Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.
The Maharashtra government has cleared the way for reputed urban higher education institutions and colleges in the state to set up satellite centres in rural and tribal regions across the state.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the Higher & Technical Education Department issued a notification on Friday citing the procedures and criteria for approval of new satellite centres from the next academic year. The move comes three years after the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016, was enacted.
According to the Act, a "satellite centre" is "an integral part of an affiliated or conducted college or recognized institution imparting academic programmes, co-curricular, research and extension activities in rural or tribal region, neighbouring the location of such college or institution, established with the object of reaching the unreached, on the terms and conditions specified by the State Government by an Order in the Official Gazette."
A Board of Deans of the concerned university will assess the applications for starting satellite centres within a limited time period. For starting a centre the next year, colleges or institutions are required to submit the necessary documents by October 15 every year to the respective vice-chancellor.
According to the notification, the centres have to be established within 200 km radius of the university and will cater to online and open-distance learning facilities as per the National Education Policy. An institution will be allowed to set up subsequent centres only after it runs one satellite centre in a satisfactory manner for at least a period of three years.
In the first five years, the centre will be allowed to start traditional courses, research, extension and co-curricular activities, certificate courses for skill education and development, among other things. Furthermore, courses that promote skill development among youth will be promoted.
"We had submitted the report in 2017. The government has adopted major recommendations in the report, and this move will enable colleges in ivory towers to take their institutes to rural areas. Migration of students to cities will also be brought under control, thereby increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio in such regions," said Educationist Anil Rao, member of the three-member committee formed by the government to submit a report on starting satellite centres.
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