Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Centre proposes to set up a tribal university at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh, with campuses in several areas across the country.

The Human Resource Ministry has invited comments on the proposal from various Ministries including Home, Tribal Affairs and Agriculture. The Indira Gandhi National Tribal University will encourage studies on tribal art, culture and traditions, forests and natural resources. Tribal students will be given priority in admission.

Amarkantak falls under the Fifth Schedule area and is close to the other tribal-dominated States of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Maharashtra. The Sixth Schedule areas will subsequently be covered under the university. The D. Swaminadhan Committee, set up by the University Grants Commission, recommended the setting up of a varsity exclusively for promoting tribal culture and providing tribals access to higher education. The Ministry accepted its recommendations.