To speed up the process of appointing faculty to state run colleges, the Rajasthan government is planning to discontinue interviews and instead select teachers on the basis of written exams, higher education minister Kiran Maheshwari said Wednesday. “Recruitment under Rajasthan Public Services Commission (RPSC) is a lengthy process. Moreover, we have to maintain the 1:3 ratio, where (minimum) three people are interviewed for one post. Now, we plan to simplify the process. We will send a proposal that the written exam should be the yardstick for selection. Interviews will be ended,” Maheshwari said. The minister was replying to a query on the large number of vacancies in government colleges and the delay in filling them Maheswari said that there were 1248 vacant posts in various colleges. Of these, 117 posts have been filled up while selections have been made for another 184. The interview process to fill the remaining posts is underway. Her department has also asked the RPSC to start the examination process to fill another 939 vacancies that are coming up. “We hope to fill all the vacant posts March 31 next year,” she said. Guru-Shishya Samvad soonAddressing a press conference on four years of the BJP government, she said the government will launch a ‘Guru-Shishya Samvad’ programme, under which college students can discuss with their teachers the issues and problems related to their institutes and prepare a roadmap to resolve them. The programme will be held in one nodal college in each district where students selected on merit and elected members of students union would participate in discussions with the lecturers.The programme will be launched from Poddar College in Jaipur on December 11 and replicated in other districts later. Highlighting the achievements of her department, she said the government will establish a college each at 22 sub-divisional office (SDO) headquarters where there are no such institutes. The state has 46 SDO headquarters. Maheshwari said the government has allotted land for 60 new colleges. More funds for colleges, universitiesThe grant given to colleges for building construction has been doubled --- from Rs 3 crore to Rs 6 crore. The five state universities have been given Rs 20 crore for infrastructure development in three phases, she added. In addition, under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), a centrally sponsored scheme, Rs 200 crore have been given to 100 government colleges and five state universities have been given Rs 100 crore for infrastructure development. Regarding state universities, she said the department has sanctioned filling up of more than 500 teaching and 700 non-teaching posts by March 31, 2018. The government has also made a budgetary provision of Rs 50 crore for four new universities in Bharatpur, Sikar and Alwar and the tribal university in Banswara. Outlining new initiatives, she said the department had launched the UPER app free of cost for students, 16 new courses had been launched jointly with IGNOU in which 19,500 students had registered and the Dishari scheme providing coaching for students at Rs500 had been started. A higher education portal ‘Shiksha Drishti’ has been started that provides information pertaining to admissions, exams, placements online. To ensure employment for students, the department has started a central placement cell under which 450 students have been given placement. At the district level, industry interaction cells are being opened which study the needs of industry and employment opportunities and give training to students accordingly. A proposal has been sent to AICTE for faculty and infrastructure development so that the Jhalawar engineering college can be developed into a world class institution. Maheshwari said the government has taken over the women’s engineering college, Ajmer, engineering college Jhalawar and the engineering college Baran. “These colleges were being run on SFS mode but in view of declining admissions it was difficult to run the institutions.” She said more colleges being run on SFS mode will be taken over.