Paucity of funds, teachers impacting higher education: CAG

Last Updated: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 15:54

Agartala: Allocation of inadequate funds and dearth of teaching staff have impacted higher education in Tripura, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said.

In its latest report, the CAG said that an absence of an effective monitoring mechanism also prevented ensuring quality education to students in the northeastern state.

"The University Grants Commission (UGC) has prescribed a norm of 1:20 for teacher-student ratio in general colleges. The number of teachers in position in 15 government colleges in Tripura was only 415 against the sanctioned strength of 661 indicating a teacher-student ratio of 1:63."
"The combined intake capacity in general and technical education in Tripura was 19,613 in 2008-09 and that was more than the number of students (12,084) passing out at the higher secondary level in that year," the report said.

However, on an average 13 percent students passing higher secondary examinations from the Tripura board have been migrating outside the state to pursue higher education, the CAG report said adding that this percentage would be higher, if students passing out from the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and ICSE (Indian Council of Secondary Education) courses are also considered.

According to the union ministry of human resource development, the percentage of Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for higher education in Tripura ranged from 6.16 percent to 6.83 percent during the period from 2004-05 to 2006-07 as against the national average of 11.30 percent during the corresponding period.

"Despite the Tripura government`s assurance to the centre, the state`s higher education department neither formulated an action plan nor did it incorporate any policy in the annual action plans to raise GER for higher education up to the national average."

"The Tripura government had given Rs.52,500,000 to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, a private organisation, for setting up a college of science and technology. The entire funds were placed with the private college without specifying any terms and conditions," it said.

A photograph of the incomplete Bhavan`s buildings (as of September 2009) was also depicted in the CAG report, signed by the CAG of India on Feb 16 this year.

The CAG has suggested obtaining inputs from the educational institutions before planning its activities and formulating its budget. The Tripura higher education department should take effective action for recruitment of teaching staff in line with UGC norms to ensure quality education, it added.

The 218-page CAG report has asked the Tripura government to formulate a well defined PPP (Public Private Partnership) policy considering the overall interest of the state.

"Documentation on PPP projects should be transparent and widely publicized to ensure accountability and public scrutiny."

Tripura government officials have refused to comment on the CAG report.

IANS



First Published: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 15:54

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