Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudi on Thursday announced the places where the State government would open 10 arts and science colleges, including a women’s college in Koothanallur in Tiruvarur district.
“Our leader Kalaignar [former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi] was for higher education, what Kamaraj was for school education [sector]. It was his reforms and changes that gave a fillip to higher education in the State,” Mr. Ponmudi said, replying to a debate on the demand for grants by his department.
He said new colleges would come in Thiruchuli in Virudhunagar district, Thirukovilur in Kallakurichi, Thalavadi in Erode, Ottanchathiram in Dindigul, Manur in Tirunelveli, Dharapuram in Tirupur, Eriyur in Dharmapuri, Alagudi in Pudukottai and Serkadu in Vellore.
“The objective is to increase students’ enrolment and provide higher education equally in all areas,” he said, pointing out that the government had already decided to increase student intake by 25% in the existing colleges.
Besides announcing the upgradation of existing digital libraries in 17 colleges at a cost of ₹85 lakh, he said 10 new digital libraries would be set up in Vyasarpadi in Chennai, Dharmapuri, Paramakudi, Ariyalur, Musiri, Villupuram, Sivaganga, Kumbakonam, Dindigul and Tirunelveli.
Mr. Ponmudi said the government would construct new buildings for four of the 13 colleges that had already been started by the government in the first phase, as they were functioning from temporary buildings. Buildings for colleges in Sankarankoil, Jampukulam, Vanur and Alangudi would be constructed at a cost of ₹45.32 crore.
He also announced that Ph.D programmes would be offered in several government arts and science colleges in Nandanam in Chennai, Chengalpattu, Salem, Coimbatore, Namakkal, Tiruchi, Dindigul, Kumbakonam and Kovilpatti. Underscoring the need for translating textbooks for Tamil medium students, He said 100 books in various subjects would be translated into Tamil at a cost of ₹2 crore.
He said as Tamil medium students were eligible for 20% reservation in government jobs, diploma courses in civil engineering and mechanical engineering would be launched in Tamil from the next year. Other courses in Tamil too would be launched in a phased manner. The Institute of Road and Transport Technology, Erode, would be converted into the Government Engineering College. “The children of the workers of transport corporations will get 35% reservation in the institute,” he said.