 1 post of Finance Officer
c. 2 post of Assistant Grade I
d. 1 post of Documentation Officer
e. 3 posts of Confidential Assistants
f. 2 Drivers
g. 1 Peon
h. 1 Part time sweeper
The permission is given subject to the condition that the salary and allowances and other expenses shall not exceed the amount sanctioned as per G.O.(Rt) No.1114/2007/H.Edn dt 12/6/2007 governing grant-in-aid for the Council.
11. Renovation of a part of the Science & Technology Museum building for the use of the ouncil
The Vice Chairman was entrusted to pay an amount of Rs.4,73,659/- for the work of renovating a part of the Council building undertaken by Habitat Technology Group.
It was also decided to entrust the District Nirmithi Kendra with the remaining work of renovation and repair of the Council building as per plan and estimate submitted as part of the Agenda. It was further decided to spend the amount required as per plan and estimate from within the overall budgetary allocation for the Council for the year 2007-08.
12. Purchase of Two Cars
It was decided to purchase one Ford FIESTA for the use of the Vice-Chairman and one Ambassador Grant for the use of Member Secretary/Registrar/Guests/Office purposes.
13. Maintaining a website for the Council
Vice-Chairman was authorized to negotiate with the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (CDIT) and to enter into an arrangement with it for the maintenance of the website of the Council www.kshec.kerala.gov.in
14. Assets and Liabilities of the Higher Education Commission
It was decided to transfer the assets and liabilities of the Higher Education Commission as per the Agenda note to the Higher Education Council.
15. Government Note on increasing the intake in Government, aided and Government controlled unaided Engineering Colleges.
It was decided to recommend the increase of seats in various Engineering colleges as per details given below:
1) Government Colleges 280
2) Aided Colleges 260
3) CAPE 105
4) LBS Centre 240
5) College of Engineering, Munnar 60
6) I.H.R.D 140
It was also decided to consider the possibility of introducing post-graduate courses in Government Engineering colleges.
16. Regulating unaided colleges
It was decided to recommend to the Universities to keep a close watch on the Infrastructural facilities and academic performance of un-aided colleges affiliated to them and to take prompt corrective action, wherever necessary.
10th July 2007