New Delhi: A first ever post-graduation course in North-East studies will be started at prestigious Jamia Millia lslamia, Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) Jitendra Singh announced on Wednesday.
"There is often talk of bringing Northeast closer to mainstream India but I personally always subscribe to the idea of simultaneously bringing mainstream India closer to Northeast. The new initiative, therefore, would be a promising step in that direction," he said.
The Minister made the announcement after a visit to the Centre for Northeast Studies in the University after his meeting with Vice Chancellor, Talat Ahmed, Head of Northeast Studies, Sanjoy Hazarika and other faculty members to give a final shape to the decision.
"For India this is a totally new and unique initiative of its kind because this will be for the first time that any Indian University will introduce a formal recognised Post Graduation Degree Course in region based studies," he said.
The Minister was earlier informed a formal Master's course in Northeast studies will begin from next academic session, one optional paper on Northeast has already been introduced in post graduation exam from the current academic year.
"The concept of region based research and study within a university was, by and large, hitherto unknown in the Indian academia and mostly existed in some European universities and therefore, with the introduction of this course, not only the Jamia Millia Islamia University will acquire a distinct identity of its own but the Northeastern part of India will also earn a unique academic distinction," he said.
The Minister said Northeast has a very high literacy rate with a small State like Mizoram recording a literacy rate of 92 per cent to 93 per cent, second only to Kerala.
"Students and faculty of Northeast origin are making a very valuable contribution in the leading colleges and universities of the National capital and other Indian metros. DoNER plans to promote Centres for Northeast Studies as resource banks for people from outside Northeast to understand and study the exclusive culture and richness of that region," the Minister said.
He assured the Vice Chancellor that the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) will offer all its cooperation in making the initiative successful.