New Delhi, May 10 : UPA Chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday promised infrastructure for higher education in the backward areas.
Addressing a convocation function of Jamia Hamdard University in New Delhi, Gandhi said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has put his personal imprint into the initiatives.
"Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has put his personal imprint on major initiatives to expand the infrastructure for higher education. Thirty new central universities are to be stated over the next five years, 370 new degree colleges will be established in districts which are educationally backward," Gandhi said.
Welfare of minorities in India got a boost during 2007 with the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) drawing up guidelines to improve the share of Muslims in government jobs and setting up a high-level panel to remove anomalies in their representation in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.
The guidelines were framed on the basis of the recommendations on the status of minorities by the Sachar Committee set up by the Centre.
Announcing the measures, the government presented an action taken report in Parliament on the steps it proposed to take to implement the committee's suggestions.
In the Common Minimum Programme that was drawn up in the run up to the last general elections, the UPA government promised to amend the Constitution to establish a Commission for Minorities Educational Institutions that would provide direct affiliation for professional institutions to central universities.
The UPA's poll manifesto also promised to provide modern and technical education to all minority communities. Social and economic empowerment of minorities through more systematic attention to education and employment was also top on the agenda.