Varsities to have Right to Service Act

Taking a stern view of the lax approach to service delivery in the higher education sector, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said the Right to Service Act will be implemented in universities to ensure time-bound issuance of certificates and other documents.

Participating in the [email protected] programme at the University of Kerala on Saturday, Mr. Vijayan highlighted the plight of students who received their degree certificates very late, which often jeopardised their prospects for further studies.

Applicant’s right

“We cannot persist with such negligent tendencies at a time when the State aspires to modernise its higher education sector. Universities must ensure that the activities, right from course commencement to the conduct of examinations and declaration of results, were undertaken in a time-bound manner. It is every applicant’s right to receive services within a defined time frame,” he said.

He added that universities have begun dialogues with industrialists to redesign courses to suit industry needs. Initiatives such as their inclusion on Boards of Studies are bound to improve the employability of graduates. The government also favoured fostering student exchange programmes and interaction with foreign students.

New teaching hours

Mr. Vijayan hinted at the government’s plan to implement its proposal of modifying teaching hours in colleges from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The suggestion had been mooted since the current system in which classes conclude at 4 p.m. prevented students from engaging in any vocation. The proposed reform had been put on hold due to the pandemic. The government had approved the policy and hoped to implement it after the pandemic subsided.

Citing the government’s public education rejuvenation campaign, the Chief Minister said efforts were made to prevent lopsided development in the sector that denied certain sections quality education. He stressed the need to nurture a community of research scholars whose advancements could be translated for the development of the land. Only then would the State realise its dream of achieving a knowledge economy, he said.

Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel, Kerala State Planning Board Vice Chairman V.K. Ramachandran, University Vice Chancellor V.P. Mahadevan Pillai, Pro Vice Chancellor P.P. Ajayakumar, and Syndicate member K.H. Babujan were also present.

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