Rs 10-crore lifeline for floundering gems | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Rs 10-crore lifeline for floundering gems

Three educational institutes in Mumbai will benefit from a special fund the state government has set up to revive 20 of Maharashtra’s iconic institutions. The institutes it will resuscitate in Mumbai are the JJ School of Art, Elphinstone College and the Institute of Science, reports Kiran Wadhwa.

mumbai Updated: Dec 01, 2009 02:40 IST
Kiran Wadhwa

Three educational institutes in Mumbai will benefit from a special fund the state government has set up to revive 20 of Maharashtra’s iconic institutions.

The state has allocated Rs 10 crore to upgrade the infrastructure and fill the faculty vacancies in these institutes.

The institutes it will resuscitate in Mumbai are the JJ School of Art, Elphinstone College and the Institute of Science. The state hopes the revamp will be done by end-2010.

The fund is in addition to the budget of Rs 600 crore for the 740 government institutes across the state this year.

“These institutes were once hallmarks of excellence,” said J.S. Saharia, principal secretary, technical and higher education. “We want to restore them to their former glory as part of a larger initiative to revamp higher education in the state.”

The government has instructed the Maharashtra Public Services Commission to fill all vacant faculty positions in the 20 institutes in three months.

The infrastructure upgradation includes making these institutes wi-fi-enabled, setting up digital libraries, Internet laboratories and girls’ hostels.

While educationists applaud the idea, they feel problems at the ground level need to be addressed. “If good teachers don’t apply, the vacancies must be filled by temporary lecturers. Also, there are no performance-based incentives to motivate teachers,” said Snehalata Deshmukh, former vice-chancellor of Mumbai university.

The state began its revamp of higher education early this year with a change in the qualifications and appointment process of vice-chancellors, making it less vulnerable to political interference.