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The Greenfield University (Amendment) Bill 2019 passed in state Assembly

The Greenfield University (Amendment)  Bill 2019  passed in state Assembly

Kolkata/Darjeeling: The Greenfield University (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed in the state Assembly on Wednesday with the objective to change the name of Greenfield University to Darjeeling Hills University in

recognition to the persistent demand of the people of the Hills to change the name of the varsity.

"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the Hills several times since 2011 and has always shown her commitmenttowards development of the Hills and respect to the demand of the local people. The people in the Hills have urged her to change the name of the varsity and so the amendment to change the name has been proposed," said state Education minister Partha Chatterjee while placing the Bill in the Assembly.

The minister added that 25 acres of land has been earmarked at Mongpu for setting up the university.

The state Higher Education department has already sent its proposal of sanctioning Rs 333 crores for construction of the varsity to the state Finance department. "The Public Works Department (PWD) will execute the construction work," Chatterjee said.

It may be mentioned that the state Assembly had passed a Bill on July 31 last year to set up Greenfield University at Jogighat in Mungpoo.

Soon after the bill was tabled, sections of the hill community were of the

opinion that the varsity should be named Darjeeling Hill University so that it would

strike a chord with the local people.

"It was ready to be tabled in the February session in the Assembly but with the ensuing elections it could not be tabled during that time," Chatterjee said.

Left Front leader Sujan Chakraborty demanded that the Bill should be sent to the select committee to elicit opinion of the MLAs while Congress MLA Nepal Mahato also wanted it to be circulated among the MLAs for eliciting opinion.

However, the Bill was passed after majority of the MLAs voted in support of the Bill.

Darjeeling has welcomed the change in name of the Greenfield University to the Darjeeling Hill University.

The demand for a university in the Hills of Darjeeling has been long pending. Though the Union Government during the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration had assured of a Central University for the Hills, it had not translated into action.

A Memorandum of Agreement between the Union, State and the GJM that had paved the way for the GTA had also mentioned the creation of a Central University.

The state government decided to come up with a new university in the

Darjeeling hills.

Finally on July 31, 2018, "Greenfield University Bill" was passed in the West Bengal Assembly

"I as the MLA, Darjeeling and Binoy Tamang as the Chairman, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration had written to the State Government suggesting amendments. We wanted the

name to carry the identity of Darjeeling as Darjeeling is known

globally as an education hub. Darjeeling in itself is a brand name," said Amar Singh Rai, former MLA, Darjeeling.

The Hills have welcomed the change in nomenclature to "Darjeeling Hill University." "We thank the state government for the change in name," Tamang said.

He stated that with the change in nomenclature, the state government and the GTA will start construction at the area already earmarked in Jogighat, Mongpu.

Till the construction is complete, the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar's offices will be operating from the existing Tukdah Engineering College on a temporary basis.

There are many government buildings vacant in Mongpu, these buildings will also

be used for the University on a temporary

basis.

"Before the elections the process for selection of Vice-Chancellor for the university had begun. Three names

have already been empanelled," stated Tamang.

Team MP

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