Parliament has given its nod for setting up 12 Central universities in as many states.
The Central Universities Bill 2009, which also seeks to upgrade some existing universities to that status, was approved by the Rajya Sabha last night after rejecting amendments moved by the opposition.
The Bill, passed by Lok Sabha last week, aims at creating one new central university each in Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
It also seeks to convert Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya in Chhattisgarh, Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya in Sagar (Madhya Pradesh) and Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna University in Uttarakhand into Central universities.
Replying to a debate on the bill, Minister of State for HRD D Purandeswari said the aim of spending six per cent of GDP on education has to be shared by the Centre and state governments and asked the states not to reduce their share of expenditure in this regard.
She said 16 states were identified for the setting up of Central universities to address regional imbalances in higher education.