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14/12/23 | 11:15 am

Rajya Sabha approves Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2023

The Rajya Sabha passed the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2023 on Wednesday, seeking to amend the Central Universities Act of 2009 to establish the Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University in Mulugu, Telangana. The Lok Sabha had already passed the Bill on December 7, 2023.

Responding to the discussions on the Bill, Union Minister for Education Dharmendra Pradhan said that the passage of the Bill reflects a collective commitment to enhancing access and quality in higher education across the country.

Pradhan highlighted that the new university in Telangana will address regional aspirations, enhance educational quality, and foster research within tribal communities, specifically focusing on subjects like tribal art, culture, customs, and traditional knowledge systems.

He mentioned that the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act, 2019 ensured the rights of SC/ST/OBC/EWS of reservation envisaged under the Constitution.

In addition, Pradhan provided insights into the Balvatika initiative, featuring activities like Jaadui Pitara, aimed at instilling teaching-learning methods for 3-5 year-olds. He noted the initiation of skill-based education and training in schools.

Pradhan drew attention to the international acceptance of the National Education Policy (NEP), mentioning Iran’s Persian translation of NEP 2020 for implementation in Iran and Mauritius seeking cooperation to develop an institution similar to NCERT in their country.

The establishment of the Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University, with an allocated budget of Rs. 889.07 crore, will offer graduate, postgraduate, and doctoral level courses through five schools encompassing 11 departments. The initial seven years of operation aim to accommodate 2790 UG and PG students, contributing to direct employment opportunities in faculty and non-faculty positions. The University is expected to generate indirect employment through outsourcing and contractual arrangements, thereby leading to economic development in the surrounding areas.

The University’s name, “Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University,” honors the mother and daughter, Sammakka and Saralamma (commonly known as Sarakka), believed to be manifestations of Adi Parashakti sent to protect the tribal communities of Telangana.

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