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India to get its first-ever tribal university


New Delhi : The rich tribal art, culture, language, customs and even medicine systems are set to get a major fillip as the central government Friday gave its consent to establishing a tribal university in Madhya Pradesh.

The Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Amarkantak district of the state will come up with funding from the department of higher education through the University Grants Commission (UGC), like other Central Universities.

The initial financial requirement of the proposed varsity is estimated at Rs.600 million and a recurring expenditure of Rs.120 million annually.

"The objects of the university include inter-alia, promoting studies and research in tribal art, culture, tradition, language, custom, medicinal systems, forest based economic activities, including special studies in the flora and fauna, and advancements in technologies relating to natural resources of the tribal areas," Information and Broadcasting Minister P.R. Dashmunsi said after a cabinet meeting.

It would ensure establishment of a teaching and affiliating University for facilitating and promoting avenues of higher education and research facilities for the tribal population of the country.

According to the human resource development ministry, the management of the varsity shall, as far as possible, be consistent with the special nature of the institution with adequate number of members of the executive council, academic council and the college development council and other bodies earmarked for persons from amongst the Scheduled Tribes.

The ministry officials said the university would cater to the specific educational needs of the tribal population in the predominantly tribal areas comprising parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Similarly, an adequate number of seats in the matter of admission, of posts in the matter of employment, and other benefits shall be earmarked for the community.

Apart from affiliating colleges, the varsity will have the power to establish its own regional centres in tribal areas.

There will be at least one school in every regional centre to serve as a model school for the region, from where the tribal students would be expected to join the local colleges or the university.