Free laptops for govt college students from July: Rayareddy

Free laptops for govt college students from July: Rayareddy
All first-year undergraduate students in government colleges will get free laptops from July onwards, Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddy said here on Saturday.

Speaking at the 67th annual convocation of Karnatak University, he said the state government had allocated funds in the 2017-18 budget for distributing laptops to all students irrespective of their course of study (BA, BSc, BCom, BE, MBBS, etc) and caste, creed or religion.

The minister also highlighted other steps taken by the government to improve the quality of education and infrastructure in the state.

The government will open 10 new residential colleges across Karnataka to impart skill-based learning to students. The construction of these colleges will begin in July, he said.

The government will also introduce a new comprehensive law on universities by June that would bring about administrative transparency and welfare of the students.

Rayareddy compared the loss of moral values, plague of corruption and caste divisions in the higher education system to the degradation in the political system. In an explosive accusation, he said everyone in the university set-up — from governor to minister, and vice-chancellor to other office-bearers — had become corrupt.

Rayareddy rued that all the 17 state universities in Karnataka had one blot or the other on them. “We have to take it upon ourselves to clean the education system,” he said.

The minister also made a reference to a recent survey conducted by the Department of Higher Education which found that at least 375 out of the 412 government colleges in the state were without permanent principals. As many as 3,000 out of 7,000-odd posts of lecturers are vacant and it was only recently that 2,160 guest lecturers were appointed, he said.

147 PhDs awarded
At the convocation, 147 PhD and 23,000 graduation and master’s degrees were awarded. Supreme Court judge Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar delivered the convocation address. Vice-chancellor Pramod B Gai was present.

The university’s convocation was postponed twice this year, including once following opposition from students to the invitation to JNU vice-chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar.

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