'State engg colleges yet to use up TEQIP funds'

Colleges in the State under the Centre’s ‘Technical Education Quality Improvement Project-Phase II’ (TEQIP-II) are yet to use up the funds under the scheme although they have just one year to do so.

Of Rs 40 crore released for Karnataka under TEQIP-II, colleges have spent Rs 26 crore so far, Prof A U Digraskar, Central Project Advisor, National Project Implementation Unit (NPIU), said at the national review workshop of the scheme, which began here on Monday.

A total of Rs 185 crore was earmarked for the project in the State during the second phase which began in 2010-11. Colleges have to use up the funds till 2014-15. As many as 19 colleges — 11 aided and eight private — are covered under the second phase. The total cost of the scheme in the present phase is Rs 2,430 crore.

The scheme was launched in 2003 to improve the quality of technical education. In the first phase, it covered 127 colleges in 13 states for Rs 1,700 crore. Fourteen engineering colleges were picked then and Rs 162 crore were allocated.

Minister for Higher Education, R V Deshpande, who spoke at the inauguration of the workshop, stressed the need to extend TEQIP to colleges in rural areas. “If extended beyond 2014-15, this scheme should help colleges in rural areas which lack infrastructure and basic facilities,” he said.

The minister also highlighted the deteriorating quality of technical education in the State. “There seems to be a big mismatch between what prospective employers require and the students’ skills, Deshpande said. “I have been to many colleges where companies don’t go to recruit students. Such institutions and those in rural areas need to be developed.”

In a separate ceremony to mark the grant of autonomous status to Kristu Jayanti college, Bangalore, Deshpande highlighted the need to encourage institutions with potential and having facilities.

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