Minister for higher and technical education in the state of Maharashtra, Uday Samant recently announced that there are plans for setting up a separate university in the Konkan region of the state. He was holding a meeting with the education department officials of the state at the Savitribai Phule University.

This announcement came in the wake of long-standing demand from the people in the region for setting-up a separate varsity. Presently, the colleges in the Raigad district, Ratnagiri district, and Sindhudurg districts of the Konkan region are affiliated to the Mumbai University.

The Minister was addressing a press conference when he said that a committee had been set up for this purpose. He further added that “There was a long pending demand of people from the Konkan that there should be a separate university in Konkan region.

For students studying in Sawantwadi in Konkan, Mumbai University is almost 650 kilometres away and it is difficult for them to travel that far for any work.”

When asked about the varsity level student polls, the minister added that while a segment is in favour of the elections while another is against it.

So, the state government will consult the experts before proceeding ahead in this direction. As a matter of fact, the previous state government of Maharashtra had decided last year to revive student elections which have been banned from 1993.

As per their plans, the fresh student polls were to be held in 11 universities and their affiliated colleges. But the elections were delayed due to the assembly elections in the month of October 2019.

Uday Samant added that in-principal everyone in the current government believes that the decision of the erstwhile government was not right and requires to be changed.  He also added that a separate academy for the professors would be set up in Pune.

He also announced that a decision has been taken by the state government to remove a stay on giving approvals for new libraries in the state and added that “Since 2012, no permission for new libraries have been given as there was a cabinet decision. We will lift the stay and start giving permissions to new libraries.”

When asked about a statement from a Congress leader which sought cancellation of appointment of “pro-RSS vice-chancellors,” the minister added that  as the appointment has been made by the governor, it is not right for him to comment on the matter.

He said that his focus is only on improving the quality of education, developing new infrastructure, and enhancing the skills of the teachers.

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