The Government of India is set to introduce the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the monsoon session of the Lok Sabha. The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill 2021 will serve to amend the Central Universities Act of 2009 with the aim of setting up a Central University in the Union Territory of Ladakh.
Earlier in February 2021, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during the budget speech 2021-2022, proposed the setting up of a Central University in Ladakh. As per reports, the Union Cabinet has recently approved the decision with funds of Rs 750 crores sanctioned for the setting up of the University.
As per reports by the TOI, officials of the Ministry of Education were quoted saying that a bill is to be introduced with the purpose of amendment of the Central Universities Act of 2009. This Act of the Parliament regulates the purpose, power, governance of Central Universities in India. Following the approval of the decision to set up the University in Ladakh, the new Union Education Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan had tweeted earlier that the University will help to reduce imbalances in higher education in the region in accordance with the provisions of the National Education Policy. At the same time, it will also open new opportunities for the youth of Ladakh, lead to the creation of a knowledge-based society and overall growth and development of the region.
The earlier amendment to the Central Universities Act of 2009 was known as the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The bill was passed earlier in 2019 for the establishment of a Central University and a Central Tribal University in Andhra Pradesh. This bill was introduced on July 08, 2019, by the then education minister, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. The establishment of the Central University and the Central Tribal University in Andhra Pradesh was obligatory under provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha earlier in 2019 by voice vote.
The passing of the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha two years back led to the development of two Central Universities in Andhra Pradesh. The project of development of these Universities is expected to be completed in four years i.e., by 2023. With the establishment of these two new Central Universities in 2019, as of March 31, 2021, there are a total of 54 Central Universities in India.
Now, the government has approved the latest amendment to the Central Universities Act, 2009 as the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2021 under provisions of which, a Central University will be established in Ladakh to promote human resource development and overall development of the region.