Lok Sabha passes bill to set up central tribal university in Telangana

Lok Sabha passed the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2023 to establish the Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University in Telangana.

Union education minister presented the bill for central tribal university. (Image: Official X account/Dharmendra Pradhan)Union education minister presented the bill for central tribal university. (Image: Official X account/Dharmendra Pradhan)

Press Trust of India | December 7, 2023 | 09:26 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha on Thursday passed a bill to establish the Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University in Telangana. The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was passed by a voice vote with the House rejecting some amendments moved by opposition members.

Speaking in the House, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said if any student's life is lost in any campus "we as a society should be responsible for it". He also said as a minister he owes the responsibility for such unfortunate incidents. Replying to the discussion on the bill, he said today new universities, colleges and qualitative higher educational institutes are being opened in India and as a result, new courses are being offered to the students.

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Citing achievements of his government, Pradhan said today there an increase of 31.6 per cent of female students when compared to 2014. In the last two months, over 11,000 vacant posts in the academics have been filled up, he said. More than 700 Eklavya schools are being built in the tribal concentrated blocks, he added. The CBSE, Pradhan said, will slowly come out with teaching material in 22 scheduled languages. He said Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi is going to open its campus in Abu Dhabi and in few days the classes will begin there.

Private universities of India, he said, are going abroad and students from across the globe are eager to come to India. Participating in the discussion, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Congress) was of the view that education is the key determinant for the growth of tribal population in the country. He also asked the government about the current gross enrolment ratio of tribal population in the country. Chowdhury further said that more than 40 lakh of Indian students are studying overseas and asked the government about its current policy to bring back these students back to the country.

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Ritesh Pandey (BSP) said there a need for a deep thought on the budgetary allotment made for these tribal universities. He was of the view that condition of Eklavya Model residential schools in the country needs to be improved. A M Ariff of CPI (M) came in support of the bill and stated that for ages, the tribal population has faced challenges in achieving higher education. According to the statement and objects of the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2023 establishment of "Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University" will cater to the regional aspirations for years to come.

The proposed institution, it said, will increase access and quality of higher education and facilitate and promote higher education and research facilities for the people of Telangana. It will also promote advanced knowledge by providing instructional and research facilities in tribal art, culture and customs and advancement in technology to the tribal population of India. "Apart from bringing focus to tribal education, the central tribal university shall carry out all educational and other activities like any other central university," it read. The establishment of a central tribal university in Telangana is obligatory under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. The Central Universities Act, 2009 was enacted to establish and incorporate universities for teaching and research in various states. The law is tweaked from time to time.

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