GUWAHATI, March 6 - Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today announced a series of major initiatives relating to higher educational institutions as well as expansion of the scheme to provide free textbooks to students studying in the undergraduate and post-graduate levels.
�While we have successfully distributed free textbooks to the students up to Class XII, the State government has decided to provide free textbooks to students studying in undergraduate courses as well. Under this scheme, we will transfer Rs 1,000 in DBT mode to nearly one lakh students by March 31, 2020. In Financial Year 2020-21, the scheme will also include the students of the post-graduate level. As assistance for buying textbooks, students enrolled in graduate courses will get Rs 1,500 each and students pursuing post-graduation will receive Rs 2,000 each through DBT mode,� Sarma said in his Budget speech presented in the Legislative Assembly.
Sarma said that two new medical colleges � at Diphu and North Lakhimpur � will be operationalised during the financial year 2020-21.
�One engineering college at Dhemaji will also be made operational. Within the financial year 2020-21, seven new government colleges � Borkhola in Cachar, Deaithor in Karbi Anglong, Kakopathar in Tinsukia, Katlicherra in Hailakandi, Lahorighat in Morigaon, Samaguri in Nagaon and Majer Alga in South Salmara � will be made functional as necessary posts for running these colleges have already been created. Our government will also achieve another landmark as we are going to start five new polytechnics in Morigaon, Udalguri, Tinsukia, Hailakandi and Chirang during the financial year 2020-21,� said Sarma.
He added that a new university will be set up under the name of �Sati Sadhoni Rayjik Vishwavidyalaya� in Golaghat district. In addition, work will also start in construction of three new medical colleges in Sonari, Biswanath Chariali and Goalpara on the premises of the existing district hospitals.
The minister also announced plans to establish an ayurvedic college at Dudhnoi in Goalpara district, a law college at Kaliabor, an engineering college at Mangaldoi, a school of foreign languages at the Gauhati University and a chair on national security peace & conflict resolution at Gauhati University.
He added, �Banikanta Kakati was one of the tallest personalities of Assam whose literary work has been pivotal in establishing the identity and provenance of the Assamese mother tongue for our people at a time when Assam was desperately struggling to establish its unique identity. To express our deepest respect and gratitude to this revered personality, we propose to institute a Banikanta Kakati Chair at Gauhati University.�
Sarma also said the government would introduce �Entrepreneurship� as a curricular subject from Class XI onwards covering all students enrolled under three-year degree courses, including ITIs and polytechnics in the State.