Gangtok: The Sikkim Legislative Assembly on Tuesday approved two Bills, paving the way for the setting up of two private universities in West Sikkim, and amended another Bill to revive a defunct private university at Jorethang in South Sikkim.

The three Bills were introduced in the Budget Session 2020-21 of the assembly on Monday. The two proposed universities are Sikkim International University in Sribadam and Sikkim Medhavi Skills University in Bermiok, both in West Sikkim.

The assembly amended another Bill for the revival of Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management (EIILM) University and changed its name to Sikkim Alpine University, and the location changed from Jorethang to Kamrang in South Sikkim.

The Sikkim International University Bill, 2021 was introduced by education minister Kunga Nima Lepcha on Monday. “The university is being built with 100% private sponsorship and the state government will not incur any expenditure. The university will cater to the needs of the students of Sikkim seeking admission in various disciplines,” he informed the House.

The minister added that aspects like placement have been incorporated while signing the agreement with the university, and care has been taken not to leave any lacunae.

During the course of his Budget speech, CM Prem Singh Golay said: “The university will open up vistas of opportunity for the aspirational young minds of Sikkim. Young professionals from Sikkim who qualify the norms of UGC can get employment in the university. The lease term for the university is 33 years, as per the norms of the government.”

The Medhavi Skills University was also introduced by the education minister. While replying to questions from BJP MLA DT Lepcha, the minister said: “The university is highly credible, which will not only ensure quality education, but also take care of placements. The university will be established in Bermoik, West Sikkim, and will also address the need and aspirations of drop-out students. It will provide necessary momentum for overall development of the area.”

The university will be sponsored by Medhavi Foundation.

Meanwhile, the legislative assembly also gave its nod to revive the Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management (EIILM) University by changing its name to Sikkim Alpine University.

Minister Kunga Nima Lepcha said: “The erstwhile EIILM University is being revived after thorough vetting. As per norms, the nomenclature of the university has been changed to Sikkim Alpine University. The university will be established in Kamrang, South Sikkim, and will focus on quality education and create quality human resource.”

Also read: Sikkim CM presents Rs 9852.85 crore budget for 2021-22

In his budget speech, CM Golay also asserted on “more space for private universities”.

“We shall have students from all over the country and abroad coming to Sikkim for education degrees and research. This will also assist in promoting tourism,” he said.

The government of Sikkim has set up the Sikkim Higher Education Commission (SHEC) mainly to implement various goals of the New Education Policy 2021. The commission headed by the CM also has eminent academics and educationists as its members. It aims to monitor and regulate the activities of private universities in Sikkim.

The Himalayan state already has four other private universities, including Sikkim Professional University, SRM University, ICFAI University and Manipal University.

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