Sunday, 03 June 2018 | PNS | Dehradun– With the Uttarakhand Government planning to open two new universities in the State, things were discussed during the visit of the Union human resource development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar in Dehradun on Friday. At present, the State has in the Govt sector HNB Garhwal Central University, Kumaon University and Sridev Suman Uttarakhand University which have constituent colleges under them. The Minister of State for higher education, Dhan Singh Rawat told media persons on Saturday that the state now has a total of 492 degree colleges ( both government and private) and as per the provisions of University Grants Commission (UGC), one university should cater 100 colleges which means that the state can have two more universities. He said that the Union government gives a grant of Rs  50 crores to upgrade a Grade ‘A’ college into a cluster university. He said that the State Government would soon earmark two places where these new universities can come up. Rawat said that the Union HRD ministry has accepted the proposal to relax norms of  National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NACC) for ten Himalayan states. He added that the department has taken up a target to invite NACC teams to all the colleges of the state. Notably, NACC grades colleges on the basis of building, teaching and non- teaching staff, performance of the students and research activities. In Uttarakhand, there are 100 government colleges out of which 29 are post- graduate (PG) while 71 are under- graduate (UG). The Government college based in Gopeshwar is, however, the only A grade college in the state. The Minister said that the State has received a budget of Rs 72 crore to develop infrastructure and other facilities in the colleges and the universities under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) this year. RUSA has given Rs 20 crore each to Doon University and Kumaon University this year and similarly Rs 2 crore each would be provided to 12 colleges. Taking a dig at the previous Congress Govt in the State, the Minister said that it had opened many colleges during the last days of its tenure without caring for infrastructure and other facilities. He said that soon 80 out of 100 Govt colleges would have their own buildings, adding that the Government is planning to take a loan of Rs 600 crore from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to develop infrastructure in the colleges and universities of the state. He said that the emphasis of the Government being focused on providing quality education in the colleges and the universities, smart classes, E- libraries, furniture and books would be provided in all the colleges. He informed that all the colleges of the state now have principals and soon all of them would have permanent faculty. He further said that the government is planning to ensure that all  the colleges would at least have two permanent faculty members and clerical staff. Some colleges would be developed as model colleges and best facilities would be provided in these colleges, he added. The Min met the department officials and discussed the budget provided by the RUSA. Among others, the director of RUSA Harshwanti Bisht was present at the meeting.

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