Five new general degree colleges including one professional college are starting their academic session this year itself in Tripura, said Education minister Ratanlal Nath on Friday.
Three of five colleges will be managed by the government and two, including one law college, will be opened by private initiative.
Currently, the state has 22 general degree colleges.
Addressing a press conference at Civil Secretariat here in Agartala city on Friday afternoon, Education minister Nath said that after the formation of the BJP-IPFT coalition government in Tripura, several decisions and reforms were initiated in the Higher Education department, and among them, the decision of starting few more degree colleges in PPP (Public-Private-Partnership) at Old Agartala, Jirania, Panisagar, Kakraban, and Kadamtala were taken up.
“Accordingly, we have floated a tender in October 2021 inviting willing private partners for opening colleges in Tripura. Two private organizations- Anandanagar Welfare Society at Howrah in West Bengal and Downtown Trust at Guwahati in Assam expressed their interest”, he added.
He said “The Anandanagar Welfare Society expressed their interest in opening colleges at Panisagar, Jirania, and Kakraban, but later on, they signed MoU with the state government for two places- Jirania and Kakraban. This society already published advertisements for students’ admission to the general Degree College at Kakraban in the Gomati district. Moreover, Law College at Jirania under the West Tripura district will be started and receive an affiliation certificate from Tripura University (Central). In this Law College, the courses are- Integrated course of BA LLB for 5-years with intake capacity of seats, B.Com LLB integrated course for 5 years with 60 seats, and LLB course of three years with 6o seats”.
On the other hand, the minister said that the Downtown Trust based in Guwahati participated to start college at Old Agartala and inked an MoU, but later it is seen that this trust is reluctant. “Hence, for the interest of the students and augmentation of Higher Education in the state as well as reduce the pressure of admission in Agartala city-based colleges, the council of ministers in the last cabinet meeting decided that the government will not wait for the PPP model, rather we will open college at Old Agartala from this academic session. This new general degree college will be inaugurated on September 28 next”, said Nath.
The Education minister also said that the general degree college in Dharmanagar faced immense pressure on the admission of students and 2597 candidates were admitted in the first semester last year. “Thus, we decided to start another government-run general degree college at Panisagar in North Tripura district after the decision taken in the last cabinet meeting. The subjects in the colleges of Panisagar and Old Agartala are- Bengali, English, Political Science, History, Education, Sanskrit, and Sociology with 100 intake capacity in each subject. The inaugural ceremony will be held this month,” he added.
“Apart from this, the government is starting the government-run general degree college English medium from the current academic session in order to minimize the pressure on capital city colleges. At the initial stage, it will be opened at the Old DIET Building here in Agartala city, renovated with a cost of Rs 76 lakh. The college is named after Sri Aurobindo, an Indian philosopher. The subjects in the English Medium College are- Bengali, English, Political Science, History, Economics, and Sociology with 50% intake capacity in each subject”, Nath told reporters.
Asserting that the government doesn’t want XII-passed students to be left in the lurch for want of sufficient colleges, Nath indicated that action had been taken to address the teacher shortage at the three proposed government-administered colleges.
“Altogether 38 Assistant Professors have already been appointed, while 40 more will be recruited shortly. Besides, the government plans to hire around 300 guest lecturers to run the colleges effectively”, he said.
Nath went on to say that the government intends to regularize the services of “college teachers” who have been engaged in degree colleges for many years and have the required qualification.
On the fate of 10,323 teachers who have often hit the streets seeking appointments, the minister said, “The issue of 10,323 teachers is a settled issue… I don’t want to comment further on it”, he said. The 10,323 professors lost their jobs when the Supreme Court ruled the entire recruitment process illegal and unconstitutional in March 2017.