GUWAHATI: To develop existing colleges into full-fledged universities in the state, the Assam Assembly approved the establishment of six new universities during its ongoing autumn session, on Thursday.
By a voice vote, the Assembly passed the Nagaon University Bill, 2023, the Gurucharan University Bill, 2023, and four other university bills.
Addressing queries during the discussion, Education Minister Ranoj Pegu outlined key prerequisites for inaugurating a new university – a minimum land area of 100 bighas, at least five academic departments boasting qualified faculty, among other conditions.
While the University Grants Commission (UGC) is momentarily relaxing some criteria, the onus is on the government to fulfil these stipulations promptly. The conversion of colleges into universities will utilise their existing infrastructure, with dedicated funds earmarked for expansion, he said.
In a responsive move, the minister assented to an amendment proposed by the AIUDF. This change seeks the inclusion of two MLAs in the highest decision-making bodies of these universities. Additionally, seven amendment bills received the House’s approval, empowering the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to oversee and audit the universities’ accounts.
The Assembly’s proactive legislative session didn’t stop there. They also passed the Assam Panchayat (Amendment) Bill, 2023, led by Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass, and the Assam Motor Vehicle Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, steered by Transport Minister Parimal Suklabaidya.
Apart from these, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma received affirmation for the Mobility of Employees of State Government Bill, 2023, while Finance Minister Ajanta Neog witnessed the passage of two pivotal bills focusing on micro-finance and GST amendments.
The day concluded with the Assembly passing amendments moved by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Ashok Singhal, highlighting Assam’s legislative dynamism.