Source: The Hindu:-
One of the surprises in the State Budget was the proposal to set up a government engineering college in Bidar, which has among the lowest tertiary enrolment ratios in the country.
It will be the 12th government engineering college in the State. Bidar also becomes the only district in Hyderabad Karnataka to have government colleges in veterinary, medicine, horticulture and engineering disciplines.
The district that boasts of being the home of the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries University and a College of Horticulture, has few higher education institutions in the public sector. It has only one government residential PU college, and of the 170 PU colleges in the five taluks, only 16 are run by the government.
The district of 17 lakh people has 22 first grade colleges, of which seven are in government sector. Till 2007, the district had only one government degree college.
An officer in the Directorate of Collegiate Education said that while Karnataka’s tertiary enrolment ratio — the percentage of children who join higher education courses from among the eligible age group — was around 17 for the country and 20 for the State, while Bidar was struggling to achieve 11 per cent.
The budget announcement has been largely welcomed, though some are sceptical. Bodies such as the Bidar Chamber of Commerce and Industry have thanked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for the gesture.
B.G. Shetkar, chamber president, said that this would change the culture of the city as highly qualified teachers would settle here. Some others, however, see no purpose in having an additional engineering college in the district while some seats in the other colleges remained unfilled for the last few years.
Official sources indicated that the government was likely to start the proposed government engineering college on the 30-acre campus of the government polytechnic.
The college might be upgraded as it was done in some districts, or a separate campus might be chosen.
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