Sunday, December 26, 2010

West Bengal 2006-2010:Touching New Milestones(4)

5 New Universities and 73 New Degree Colleges

· 5 new Universities (West Bengal State University, Gour Banga University, Alia University, Presidency University and Sidhu-Kanu-Birsa University) and 73 new Degree Colleges have been set up during the tenure of the Seventh Left Front Government alone.

· A campus of the Aligarh University is coming up at Murshidabad. Another campus of the North Bengal University is being built up at Jalpaiguri. Similarly, a campus of Rabindra Bharati University is coming up at Siliguri.

· The State Government has sanctioned 3500 posts of lecturers for colleges and universities in the last four and a half years. This excludes Universities not directly under the Department of Higher Education.

· University Grants Commission has declared the Calcutta and Jadavpur Universities as 'Potential for Excellence'. 16 Colleges of the State have also been conferred upon with the same status.

· 2 new Medical Colleges have been established at Kalyani and Jadavpur. The Cabinet has recently approved establishment of 3 more Medical Colleges in the State. The scope of Post Graduate studies in Medical Sciences has widened substantially.

· 36 new Engineering Colleges have so far been set-up within the tenure of the Seventh Left Front Government, since 2006.

· Legislation for establishment of a private university titled 'Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology' has been passed in 2008, with the objective of imparting advanced education in 'Information and Communication Technology'.

· The Union Government has very recently decided to recognize 'Bengal Engineering and Science University' as an Institute of National Significance. BESU is the first institution in the country to have acquired this distinction.

· The Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India decided to set up 'Indian Institute of Science Education and Research' - world-class centres for cultivation of science and research following the pattern of IIT and IIM at various places of the country. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India laid the foundation stone of the Kolkata Centre in 2006 under the initiative of Government of West Bengal. The Institute’s new campus is under construction at Kalyani. Activities are being carried out from Salt Lake till the new campus at Kalyani comes up. It has opened up a new horizon in talent development of the State. This would never have been possible without the pro-active role of the State Government.

· Work for establishing 'Rabindra Udyan' - which will be a full fledged institute for Tagore Research has been initiated at Jyoti Basu Nagar (Rajarhat) to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of the poet this year.

· Primary Education: Primary Education in West Bengal is on the verge of universalisation. 99.25% children of the State are now enrolled in primary schools, much ahead of the Pan-Indian enrolment ratio. A hundred percent success is imminent with active cooperation of all concerned. The drop-out rate has swooped down to 6.85%, which is less than the national average of 7.8%. Coverage under Mid-day Meal programme has been extended to 95%.

· A separate authority is being set-up to monitor and manage the Sishu Siksha Kendras (SSK) and Madhyamik Siksha Kendras (MSK) running under the aegis of the Panchayats and Rural Development Department. The uncertainties concerning job security of teachers have since been resolved.
· More than 3000 vocational training centres at Secondary School level have been set up under the initiative of the Technical Education and Training Department during the tenure of the Seventh Left Front Government alone. 2 Lakh new students have been enrolled. More than 200 Vocational Training Providers (VTP) have been established under the Skill Development Initiative Project, and among them they have covered another 35000 students. Apart from these 24 ITIs and 22 Polytechnics have been rendered operational during the last 5 years. 50 more ITIs are expected to be commissioned in the current financial year.
Helping Poor students

· Left Front Governments have always been keen to extend the scope of education to the poorer and backward sections of the society. But the contribution of the Seventh Left Front Government in the area is very special.

· The State Government issues grants to nearly 26 lakh students belonging to the scheduled castes/ tribes reading in Classes V to X towards purchase of books and examination fees. Only 15352 students got the benefit in 1977-78.

· The State Government offers maintenance grants to about 6 lakh Scheduled Caste / Tribe day scholar students reading in Classes V to X. The quantum of this grant has been enhanced from Rs. 600/- to Rs.750/- from this year.

· The State Government grants Pre-Matric Scholarship to about 5 lakh students reading in Classes I to X and belonging to minority communities. In the Post-Matric level 90000 minority students are awarded scholarships. 4000 students get merit based scholarships, and 10000 minority students are awarded Hazi Mohammad Mohsin Scholarships from the State Government. 30% of these scholarships are reserved for female candidates.
· A monthly incentive of Rs.100/- is offered to every girl student reading in Classes IX to XII in Madrasahs.

· West Bengal Urdu Academy has also enhanced the value of the scholarships it offers.

· The State Government has started giving incentives to female graduate and post-graduates coming from financially weaker minority families from this year itself. Any female student securing 40% marks would be entitled for this incentive. Female students at the Graduate level get Rs. 9000/- and students at the Post Graduate level get Rs.14400/- per year.

· Government of West Bengal has introduced Ambedkar Medha Puraskar from 2010 to encourage meritorious students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
· Financial assistance under the Merit-cum-Means Project is being extended to students through the Department of Higher Education. 3657 students were benefited in 2008-09 and 7343 students benefited in 2009-10 under the project.
· Financial Assistance of Rs.343.88497 Lakh was released to 4588 students from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund till September 2010.

· The minority students enrolled for vocational training in Alia University are required to pay only 10% of their tuition fees. The State Government pays the remaining 90% on their behalf.
Job Security for Part-time and Contractual Teachers

· The Seventh Left Front Government has conferred due dignity upon those attached with the noble teaching profession. The list includes Teachers of SSK/ MSK, Para-Teachers of Primary and Madhyamik Schools, VRP, Shiksabandhu etc. and Part-time and Contractual Lecturers serving in Degree Colleges. This is the first time that any State Government in the country has adopted such a step, putting an end to the yearly hassle of renewal of contract. The salary hike for now would be around 35%. Pay would be revised every three years and a one-time payment of Rs.1 lakh would be admissible at the time of superannuation. About 140000 Teachers would benefit from the scheme.

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