TODAY -
LS okays Manipur University Bill
Source: The Sangai Express

New Delhi, December 13: Parliament today passed a legislation to convert Manipur University into a Central University with the Centre maintaining that it was alive to sentiments of the people of the North-East that more central universities be established in the region.

The Manipur University Bill, 2005, which was approved by Rajya Sabha on November 30, was passed by voice vote in Lok Sabha with Minister of State for HRD Kanti Singh saying resource crunch was the only problem in giving a categoric assurance that more central universities would be established in other North-Eastern States as well.

She said State Governments, along with the University Grants Commission, had to provide assistance to these universities and the States were facing a severe resource crunch at the moment.

Not satisfied with her reply and seeking a categoric assurance from her, two BJP members from the North-East Khiren Rijiju and Tapir Gao walked out of the House though their party colleagues sat inside.

"We believe in action and not mere assurances," Kanti Singh asserted and maintained the Centre was alive to the necessity of establishing universities in these States.

She said the proposal had already been taken to the Planning Commission and expressed confidence that a decision was likely to be taken soon.

The Minister said the UPA Government issued an ordinance in this regard as the academic session was already on the anvil and appointments made to several top posts including Vice Chancellor, Registrar and Financial Officer.

Participating in the discussion, members hailed the decision to convert Manipur University into a Central University and called for setting up of more such institutions for spread of higher education in backward States.

Khiren Rijiju (BJP) said the Government should bring a legislation in right earnest for setting up such universities in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Tripura.

He said while giving Manipur University central status, an impression should not gain ground that "one gets a reward only after trouble is made". Thokchom Meinya (Cong) said the Centre has fulfilled a long felt demand by giving Manipur University the Central status.

Basudeb Burman (CPI-M) pointed out that the Bill is silent on University's constitution and hoped the First Executive Council would initiate steps in this direction.

Mohan Singh (SP) wondered when other regions had universities, why was the North-East left out Giridhar Gamang (Cong) highlighted the need for a central university in Orissa's backward and tribal-dominated regions.

Tapir Gao (BJP) demanded a central university for Arunachal Pradesh.


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