October 20, 2013
Maa, Mati, Manush government`s mantra: Education for All
Since May 2011, West Bengal has been witnessing radical changes in the form of developmental projects across the state. From rural development to the welfare of the minority communities, from health to women`s welfare, not a single sector is being left untouched. With the enigma named Ms. Mamata Banerjee leading from the front, working more than 16 hours a day, the State is moving ahead at a steady pace.
Education has been a prime concern for the Maa, Mati Manush Government. From the constitution of a Mentor Group for the premier Presidency University to the setting up of the Panchanan Barma University in Cooch Behar, Kazi Nazrul University in Bardhaman, and the first Women`s University in the State in South 24 Parganas, the State is keeping no stones unturned to make the state a global hub of education. The first private university in the state has started functioning from Salt Lake, Kolkata. Another such university is coming up at Baruipur in South 24 Parganas.
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee recently announced reservation for minorities in higher education seats in the state. She said that she wants the youth from minority communities to advance in studies and become doctors, engineers and professionals in different fields. She said that reservation of seats would be introduced in higher education from next year.
State beside the Economically Weak
The Chief Minister has taken steps to ensure students belonging to Economically Weaker Sections continue to study after school. Nearly 17,000 beneficiaries have been assisted by the state to enroll in higher education courses during the academic year 2012 – 2013 under Tuition Fee Waiver Scheme (TFW). The West Bengal Freeship Scheme (WBFS) covers 74 engineering and technological institutes; 10% of their total student intake has been allowed to pursue the entire undergraduate course without any tuition fees and another 10% has been given a 50% waiver on the fees.
Swami Vivekananda West Bengal Government Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme has been introduced for providing financial assistance to the poor and meritorious students of West Bengal pursuing higher studies. The students domiciled in West Bengal, pursuing higher education courses in one of the educational institutions of this state after passing out from the State Board / Council of Secondary / Higher Secondary Education and Madrassah Siksha Parishad or a University of West Bengal, set up by State Act, and hailing from a family whose annual is Rs. 80,000/- or less, are eligible for this scholarship, provided they have obtained the necessary marks.
On course for education reforms, the state higher education department has constituted an Education Commission for preparing a road map to improve the state`s education sector over the next two decades. The 12-member Panel, comprising eminent teachers and scientists, was formally launched Oct 1 and will start functioning once the festive season ends. The Commission is being headed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Director General Samir K. Brahmachari. Other members of this panel are river expert Kalyan Rudra, Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta former Director Amitava Bose and Shantanu Maharaj of the Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math. The forum has been formed in line with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee`s `Vision 2020 and 2030′ education road map that will take the state towards educational glory.
The Commission will draw attention to the areas that call for betterment and suggest possible solutions to the adversities facing the sector. The activities of the panel will encompass elementary, secondary, higher secondary, higher education, mass education, technical and vocational education, non-formal education and Madrassha education of the state. The Commission has been asked to submit the interim report within six months after its first sitting. The final report is to be formed and submitted to the Government within a year.
Thanks to the Trinamool Government, West Bengal is once again set to become a center of excellence in the arena of higher education. Planning, execution and constant coordination have been the key mantras of this Government. The universities are trying to get the best brains from around to world, inviting them to come and teach in the state. The best brains of Bengal have found their research labs in the State universities instead of migrating to other states and countries. Thanks to the vision of Ms. Mamata Banerjee, the young generation of the State will prosper.