Tribal Affairs Deptt initiates ambitious plan for modernisation of its hostels

Secretary Tribal Affairs Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary chairing a meeting via video conferencing on Tuesday.
Secretary Tribal Affairs Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary chairing a meeting via video conferencing on Tuesday.

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Apr 20: With an aim to provide the best available facilities and a competitive platform to students, the J&K Tribal Affairs Department has initiated the process for time-bound modernisation of its residential hostels in all districts. The plan comprises and envisages infrastructure upgradation, technological interventions, management revamp and decentralised functioning.
Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, and Chief Executive Officer, Mission Youth J&K, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary,  laid out the roadmap for the ambitious hostel modernisation plan which sets strict timelines for modernisation of all hostels managed by TAD. The plan was finalised in a meeting of senior officers including among others Director Tribal Affairs Musheer Ahmed and Secretary Advisory Board Mukhtar Choudhary.
While unveiling the modernisation plan for TAD hostels, the Secretary said it includes as envisaged major revamp of the entire infrastructure and facilities to be made available at the hostels. He said stakeholders and domain experts are being roped in and will be associated with the project in order to ensure achievement of desired outcomes.
The modernisation plan is aimed at providing the best available educational facilities at department hostels. The department is also switching to a competitive selection process for admissions as part of the ambitious modernisation plan.
Under the plan, each hostel will also get a Career Counselling Centre (CCC) for mentoring the students right from their admission. CCCs shall organise 4-5 interactive sessions each month with qualifiers of competitive examinations, innovators, entrepreneurs, educationists and domain experts. Separate budget will be provided to hostels for CCCs.
The meeting was informed that skill development courses shall be mandatory for all students in the hostels. It was informed that the J&K Skill Development Mission will sign an MoU with the Tribal Affairs Department for approved courses, certification and assured placement upon completion of education in a hostel.
The TAD will also establish standard and digital libraries with offline and online repository of books, journals, references and documents. The existing tuition system will be replaced with online classes  for which smart classrooms will be established in each hostel and one state-of-the-art studio each in Jammu and Srinagar for resource persons to connect with hostels.
The Secretary has also directed for revising food menus and uniform, which currently has Rs 100/day and Rs 2200/annum allocation for each student, instructing for enhancement for ensuring better quality. It was informed that a committee headed by Director Tribal Affairs will finalise the revised menu based on standard nutritional requirement and also annual requirement of summer and winter uniform/clothing which it was informed shall be provided on priority.
Joint Director Planning, Financial Advisor, OSD Mission Youth, OSD Skill Development Mission, Deputy Directors also attended the meeting. Wardens of all hostels in districts and field officers attended the meeting through videoconferencing.