The central government has given focussed attention on promoting higher education in the Northeastern region, said Union DoNER minister Dr Jitendra Singh told Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
“Each NE State has one central university with Manipur having three and Assam having two,” DoNER minister Singh said.
The Union education ministry has set up three Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode in the Northeastern region in addition to the already existing centrally-funded higher educational institutions.
There are 11 central universities, 8 National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institute of Management, Shillong; Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, North Eastern Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST), Arunachal Pradesh and Central Institute of Technology, Kokrajhar, he informed.
Also, there are two Central Institutes of Hotel Management (CIHM) run by the Union tourism ministry in Guwahati and in Shillong which are offering hospitality courses.
As per North Eastern Council (NEC) General Guidelines 2020, promotion of Northeast region is one of the focused sectors.
Moreover, 30% of the NEC allocation is earmarked for focused development of languages, culture, biodiversity, rich and diverse traditions of Northeast region, etc. in addition to the development of deprived areas and sections of society.
In this financial year, projects worth Rs 175 crore have already been sanctioned for these sectors.
The Union culture ministry in order to protect and promote the rich and diverse traditions and culture of the Northeast region has set up North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) at Dimapur and Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC) at Kolkata.
“These centres organize various cultural activities and programmes in the Northeast region on a regular basis. All the seven zonal cultural centres organize “OCTAVE” a festival to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Northeast,” he said.
Dr Singh informed that during the period from 2014-15 to 2020-21 (as on December 31, 2020) funds amounting to Rs 13199.36 crore were released by the DoNER ministry to the Northeastern states including Assam for projects sanctioned under various schemes of the ministry.
Utilization certificates of Rs 12242.34 crore has been received from the state governments during the period from 2014-15 to 2020-21, he informed.