Parliament Tuesday approved a Bill to set up a central university and a tribal university in Andhra Pradesh, with HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal assuring the two varsities will be completed in the next four years. The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed in Rajya Sabha with a voice vote. The Lok Sabha had passed the Bill on July 12.Currently, these two universities are functioning in temporary facilities in Anantpur and Vizianagaram respectively.Replying on the Bill after around three hours debate, the Minister assured the members that these two universities would be completed in four years and there would be no fund constraints.Read: Bill introduced for central, tribal universities in Andhra Pradesh in Lok SabhaFunds allocated for the two universitiesThe government has already allocated Rs 450 crore for the central university against the total outlay of Rs 902.07 crore and Rs 420 crore for tribal university against the outlay of Rs 836 crore, he said.On members’ concern over the delay in setting up of the two varsities in Andhra Pradesh, the Minister said the government has in fact approved in the shortest span setting of the two central universities in the state.Already, IIT, NIT, IIM, and IIITs have been approved for Andhra Pradesh, he said adding that so many institutions are being set up in such a short span whereas many things have still not been done in Uttarkhand which was carved out way back in 2000.How will the two varsities help Andhra Pradesh develop?According to the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the two universities will increase access and quality of higher education and also promote avenues of higher education for the people of the state.advertisementThe Tribal University will provide instructional and research facilities in tribal art, culture and customs and advancement in technology to the tribal population of India.At present, there is no central university in Andhra Pradesh while other states, except Goa, have one or more such institution.Setting up a central university and a central tribal university in Andhra Pradesh is obligatory under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 for creation of Telangana.The Minister also mentioned that a tribal central university will be set up in Telangana when the land will be provided by the state government.Problems with the proposed varsitiesParticipating in the debate, YSRCP member Vijaysai Reddy said the government should give a timeframe for establishing two universities in Andhra Pradesh.More than five years have passed and the central government has sanctioned only Rs 18 crore for the setting of Tribal university, he said.Speaking about the central university, Reddy said that even in the second year of operation, the institution is functioning without proper infrastructure and academic staff.He sought permanent staff and infrastructure for the central university.Reddy raised the issue of special category status to Andhra Pradesh and said the present government has not fulfilled the promise made by the Manmohan Singh government. in this regard.Javed Ali Khan (SP) sought reasons for not completing setting up of the two universities in Andhra Pradesh over the past five years.He also mentioned that the government was setting up so many universities with adhoc staff and that efforts should be make to appoint permanent staff.K Keshava Rao (TRS) alleged step-motherly treatment to Telangana. K Ravindra Kumar (TDP) said the central university was running without permanent campus and faculties.P Bhattacharya (Congress), GVL Narsimha Rao (BJP), A Vijayakumar (AIDMK), Abir Ranjan Biswas (AITC), Prashanta Nanda (BJP), Kahkashan Perween (JD-U), KK Ragesh (CPI-M), Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD), Swapan Dasgupta (Nominated), L Hanumanthiah (Congress) and Vinay P Sahasrabuddhe (BJP) participated in the debate.Members raised concern over the poor infrastructure facilities as well as huge vacancies in faculties in central universities across the country.Read: This university has launched a master’s programme to fight against climate changeRead: Sports University in Patiala to be operational from September 1
Peter Gabriel has joined The Times’ Time To Mind mental health campaign in the UK by speaking about his own battles with depression.“One in four of us will suffer from a mental health problem this year,” he said. “Many years ago, I became depressed after my divorce and I know how debilitating it can be, but I also learnt how much difference good treatment can make.“Ignoring the mental health of our kids is certain to create a destructive time bomb that will not only handicap them but also damage their ability to parent well. The emotional pressures and stresses that are now normal for our young people seem to be producing an extraordinary number of mental health problems, leaving teenagers more isolated and alienated than ever.”Gabriel joins celebrity support for the campaign from Paloma Faith and Neil Gaiman.Find out more about Time To Mind here.