Govt tables bill at House to set up varsity in Province 2

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 5, 2016-

Stepping up a gear towards fulfilling its commitment to set up at least one university in each province, the government on Tuesday tabled a bill in the Legislature-Parliament.  

Education Minister Dhani Ram Poudel tabled the bill of Rajarshi Janak (RJ) University Act, which once endorsed by Parliament will open the door for an 11th university in the country. The move came just two months after clearing the legal hurdles for Open University, which became the 10th varsity of the country. The new university, to be formed by converting Ramswarup Ramsagar Multiple Campus in Janakpur, will be the first varsity in Province 2. Tabling the bill in Parliament, Minister Poudel said that the establishment of RJ University will ensure at least one university in each province. The government had registered the bill of RJ University along with that of Nepalgunj University on November 6, 2014. The bill of Nepalgunj University is still on the waiting list.

The move, however, comes at a time when the existing universities are facing problems ranging from budget crunch, decline in student numbers to lack of infrastructure. The Tribhuvan University is presently struggling to manage pension and retirement funds for its staff. Similarly, the Lumbini Buddhist University is trying hard to maintain a student pool of 300 students. The number of students in Nepal Sanskrit University is also decreasing, with just around 1,100 students at present, while three newly established varsities—Far-Western, Mid-Western, and Agriculture and Forestry—are facing operational problems.

Of the total 480,891 university students in the country, around 85 percent or 405,341 are enrolled in the TU alone, according to last year’s report of the University Grants Commission. The report clearly suggests that the new varsities have not done enough to attract students. Currently Province 1, 5, 6 and 7 have one university each, while Province 3 and 4 have four and two universities respectively. 

Published: 05-10-2016 07:32

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