Jammu: Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday inaugurated the transit campus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) here and praised Jammu and Kashmir for "keeping pace" with education despite a decades-long turmoil with gross enrolment figures higher than the national average.
Ninety students have been enrolled at IIT, Jammu for the first academic session.
"Jammu and Kashmir has excelled in education despite the turmoil," said Javadekar after declaring open the institute.
"Compared to the national average of 23.6 per cent of gross enrolment in higher education, girls pursuing higher studies in Jammu and Kashmir have a 27-per cent gross enrolment, more than the 25 percent of boys, and both the figures are higher than the national average," he added.
The minister said the Centre has laid emphasis on creating centres of excellence in higher education and IIT, Jammu was a step towards that direction, adding that the government has also launched a free online coaching programme for IIT aspirants.
He said the inauguration of IIT, Jammu was delayed due to a land problem.
Javadekar announced Rs 100 crore for NIT, Srinagar under a special plan this year to facilitate research and development.
He said a fund of Rs 1,000 crore has been earmarked in the Union Budget to create a finance agency and another Rs 1,000 crore is expected to come from a bank soon to create a kitty of Rs 2,000 crore for infrastructure building and research in IITs.
He said over 2,000 research proposals have been received and of these, 450 have been shortlisted and around 300-400 would be funded.
"Now, researchers will teach here and do research as well," said Javadekar.