Three new medical colleges, an agriculture college, a separate university for horticulture, a university for Indian medicine and Homoeopathy and five arts and science college will be set up in the State.

In his address to the Assembly, Governor Surjit Singh Barnala said new medical colleges would be opened at Ramanathapuram, Cuddalore and Dindigul to fulfil the objective of having a medical college in each district.

The agricultural college will be established at Kivelur in Nagapattinam to benefit students in predominant agrarian districts such as Tiruvarur, Thanjavur and Nagapattinam. A separate university for horticulture will come up at Krishnagiri this year.

The government said a university of Indian medicine and Homoeopathy would be established in Kanyakumari district this year.

It would cover six existing government colleges of Indian medicines and Homoeopathy along with 26 similar private colleges.

Arts and Science Colleges will come up at Nemmeli in Kancheepuram district, Nagalapuram in Thoothukudi district, Harur in Dharmapuri district, Kallakurichi in Villupuram district, and Tiruchuli in Virudhunagar district.

Mr. Barnala, citing a report of the National University for Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) in 2008-09, said Tamil Nadu ranked fifth in the country when it came to educational development index, which measured the quality of school education.

Similarly, a survey by NCERT in 2008, had said that schoolchildren in the State stood first in terms of competency in mathematics and language skills.

He said a total of 80,450 student had been benefited under the scheme to bear the government approved tuition fee for students from families with no graduates who have secured admission in professional colleges.