Himachal Fails to Become Educational Hub
Nagesh Thakur Cover Story
The state government in its endeavour to tap the educational potential of Himachal and turn it into an educational hub facilitated entry of numerous private universities. Besides this Himachal Pradesh Technical University was created in 2011 which runs about 46 professional colleges affiliated to it. The idea was not only to provide professional education at the doorstep to Himachalis but also to present Himachal as a new educational hub of North India. But it seems the dream of turning this hilly state into an educational hub is a far cry if figures of admissions and vacant seats are any indication. About 48% seats remain vacant in engineering colleges affiliated to HPTU and approximate 50% engineering seats remain vacant in private universities. Similar is the condition for medical education as the sector has developed at a snail pace and is still struggling to fulfill the needs of even hill state.
Only 350 MBBS Seats in Himachal
Himachal Pradesh Medical College was established in 1966 with a total MBBS seat capacity of 50. However its seat strength was increased to 65 in 1978 and it was renamed as Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) in 1984. At present there are 100 MBBS seats in the college with additional 100 seats at Tanda Medical College in Kangra. Both the colleges are affiliated to Himachal Pradesh University and admit students through AIPMT score. Strangely a private university, named Maharishi Markandeshwar University at Kumarhatti in Solan, established few years ago offers 150 MBBS seats, much higher as compared to IGMC or Tanda Medical College. The university admits to MBBS course through an entrance test.
Total MBBS Seats : 350
IGMC, Shimla : 100
Dr. RPGMC, Tanda : 100
MMU, Solan : 150
Last Cut off Score for : 435
MBBS for HPU affiliated
Colleges in 2014
Total BDS Seats : 60 at Government Dental College Sundernagar
Total BAMS Seats : 50 at Rajiv Gandhi Government Postgraduate Ayurvedic College, Paprola
Few Takers for HPTU
The ultimate aim of majority of non-medical students after passing +2 exams somewhere lies in one or other stream of engineering. To cater to the needs of Himachali students, Himachal Pradesh Technical University, Hamirpur came into existence in 2011. However it has failed to garner trust among Himachali students if engineering seats left vacant is any indicator. This year too only 5315 students appeared for 7735 engineering seats available in various colleges affiliated to HPTU. This means 32% seats are bound to remain vacant even if all the aspirants students take admission in these colleges. Besides this there are numerous private universities that too will fill engineering seats on basis of HPTU score.
-Mast Ram Dalel
Number of Engineering Colleges : 20
Pharmacy : 13
Number of Engineering Seats in HPTU : 7735
B. Pharmacy : 1040
More Seats Less Students
Stream No. of Students Registered No. of Students Appeared Total Seats
B.Tech 6161 5315 7735
Engineering in Two Streams Only
The University Institute of Information Technology (UIIT), of Himachal Pradesh University Shimla started functioning in September 2000 after it received accreditation from All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The institute started with 60 seats in B.Tech IT stream in 2000 and added another 60 in Computer Science Engineering stream in 2013. The university has a good placement records.
-Bhavna Sharma, Shimla
Streams : B. Tech
(60 seats each in IT, CSE)
for 2014 entrance
exam : 2300
Last Cut off in
2014 : 110
Lack of JEE Centres
Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), conducted in April every year, is the biggest engineering entrance exam of the country that facilitates entry to the numerous government and private engineering colleges across the country. But this year there was only one pen and paper centre for JEE main exams in Himachal at Hamirpur.
JEE Main Cut off Score
General category – 105 out of 360, (down from last year’s 115)
OBC category- 70 out of 360
SC and ST- 50 and 44 respectively
Hardly 40% Seats are Filled in Private Universities
With 16 private universities operating in various parts of the state, Himachal is trying to emerge as the hub of private education. As many as 20,396 students are studying in these universities with Chitkara University at Baddi having the highest number of 2,768 students and ICFAI Universities Baddi having the lowest number of 41 students. The universities have been struggling to increase their students intake but issues like various strict norms of HP Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission has acted as a deterrent in this regard and this job has now been entrusted to HP Technical University at Hamirpur. Last year the commission’s norm to allow admission to various technical courses like B.Tech only to those students who has secured 65 % marks in qualifying exam had led to lesser admissions and many universities could admit only 30 to 40 % students only. This year the private universities management association is conducting their separate common entrance test to make admissions to various courses like B.Tech, MBA, pharmacy, etc. HPTU has already conducted test for institutes covered by it. A tug of war is going on to control admission procedures between private universities association and HPTU and how admissions will finally be made is yet undecisive.
Students Prefer Reputed Colleges
* Pursuing Computer Sciences Engineering was my dream. Topping HP Board exam has provided me direct entry in BITS, Pilani in the same stream
-Keshav Rai, Daroh Himachal Topper, HP Board, Dharamshala (96.8%)
* I have cleared JEE main entrance test and now waiting for its counseling. I will opt for Computer Science Engineering in a good college.
-Priyanshu Gautam, Sundernagar Second Topper, HP Board
From Editor-in-Chief’s Desk
The society sets some standards for success and changes in those parameters are clearly visible in Himachal. Students have not only proved their mettle through HP Board but they have etched new writings even in CBSE and ICSE boards’ wall. Himachali students achieved 86% pass success in CBSE +2 exam, much higher to the national average. Contribution and role of students and parents needs to be appreciated when a boy from small place like Gaggal in Kangra district can surprise everybody by securing 97% in CBSE board exam. It is because of efforts of students and parents that records of private schools are improving while even the hard working stuff of government schools is registered poorly. Reason is obvious hardworking parents and talented students’ want patronage of private schools despite the fact that the better educational facilities are available in government institutes. In such a situation government needs to evaluate its premises to achieve best use of its infastructure. Initially a policy should be formulated for branding two dozen school of Himachal. Out of it one dozen should be run as model schools by HP education board while the rest should be run under CBSE board. It will give a big boost to expansion of education if infrastructure is build to represent HP Board of School education, Dharamshala and HP University, Shimla as major centres of competitive exams. The government can run an academy for entry into defence services while the universities and national educational institutes could link education with employment and investment. The problem is that Himachal neither acquaints itself with its top ranking students nor does such thinking develops here.