New Delhi: 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 Anantapur 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.

The 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 delay in setting up of the two varsities in Andhra Pradesh, the Minister said the government has in fact approved in a 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 Uttarakhand which was carved out way back in 2000.

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.

The 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 provided by the state government.

Participating in the debate, YSRCP member Vijay Sai Reddy said the government should give time frame for establishing two universities in Andhra Pradesh.

More than five years have passed and the central government has sanctioned only Rs 18 crore for 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 (AIADMK), Abir Ranjan Biswas (AITC), Prashanta Nanda (BJP), Kahkashan Perween (JD-U), KK Ragesh (CPI-M), Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD), Swapan Dasgupta (Nominated), L Hanumanthaiah (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. (PTI)

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