Dr. Asgar Hassan Samoon, I.A.S.
Principal Secretary to Govt.
Higher Education Department

The third quarter issue of EduPLUS - Emerging Trends, a quarterly news magazine published by Higher Education Department, is in your gracious hands. In this issue, the focus has been on the infrastructure, and activities of the department. In order to improve the access to and quality of Higher Education, greater emphasis has been laid on the opening of new institutions, strengthening the existing institutions and taking all possible steps for the improvement of teaching-learning processes and consolidating of educational infrastructure to strengthen the curricular and the other facilities at the Higher Educational level. It entails the immediate proposals with reference to the new educational institutions like Horticulture University, Skill Development Institutes each at Jammu and Kashmir, State Open Universities, Law University, Personality Development Centres, Television and Film making Institute, Construction of New Government Colleges at 36 locations in J & K State, and upgrading existing institutions to cope up with the changing face of Higher Education. Universities and Colleges in Private sector have been encouraged to come forward in running maximum courses for the benefit of students. Apart from the construction of Girls’ hostels in seven degree colleges of the State, the department envisions to construct hostels at all district headquarters so as to encourage students from far flung areas to pursue higher studies anywhere in the State. This paves way for enhanced financial support from the Central Government to the State funded higher educational institutions to take forward the reforms in the higher education sector.

Diverse cultures and languages being the legacy of a state like J&K and the most important tools to impart education, it becomes not only our duty but an ethical responsibility to respect the different linguistic traditions, however what is more imperative is to nurture each language and culture so that they stand the test of time. In this context, HeD has converted posts of Assistant Professors into fields of languages like Dogri, Kashmiri, Punjabi and Music; and faculty will be recruited after the admission of the students. New subjects like Bio-Resources, Languages, Music and others are being introduced in colleges. The Government is working hard to ensure that the Higher Education Department is rapidly moving ahead in the direction of better educational opportunities for our students. We all have to strive together to help our students realize their full potential and ultimately contribute to the all-round development of our society.

In view of the above, EduPLUS aims to keep all the stake holders of the Department informed about the initiatives and programmes undertaken by Higher Education Department and different colleges/institutions, by providing an overview of the same. The news magazine is an attempt to document the process which the department has adopted for shaping the future of the youth of J&K State.