Explained: Central Universities (Amendment) Bill 2019

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar takes oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha, on July 8, 2019. (Photo: IANS/RSTV)

Minister of Human Resource Development Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank introduced the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on July 8, 2019. As it was cleared by the Lok Sabha on July 12, 2019, the bill was eventually approved by the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, July 16, 2019. The provisions of this act amend the Central Universities Act, 2009, that is aimed at establishing Universities for education and research across different states of India.

What the bill implies?

The Central Universities Amendment Bill creates room for establishing two central universities in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The names of these universities will be the Central University of Andhra Pradesh and the Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh. The principal objective of the Central Tribal University is to take added measures to offer opportunities to the tribal population in the realms of higher education and research and also create enough facilities for researches related to tribal art, technology, culture, and customs.

The background

It is important to note that the creation of a Central University and a Central Tribal University in the state of Andhra Pradesh becomes mandatory as per the provisions found in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014.

Measures taken as per the amendment

While talking on the bill, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank made an assurance to the members of the houses that the said universities will be created within the next four years.

The minister said that the Government of India has now allotted a sum of RS. 450 crore for the project’s first phase that will see the emerging of the Central University. The total value of the project will be Rs. 902.07 crore. The government has also allotted a sum of Rs. 420 crore for the first phase of setting up the Tribal University which will be accomplished at a total allotment of Rs. 836 crore.

The minister also said that the government is attaching a high priority to empower the education system in the country further. With this objective, the budget for education has been increased to Rs. 95,000 crore this year from Rs. 67,000 crore in 2013-14.

The minister stated that the creation of these two universities in the state of Andhra Pradesh will significantly enhance the quality of Higher Education and also promote the avenues for research and higher education for the people residing in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Talking about the Tribal University, the minister remarked, "Apart from being focused on tribal education, the Central Tribal University shall carry out all educational and other activities like any other Central University.”

Discussions in Rajya Sabha

K Ram Mohan Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party said that the educational institutions that exist today in Andhra Pradesh are not running well and they lack the resources to function properly.

YSRCP party’s Lavu Devarayalu requested the government to sanction enough funds towards the creation of the Central universities and urged for introducing more courses and research programs in these two budding universities. He also said, "More funds need to be allocated to the Eklavya schools in tribal areas so that the students who eventually go to the tribal university have a strong foundation.”
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