Cong to focus on development during campaign

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Agartala, Feb 06 (UNI) The Congress will stress on the developmental works of the UPA govenrment in North East as its main agenda during the campaign in poll bound Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland.

Talking to UNI here today, Minister of State at PMO Prithviraj Chavan said that the Congress-led UPA government had taken several initiatives to accelerate development in the NE.

Earlier, the Centre has set up an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Shillong while Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura University were converted to Central Universities last year.

''The Congress has sincerely tried to utilise the potentials of the region and developed a standard infrastructure to remove the misconception of alienation among the people here,'' Mr Chavan said.

Underlining the development of NE region, he stated that the centre emphasised on human resource management along with communication, rural development and basic amenities.

Mr Chavan said the Centre has established a Central University in Sikkim and National Institute of Technology (NIT), Agartala in 2007 while upgraded Manipur Institute of Technology (MIT) into a National Institute of Technology (NIT).

To tackle the problem of regional imbalances in higher education, one Central University in each NE state will be set up, he informed.

The Union Ministry has allocated over Rs 100 crore for the universities of the NE region from the additional Rs 153 crore provided by the Planning Commission under the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP).

The courses in Engineering and Management have been started in all such universities except Mizoram and have projected a requirement of additional funds to the UGC for building up of necessary infrastructure as well as expansion of academic programme in these two faculties.

During 2007-08 fiscal, the Centre had earmarked Rs 239.23 crore for Central Universities in NE and with the increased allocation during the 11th Plan period it would be possible for the UGC to release necessary funds, Mr Chavan added.


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