Tripura passes bill to set up new varsity

Agartala, Aug 10 (IANS) The Tripura assembly on Monday passed a bill to set up a university to further widen the scope of higher education in the state — which attained a literacy rate of 94.65 percent, the highest in India.

Tripura currently has a central university and a private university.

“The Left Front government had earlier decided to set up a state university in Tripura to expand the quality higher education in the state. To achieve this goal, a bill was passed today (Monday) after scrutinising the bill by a select committee comprising legislators of both ruling and opposition parties,” Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty told reporters.

“The bill to set up the university was introduced in the assembly in February. But the bill was referred to the select committee for its in-depth examination before the approval of the house,” he added.

Now, after obtaining the governor’s assent, the much expected bill would be sent to union human resource development ministry and the University Grants Commission for approval.

The proposed state government-run university would be named after erstwhile Tripura king Maharaja Birbikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur (1923-1947), who had set up the state’s first degree college in Agartala in 1947.

Chakraborty, who holds higher and school education department, said: “The proposed university would further improve higher education in the state and attract students from Bangladesh and other north-eastern states.”

Set up in 1987, the existing Tripura University was turned into a central university in 2007. It has been ranked fourth in eastern India and 43rd in the country in a recent survey conducted by private study groups.

The proposed university would ease the pressure of the Tripura (Central) University, and also help to boost excellence in higher education, the minister said.

Tripura presently has 22 degree colleges, two medical colleges, and 15 other professional and technical colleges with around 16,000 students annually enrolled in various colleges.

According to the minister, more than 20,000 students in the state pass the higher secondary examinations every year.

Chakraborty said that after Tripura attained 87.75 percent literacy in the 2011 census, a government survey was conducted by the eight district magistrates in August 2012.

What was found was that only 131,634 people of the state’s 37 lakh people, including those aged 50 and above, were illiterate.

Over 8,000 voluntary literacy workers have worked tremendously under 8,152 adult literacy centres to make the leftover unlettered people literate, he added.

The final evaluation of the neo-literate people was conducted across the state in August 2013 under the supervision of the Kolkata-based, Indian Statistical Institution.

The minister said Tripura achieved the first position in literacy in the country with 94.65 percent, beating Kerala (93.91 percent).

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