Agartala, Dec 9 (IANS) Tripura will soon be an 'educational hub' for the northeastern states and neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, with the setting up of several technical, medical and educational institutions, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here Sunday.
"Tripura has achieved the remarkable distinction of being the only capital city in the northeastern region to have two medical colleges," Sarkar said.
He said: "The state government has taken up an ambitious plan to set up more technical institutions and degree colleges in each sub-divisions. The educational facilities available in Tripura do not exist in other states."
While addressing an inaugural function of a school here, he said Tripura University has been upgraded into a Central University.
"Under its ambitious plan, the state government has set up a 240-seat Tripura Institute of Technology (TIT) and ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes) in each block and sub-division."
According to the chief minister, the state government has decided to set up three more professional colleges -- dental, ayurvedic and homeopathic -- under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
The Ayurvedic college will be established at Udaipur, the homeopathic college at Kailasahar in northern Tripura and the dental college in Agartala.
"Besides, one each of agricultural, veterinary and fishery colleges are functioning in the state."
Sarkar said: "Private institutions are also being encouraged to supplement government efforts for setting up higher educational institutions in this northeastern state."
"Students from neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, are attracted with this increasing number of educational institutions in the bordering state," he stated.
Addressing the function, state Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty said that when the state became a full-fledged state in 1972, the literacy rate was 31 percent while now it had risen to 90 percent.
"Within the next one year, Tripura would achieve 100 percent literacy," Chakraborty said, adding that the Left Front government has been spending more than 20 percent of its total annual budget in the education sector, while the central government's funding in this sector was less than 10 percent.
Tripura will set up an Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Bodhjungnagar, one of the northeastern region's biggest industrial zones, a state official said.
"State-owned ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation), NEEPCO (Northeastern Electric Power Corporation) and six private industrial houses from West Bengal have expressed willingness to be a partner of the Tripura IIIT," said higher education department secretary Kishore Ambuly.