The State Government is keen on ensuring education, people’s welfare and women’s emancipation and the schemes launched so far are an indication of the same, the Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said on Sunday.

Mr. Stalin was speaking at a function organized to inaugurate the new class rooms and buildings of the Government College of Arts and Science of the Bharathiar University in Valparai besides laying the stone for new schemes and commissioning of development works. Mr.Stalin also handed over welfare schemes to the poor and funds to the Women’s Self Help Groups.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Stalin pointed out that when Late C.N. Annadurai took over the reins as the Chief Minister of the State there were only 110 colleges but now there were 13 Universities, four technical education universities, 32 colleges of Arts and science run by the Government, seven teacher training institutions, 162 aided colleges and 498 self financing institutions taking the total to 1145 institutions for higher education.

Recalling the initiatives of the late Chief Minister, Kamarajar for the cause of education, Mr.Stalin said that the number of primary schools, middle schools and higher secondary schools have also increased. From a meager 3.86 lakh students in Higher Schools during the days of late Chief Minister Kamarajar through his initiatives and pursuant efforts today there were 33 lakhs students in Higher Secondary Schools. Mr.Stalin pointed out that opening of a college at Valparai has ensured 98 per cent first generation graduates providing education to 97 per cent of the plantation workers and was happy to note that in a hilly terrain that accounted for more population of listed communities including scheduled tribes the annual intake was increasing by 35 per cent.

Claiming that his Government had kept the promises made during the elections, Mr.Stalin hinted at the Medical Insurance Scheme for the poor. He recalled the emancipation of the women and economic self-reliance through Women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs).

The State Minister for Higher Education, K. Ponmudi, said that all temporary positions in Bharathiar University College at Valparai would be made permanent and appreciated the students of the first batch for having produced excellent results proving that it was only opportunity that mattered to them for proving their worth.

The State Highways Minister, M.P. Saminathan, said that improvement of roads to Valparai was only part of an initiative of the Chief Minister to widen and improve the 45,000 route km length of roads at an outlay of Rs 8,000 crores. The Minister for Information Technology, Poongothai Aladi Aruna took part.

The Valparai MLA, Kovai Thangam thanking the Government for bestowing special attention on his constituency sought opening of a hostel for boys and another for girls and a polytechnic in his constituency besides widening the ghat roads. He also sought repairs to the contour canal at an outlay of Rs 127 crores to prevent the water seepage.

The Rural Industries Minister, Pongalur N. Palanisamy, lauded Mr. Kovai Thangam for his untiring efforts for getting every scheme of the Government for his constituency. The Secretary to Government for Higher Education, K. Ganesan, District Collector, P. Umanath, newly appointed Vice-Chancellor of Bharathiar University, C. Swaminathan, Principal of the University’s College at Valparai, R. Mathivanan and a host of others took part.

Mr.Stalin also inaugurated class rooms constructed at a cost of Rs 50 lakhs, community halls and laid the stone for the additional class rooms, post graduate block, schemes for integrated tourism promotion. He also laid stone for construction of hotel for tourists at a cost of Rs 71.14 lakhs and distributed welfare assistance to 10,222 beneficiaries worth over Rs 3.42 crores.