Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Draft bill 16 new central universities under consideration

Hindu reports on a draft bill with 16 new central universities. Following are excerpts of that report.

The Union Human Resource Development Ministry is ready with a draft Bill for establishing 16 Central universities across the country.

The draft of the umbrella legislation that will govern all the new proposed Central universities — for the first time — has been sent to various Ministries for their comments. All Central universities so far have been established under different Acts.

As of now, there are only 22 Central universities in the country with Delhi having as many as four while 16 States have none. The proposed universities are believed to have been modelled as unitary, non-affiliating universities on the pattern of the Jawaharlal Nehru and Hyderabad universities.

The States identified for setting up these universities in the next five years at an estimated cost of Rs 5,000 crore in addition to the annual grants are Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Punjab. …

Dr. Singh’s initiative for improved university system came in June when he announced at least one Central university for each State and a degree college for every district following a meeting on higher education with Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh, and Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram

Comparing the above list with our list of 19 states which do not yet have central universities following are some observations: (i) Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Tripura are not in the above list perhaps because universities for them was earlier announced, (ii) Goa is replaced by Maharastra and (iii) Madhya Pradesh is in the list, although it is not clear if this is in addition to the tribal university that is to be head quartered in Madhya Pradesh. Five thousand crores for 16 universities means 312.5 crores for each university.

Hindu has another article in its website with much of the same content except the following additional point.

In the 350 districts, where the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) was below the national average, Dr. Singh had asked the Centre to assist the States through the University Grants Commission (UGC) in setting up degree colleges to improve the enrolment ratio.

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