India invests $208 million in northeast education infrastructure


Agartala : The central government has launched an ambitious Rs.8.17-billion ($208 million) scheme to develop educational infrastructure in India’s eight northeastern states, according to an official report.

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“Of the Rs.8.166 billion, Rs.6.558 billion have been released so far for various educational projects in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura,” said an official report of the central human resource development (HRD) ministry.

The development plans in the northeast are centrally financed on the basis of 90 percent grant and 10 percent loan, the report said.

“In addition to that allocation, Rs.520 million was released to five universities located in the states of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura for setting up of engineering and management faculties.”

The HRD ministry report said an Indian Institute of Management would be set up in Meghalaya capital Shillong and the state government has agreed to provide 120 acres of land free of cost for the proposed institute.

The central government converted the Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura universities into central universities in August 2007 and established a new central university in Sikkim.

According to the report, Tripura Engineering College in Agartala has also been upgraded into a National Institute of Technology (NIT) and the HRD ministry will soon convert Manipur Institute of Technology into a NIT.

The HRD ministry, with the help of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the northeastern states has launched satellite-based educational facilities in the region aimed at increasing the knowledge base of students.

On Aug 14 last year, the satellite-based facility was started in Tripura with the help of the Edusat, a dedicated satellite of the ISRO to beam educational and training programmes in the country.