Degree Colleges to have career counseling cells, internal committees against sexual harassment

The higher education department has decided to set up career counseling cells and internal committees to probe the complaints of sexual harassment under the Vishakha guidelines in degree colleges across Kashmir.

The decision to setup career counseling and placement cells has been taken in a bid to help students in finding jobs and employment opportunities after graduating from the concerned institutions.

“It will also help the department to keep a track of the student progression and will explore possible tie-ups, industrial trainings and opportunities,” an official said.

These decisions were taken during a review meeting convened by the secretary higher education department with Degree College principals last month.

An official who was part of the meeting said the department wants to implement these new initiatives in the colleges for which the special secretary and nodal Principals of the colleges in Jammu and Kashmir division have been asked to report to secretary fortnightly.

The move to set up placement cells comes at a time when the outgoing college students face the challenges of unemployment as their courses are not in proportion with the market demands. “The department has also decided to review the courses offered in colleges and make them in line with the market demands so that students get acceptability in jobs,” the official said.

The college principals have also asked to ensure establishment and proper working of internal complaints committees against sexual harassment.

“Department is also focusing on quality enhancement and employability of students for which it was decided in meeting to introduce technical, IT based and other skill based education after active consultation with the industrial, trade and corporate sector of the valley,” read the minutes of the meeting released by the department.

The department has also directed the principals to hold parent-teacher meetings in colleges to ensure full participation of all stakeholders in the academics.

“A system of software to monitor the student attendance shall be introduced in colleges. The progress and punctuality of their wards should be shared with the parents,” read the minutes.

In the meeting, the college principals were directed to explore the possibility of setting up coaching centres in colleges that would cater to various competitive exams and specified programmes.

“College principals should also participate in academic activities and willingly take up class work in their respective fields. Their participation will bring their experience into the academics and also make them abreast of the practical problems faced by students and teachers in learning and teaching process,” read the minutes.

The department, as per the minutes of the meeting, is also mulling to make programme specific and course specific outcomes uniform for all colleges in consultation with the affiliating universities.