The more than four decades old Government Institute of Printing Technology (GIPT), Secunderabad, which trained thousands of youngsters and provided career opportunities for them in the field of printing technology over the years, is now staring at a bleak future.

The situation stems from the higher education department decision to merge the Diploma in Printing Technology, which is offered only by the GIPT, with Diploma in Packaging Technology at JN Government Polytechnic, Ramanthapur. Though the technical education department is yet to take a call on the future of the GIPT, merger of the diploma could mean progressive closure of the premier institute.

Recently, the higher education department has issued orders for clubbing two courses viz. Diploma in Printing Technology of GIPT and Diploma in Packaging Technology offered at JN Government Polytechnic, Ramanthapur. The merger has resulted in a new course, Diploma in Printing and Packaging Technology which will be offered at JN Government Polytechnic College.

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The new course is one of the approved courses of the All India Council for Technical Education and it is to commence from the next academic year with an intake of 120 seats. This means, the GIPT will not have first year admissions for the next academic year and head for a progressive closure of the course in the next few years.

However, the step taken up higher education and technical education departments did not go well down with the GIPT Alumni Association.

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The association argues that printing industry in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh had been providing 100 per cent employment to the diploma holders in the printing technology and because of the demand, the intake in fact, was enhanced from 60 to 120.

The association also claimed that infrastructure in government polytechnic was poor and unable to meet their own needs of nearly 1,100 students already studying there.

“The merger of courses will put GIPT on progressive closure path and it will also lose autonomous status. Printing industry might not show interest in absorbing students from a new course as it might not equip them with required skills,” said Dayaker Reddy Sripathi, president, GIPT Alumni Association. He appealed to the government to re-consider the merger and retain the independent status to GIPT.

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Sources in the technical education department told Telangana Today that courses were merged to enhance enrollment besides employment opportunities for students.

An expert committee had been constituted to look into the matter and after several meetings it was decided to merge the courses as part of the rationalisation plan, they said “JN Government Polytechnic at Ramanthapur was established in 1956 and is one among best college in the city. It has adequate classrooms and infrastructure. Orders are issued regarding merger of the courses but no decision is taken for progressive closure of GIPT,” sources said. #KhabarLive