Kolkata: In a historic move, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will lay the foundation stone of Jhargram University on Thursday.
The proposed university is coming up on Jhargram- Lodhasuli Road on 27.02 acres of land. It may be mentioned that Banerjee, during her last trip to Jhargram, had announced the setting up of a university to meet the long-standing demand of the student community. Partha Chatterjee, state Education minister, will be present at the programme, which will be held at the Jhargram Stadium.
The university will have five departments to start with. Arts, Social Science, Information Science and Media, Science and Technology and vocational courses. There will be facilities to study the Arts subjects in Olchiki script. With the construction of the university in Jhargram, there will be three universities in Paschimanchal. The two existing universities are Vidyasagar University in West Midnapore and Sidho Kanho University in Purulia.
The proposed university will benefit the local students immensely, as they will not have to go to other districts to pursue higher education.
Jhargram, which was then a part of West Midnapore district, was the epicenter of Maoist activities between 2006 and 2011. The Maoists had taken control over some of the villages and forced the children not to go to the schools as they were being used as pawns.
After coming to power in 2011, Banerjee has made frequent visits to Jhargram, to win the confidence of the people. Projects had been taken up for massive development of the area. A bridge was constructed at Lalgarh. A nursing college, women's college and super-specialty hospital have come up.
To provide better education to the tribal students, Banerjee had requested the then general secretary of the Ramakrishna Order Swami Suhitanandaji, to take over the Eklavya Model Residential School. RKM took over the school and in the past two years, the students have come up with good results.
A trilingual dictionary, the only of its kind, has been brought out by the Backward Classes Welfare department (BCW). Distribution of bicycles among the students between classes IX to XII of state-run, aided and sponsored schools has brought down the number of dropouts.
Because of the Chief Minister's initiatives, the road connectivity has improved, resulting in growth in the tourism sector. The unemployed youths are now being given training in hospitality management, which will help them to get jobs in the hotels, lodges and resorts. Banerjee's plan has opened new areas before the student community.