Staff Reporter

Aim is the optimal utilisation of resources

KOCHI: The Kerala State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) will officially launch its prestigious clusters of colleges in Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam districts in November.

Aimed at optimal utilisation of available resources, the two clusters will witness the cooperation of nine colleges. Five colleges are in Thiruvananthapuram while the Ernakulam cluster has four colleges. The colleges participating in the Thiruvananthapuram cluster include Government Arts College; Sanskrit College; Government College for Women; University College; and Government College at Kariavattom. The Ernakulam clus ter consists of Government Sanskrit College, Thripunithura; Government College, Thripunithura; Maharaja’s College; and Cochin College.

Elaborating on the proposed implementation of the scheme, Thomas Joseph, member secretary of the KSHEC, told The Hindu that the executive committee meeting of the council held on September 30 requested the government to transfer to the council Rs. 2 crore from out of the grant-in-aid of Rs. 4.15 crore allotted to the council for 2008-09.

Prof. Joseph said that the council would in turn transfer Rs.1 crore each to the two clusters for carrying out programmes envisaged in the scheme.

It will be framed in accordance with local priorities to be set by the governing bodies of each cluster. He said the governing bodies of the two clusters would meet in the second week of November. The meeting had also decided to send a letter to the Kerala Private College Managements’ Association highlighting the advantages of the scheme of cluster of colleges and seeking its cooperation in the implementation of the sc heme. Many colleges affiliated to the association are staying away from the scheme. According to the vision statement of the council, the clusters of colleges will progressively share existing facilities in partner colleges and undertake common ventures for promoting access, equity and quality of education. It will undertake activities for the promotion of teaching-learning and research. Colleges will share resources like laboratory, library, auditorium, seminar hall and playground. It will undertake faculty exchange programmes.

The vision statement said all institutions joining the cluster would have equal status irrespective of the differences in the infrastructure available.