Updated: August 2, 2021 9:50:44 am
Lakshadweep’s first nursing college has got in-principle approval for affiliation from Gujarat’s Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU) in Surat after it failed to get “satisfactory response” from Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, said the island Union Territory’s secretary for health and education, Amit Satija.
The VNSGU, in a syndicate meeting on Friday, approved affiliation for the college, located over 1,000 kilometres away, in the southern end of the country.
The proposal seeking affiliation was sent to the VNSGU vice-chancellor KN Chawda by Dr MK Basheer, director, Lakshadweep health services, on July 15.
Speaking to The Indian Express on Saturday, Satija said, “This would be the first nursing college in Lakshadweep. We are hopeful that in the next four to six weeks, we will start (running the) college. Initially, we will take lecturers on a contract basis. The college, where the medium of instruction will be English, will have 30 seats, with 24 reserved for girls.”
“Before reaching out to VNSGU, we applied for affiliation from universities in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka but did not get any satisfactory response. The proposals were delayed but not denied. We sent a proposal to VNSGU on July 15 and the syndicate members’ meeting approved it,” Satija added.
The proposal by Basheer mentions that it would be the first government nursing college in the Union Territory.
Lakshadweep joint secretary health Dr Shashi Pal said, “At present, the nursing college will function from a vacant government building at Kavaratti, the headquarter of Lakshadweep. The vacant staff quarters will be converted into a girls’ hostel. A hospital complex is being planned in the same area for which land has been identified.”
Satija says that the affiliation will be valid only after approval from the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Gujarat Nursing Council and Indian Nursing Council.
According to Gujarat Nursing Council vice-president Ikbal Kadiwala, the health department of the Union Territory will have to send a letter of request to the state government. “Once the state government approves the proposal, we will work on it,” he said.
As per UGC guidelines, “a university established or incorporated by or under a state act shall operate only within the territorial jurisdiction allotted to it under its act and in no case beyond the territory of the state of its location”.
When asked about this, VNSGU vice-chancellor KN Chawda said, “It is up to them (college authorities) to get UGC permission for affiliation. Generally, for a Union Territory, UGC gives permission to the college.”
The VNSGU, headquartered in Surat, has given affiliation to over 350 self-finance and government colleges in South Gujarat. The Government Nursing College and Government Medical College at Silvassa in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli as well as Arts, Commerce and Science Government College, Government Nursing College and Self-finance College of BBA and BCA in Daman are also affiliated to it. Both these UTs are geographically within Gujarat borders.
The administrator for the unified UTs of Diu, Daman and DNH is former Gujarat minister Praful Patel, who was also handed additional charge of the UT of Lakshadweep last year.
Congress leader and senate member of VNSGU, Bhavesh Rabari, said, “We opposed the proposal initially but later it was passed by the members as it is a government college. We have also raised the issue of UGC guidelines of the territorial issue, they told us it
will be sorted out by the department of health, Lakshadweep.”
Chawda said the varsity will set up a Local Inquiry Committee (LIC) that will carry out a virtual inspection of the college in the coming days. “With this affiliation, students who pass out of Lakshadweep college can join for M.Sc Nursing at University in Surat or can work in Gujarat hospitals. This will also open doors for other self-financed colleges or government colleges in Lakshadweep for getting affiliation with VNSGU.”
Pal said that initially, the college will admit only students from Lakshadweep.
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