Special Correspondent

Scheme to be introduced in Hubli, Mysore, Gulbarga

Minister defends his visit to the U.S.

BANGALORE: The Common Entrance Test (CET) Cell in the State will go hi-tech from the next academic year (2008-09) by counselling students for selection to professional courses via video conferencing. The scheme will be introduced on an experimental basis in Mysore, Gulbarga and Hubli in the first phase.

Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, Minister for Higher Education D.H. Shankaramurthy said if the scheme was successful, it would be extended to other regions of the State.

The objective of the exercise was to help students who now travel from different districts to Bangalore to attend the selection process for engineering, medical and dental seats.

Outsourcing services

The CET Authority set up by the Government would provide outsourcing services to those who conduct entrance tests for recruitment and other purposes.

The revenue earned by the authority would be used to subsidise the fees of poor and meritorious students, he said. The Cell had Rs. 50 crore in its account. Mr Shankaramurthy, whose upcoming visit to the U.S. has evoked criticism in the backdrop of expenditures by the CET Cell, defended the trip by saying: “It is in the interest of students of the State.”

In his seven-day trip to the U.S., he would enter into Memorandums of Understanding with the universities of that country. The MoUs would enable the foreign institutions to establish faculty training centres in both private and State engineering colleges, he said.

In fact, there was an invitation for five persons, including Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy. “Since the Chief Minister, his Secretary and Medical Education Secretary opted out, I am visiting the U.S. along with the higher education department’s Secretary.” The higher education department faces a resource crunch and cannot fund the trip.