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Four colleges to get university status

By Our Staff Reporter

KOCHI, DEC. 5. Four of Kerala's oldest Government colleges - the Maharaja's College, Ernakulam; Victoria College, Palakkad; Brennen College, Thalassery; and the University College, Thiruvananthapuram - will be raised to the status of universities, the Education Minister, E.T. Mohammed Basheer, told mediapersons here today.

This will enable these institutions to source funds from the University Grants Commission (UGC) directly.

However, the current status will be maintained in the case of holding examinations, the Minister said.

The UGC will provide funds to these institutions to improve both academic and physical infrastructure, he said.

In the second phase of the programme, some of the oldest private colleges in the State will be raised to the status of universities, he added.

NIALS to be the best

Mr. Basheer said that the National Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), which had been given the status of a law university by the State Government, would be a self-financing institution.

It would be raised in such a way that it would become the best law institute in the country.

He discounted the controversy over the recognition to NIALS.

According to the Minister, NIALS, as a university, has the capacity to become the best law institute in the country.

The Minister said it would not be just another law college where law graduates were produced, but would be an institute where research would be a key feature.

The changing circumstances and the emergence of the cyber world have posed new legal challenges, he said. Besides, the World Trade Organisation regime calls for change and adaptation in law education, he added.

Sanskrit university

The Sree Sankara University of Sanskrit, Kalady, will soon get affiliation from the UGC, which will enable the university to get funds from the commission.

Thirteen Government colleges in the State that do not have this affiliation from the UGC will also get it, he added.

Teachers' training

The Minister said that the Department of Education had initiated discussions with the UGC for getting a large number of teachers from Kerala trained under a new UGC programme. The training programme is aimed at making the teachers more IT-savvy, he said.

He said that the UGC planned to train, initially, about 10,000 teachers from all over India.

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