Darjeeling: Chief Minister's gift on the occasion of Teachers' Day was the first ever state-aided university in the Hills named — "Darjeeling Hill University." Mamata Banerjee laid the foundation stone of the university in a government programme at Darjeeling Chowrasta. Representatives of different Hill political outfits were present at the programme and lauded the Chief Minister's efforts in fulfilling the long standing demand of the local populace.
"This is the first state-aided university to be set up in the Hills since independence. The campus of the university will be named after Tenzing Norgay, Kanchenjunga and Acharya Bhanubhakta. The University will offer study programmes in Travel and tourism management; Tea management; Horticulture; Himalayan studies along with Humanities, Science, IT and Media," stated Banerjee.
The Chief Minister stated that 23 new State Universities have come up in the last 7 years and 9 more universities are coming up. "We will inaugurate Gandhi University at Tamluk on October 2," stated Banerjee. A new university is also on the pipeline for Alipurduar.
"Earlier students from all over the world used to come to Darjeeling to study. We want to revive the past glory of Darjeeling and promote it as an education hub," stated the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister mentioned that bicycles are provided free of cost to the students in the plains by her Government.
"In the Hills, we cannot give bicycles to students. But Hill students should not be deprived. We will give raincoats and bags to 28,000 students who attend government and government-aided schools," stated Banerjee.
On the occasion of Teachers' Day, the Chief Minister congratulated all the teachers. "Teachers are the main pillars and foundation of society," said the CM.
Dr Harka Bahadur Chettri, President, Jan Andolan Party (JAP) requested that some courses to be taught at the University should have connections with the Hill history. "Let an expert committee formulate the courses. Let subjects like Trans-Himalayan Culture be incorporated in the course," suggested Chettri.
Bharati Tamang, President, All India Gorkha League; Ajoy Edwards, Central Committee member, GNLF were also present at the programme. "It is a dream come true for the Hills. The Hills have been demanding an University since 1954," stated Binoy Tamang, Chairman, Board of Administrators, GTA.