ANANTNAG, July 25: In a move aimed at broadening the scope of educational activities in the University of Kashmir’s South Campus here, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, today issued directions for preparing a Concept Plan for establishing colleges of skill development, physiotherapy-cum rehabilitation, nursing training and emergency medical services, which are market driven and will provide ample opportunities of employment to our talented youth.
He said with J&K Public Service Commission (PSC) and Services’ Selection Board (SSB) now at full strength, the filling up of vacancies both in gazetted and non-gazetted cadres will be fast-tracked in a time-bound manner, enabling the Government to adequately address the issue of manpower shortage, especially in rural and far-flung areas.
The Chief Minister said this today during his visit to KU’s South Campus, where he took review of Higher and Lower Education, Health, R&B and Housing & Urban Development departments.
Minister for Horticulture, Haj & Auqaf, A. R. Veeri, MPs, Mehbooba Mufti and Fayaz Ahmad Laway, MLC, Dr. Bashir Ahmad Veeri, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, besides various Administrative Secretaries and Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag, were present on the occasion.
Placing high priority on making South Campus a vibrant hub of advanced learning, the Chief Minister said setting up of new colleges in healthcare and skill development segments will help overcome shortage of trained and qualified persons, both in Government and private sectors. “The University should coordinate with Health & Medical Education (H&ME) Department and prepare a Concept Plan so that new courses are started at an earliest,” said the Chief Minister, while directing Vice Chancellor, KU, Prof. Khursheed Andrabi, to make South Campus an advanced centre of higher education.
The Chief Minister was briefed that around 400 students are undergoing studies in South Campus for which 24 senior faculty members have been permanently positioned. Eight new buildings have been constructed and courses in popular streams like MBA, MCA, English, Mathematics and Education are being offered to the students.
Built over an area of 259 kanals, the Chief Minister directed DC Anantnag to explore possibility of acquiring additional land for creating adequate infrastructure at KU’s South Campus. "Similar market driven courses will be started at satellite campuses all over the state to meet the requirement of qualified personnel," he added.
While reviewing the Health sector, the Chief Minister stressed upon strengthening peripheral services on a 24x7 basis to avoid referrals to Srinagar and other places for advanced medical treatment. “Availability of specialist doctors in maternity and childcare wings in all Sub-District Hospitals has to be ensured,” the Chief Minister asserted.
Commissioner / Secretary, H&ME, Dr. M. K. Bhandari, informed the Chief Minister that with J&K PSC and SSB becoming fully functional, as many as 845 vacancies of doctors and 4,000 vacancies of paramedics in the State will be filled up over the next four months on a fast-track basis. He also said that Anantnag District Hospital is fully equipped in terms of logistics and manpower and it will match the facilities extended in any district hospital in the State.
On the issue of setting up of new Medical College at Anantnag, the Health Secretary told the Chief Minister that the land has been identified and indent placed before the concerned authorities. “We will be able to source funding after the Cabinet grants approval to change in land use,” he said.
The Chief Minister directed the Health Department to complete modalities for taking over of Rehmat-e-Alam Hospital Trust at Anantnag so that it can be developed as a 50-bedded MCH Hospital, which will ease pressure on the new 110-bedded MCH Hospital. He also asked the Health Department to make the Trauma Hospital at Bijbehara fully operational.
Speaking on the occasion, Mehbooba Mufti urged the Health Department to adequately address the issue of shortage of doctors so that people are provided satisfactory healthcare services without any referrals.
While taking review of upgrading higher secondary schools as Model Schools, Commissioner / Secretary, School Education, Shaleen Kabra, informed the Chief Minister that six schools, three each in Jammu and Kashmir Divisions, will be developed as Model Schools byAugust 10, which will feature all aspects of a modern educational institution. He informed the Chief Minister that 50 more schools will be upgraded as Model Schools over the next three months.
These Model Schools will empower students at cutting edge level and will have counselling centres, computer labs, smart classrooms and implementation cells so that they are prepared to face stiffer competition at higher levels.
Mufti Sayeed also reviewed progress of 2.35 km double-lanned Mehandikadal-Ashajipora Bypass Road for which Rs.10 crore were sanctioned during his visit in the month of May.
The Chief Engineer assured the Chief Minister that the project will be completed as per schedule on December 31 this year. Once complete, the Bypass Road will decongest Anantnag town and provide easy access to tourist destinations like Verinag, Kokernag, Daksum and Achabal.
The Chief Minister set a deadline of one year for H&UDD for construction of Shopping / Commercial Complex at Anantnag. The project, which has had several cost overruns, will now be built at a revised cost of Rs. 19.70 crore.
Asking J&K Bank to speed up pace of works assigned to it under CSR Initiative, the Chief Minister said pending works at Pahalgam Amusement Park, Dara Shikoh Bagh at Bijbehara and Rani & Wazir Bagh Parks at Anantnag, besides adopting two higher secondary schools for up-gradation as Model Schools must be completed without any further delay.