New Delhi: The Centre has decided to set up five new universities for imparting higher education including medical to students belonging to minority communities, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi announced here on Thursday.
"We want to establish five universities with world class institutions where higher education including medical and skill development will be imparted as part of efforts to empower minorities.
"...These universities will have big campuses for residential schools, Ayurved, Unani medical education," the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Minorities Affairs said.
He said the government plans to offer 40 per cent reservation to girl students at the "world class institutions" under the proposed varsities, where, he stated, students from other than minority communities can also undertake education.
Naqvi was speaking to reporters after chairing a meeting of general body of Maulana Azad Education Foundation, he said the Ministry has approved 16 Gurukul-type schools in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Jharkhand.
On whether the varsities will hold minority tags, Naqvi said, "The committee will work out details and decide. But students belonging to other than minority communities can learn there. We will try to give 40 per cent quota to girl students to empower them. It will not be based on religion."
A high-level committee will be formed in a day or two to work out roadmap within next two months, help identify places where the universities "with world class institutions" will be established and start academic sessions by 2018, Naqvi said.
When asked about probable places where the varsities will take shape, Naqvi said the high-level committee will figure it out.
"Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has already suggested us five properties including three in Jaipur and one in Kota for the purpose," he added.
Apart from the varsities, the Ministry has, through the Foundation, decided to float 'Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centres' across the country.
The meeting also decided to offer 'Begum Hazrat Mahal' scholarships to girl students. Besides, students undertaking mainstream education at madrasas will also be offered scholarship henceforth to encourage them, he added.