Continuing my series on the good news from West Bengal, and how the Trinamool Congress government is working to make a difference, I’d like to focus today on education. Once again, I’m offering only facts – no analyses or embellishments.
Do read this and decide for yourselves.
- In the next five years, the state government will establish 10 new universities across West Bengal. By 2014, it will upgrade 999 secondary schools to higher secondary schools. The cabinet has approved recruitment of 46,000 new teachers at the primary level.
- A system of paying salaries to teachers and non-teaching staff at government-aided colleges on the first of the month is being put in place. Delays in payment are being addressed. Direct bank transfers will soon be the norm. Teachers at government institutions will begin to be paid a pension no more than a month after retirement.
- Following a proposal pushed by the Trinamool government, the Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur, is being upgraded to a Central University.
- The Chief Minister has announced Kolkata’s Presidency University will have four new chairs to be named for Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekananda and Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose. St. Xavier’s College (Kolkata) is to be upgraded to a university.
- In 2011-12, West Bengal has added 38,500 seats in general degree colleges, 4,000 seats in engineering colleges, 720 seats in law colleges and 1,200 seats in B.Edcolleges.
- Four new colleges are being set up in the Maoist-troubled Jangalmahal region. These are located in Salboni, Jhargram, Nayagram and Lalgarh. New government colleges are also coming up in Rajarhat (New Town, on the outskirts of Kolkata), in Gaighata, (North 24 Parganas) and in Bhabta (Murshidabad).
- A campus of the Netaji Subhas Open University is being constructed at Bidhan Nagar (Salt Lake) in the Kolkata metropolitan area.
- North Bengal University has taken possession of 36 acres of land from the Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College for the construction of a second campus of the University.