Kolkata, Aug 12 : Today is International Youth Day, recognised as such by the United Nations.
The day celebrates youth power all over the world.This year the official theme, as given by the United Nations, is ‘Transforming Education’, meant to acknowledge those who are working to transform education and uplift young people everywhere.
The Bengal Government has always given a lot of importance to the transformative capability of the youth of the State.
The State Government has accorded maximum thrust on the provision of more and more opportunities for the youth to learn and educate themselves, be it through formal education or vocational, to get opportunities for jobs or for creating self-employment opportunities.
The Government has set up many universities in the last eight years. It has also facilitated, through favourable policies, several private universities as well.
Compared to just 12 universities up to 2011, there are now 30 universities (20 State and 10 private).
As a result, enrolment in higher education institutions has risen from 13.24 lakh in 2010-11 to 20.36 lakh in 2017-18. Setting up so many in just eight years is a record for the State.
Eight new State-aided universities are being set up. In the financial year 2018-19, the setting up of two State-aided universities, namely, Harichand Guruchand University in North 24 Parganas and Kanyashree University in Krishnanagar, Nadia, has been taken up.
The total number of Government-sponsored colleges now stands at 450, Government colleges at 57 and Government engineering colleges at eight.
Poor and meritorious students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate education get the benefit of scholarships under the Swami Vivekananda Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme. Female students up to the level of PhD now get scholarship under the Kanyashree scheme.
In skills training for the youth, Bengal is ranked number one in the country, as acknowledged officially by the Central Government.