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Rajya Sabha Approves Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2023

On December 13, 2023, the Rajya Sabha passed the Central Universities (Amendment), Bill, 2023 to modify the Central Universities Act, 2009 in order to construct the Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University in Mulugu, Telangana. On December 7, 2023, the Lok Sabha passed the Bill.

Union Minister for Education Shri Dharmendra Pradhan in his response to the discussion on the Bill in Rajya Sabha said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, yet another promise made to the people of Telangana has been fulfilled. He thanked all the MPs who voted to make this bill a reality. The passage of the bill reflects the collective commitment to improve access and quality of higher education in the country, he added.

Shri Pradhan added that the university will cater to the regional aspirations for years to come, enhance quality and promote research among tribal communities, including in subjects such as tribal art, culture, customs and traditional knowledge systems. The university will be a harbinger of progress for our tribal brothers and sisters across states, he emphasised.

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.

He informed about the Balvatika initiative, which includes activities like Jaadui Pitara, has been started for 3-5 year kids to inculcate teaching-learning methods. The Skill-based education & training has been started in schools, he added.

Shri Pradhan also highlighted the international acceptance of NEP. He informed that Iran has done a Persian translation of NEP 2020 to implement the policy in Iran and Mauritius has sought cooperation in developing an institution, similar to NCERT in their country.

The University will be established at a cost of Rs. 889.07 crore. In the University, there will be graduate, postgraduate and Doctoral level courses under the five schools having 11 departments. A total of 2790 UG and PG students are proposed for the initial seven years of operation of this Tribal University. The establishment of this University will create direct employment in the form of  faculty and non-faculty positions. Besides, it will also create employment avenues through outsourcing/ contractual basis. It will result in developing surrounding areas through  several services and commercial activities which in turn will generate indirect employment opportunities.

The University has been named “Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University” on the mother and daughter, Sammakka and Saralamma (commonly known as Sarakka), who are believed to be manifestations of Adi Parashakti sent to protect the tribal communities of Telangana.

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