Calcutta, Nov. 24: Jadavpur University and Bengal Engineering College have become the first two engineering institutions in the state to get financial assistance from the World Bank.
The two have been designated “lead institutions” for the World Bank-aided “Technical Education Quality Improvement” programme, said officials, adding that each is likely to get a Rs 50-crore aid to improve infrastructure and human resource. Ten other engineering colleges will be selected for the remainder of the Rs 200-crore programme, with each of them getting Rs 10 crore.
Similar assistance schemes for the state’s polytechnic colleges and the health sector are already in the implementation stage, the officials said. But this is the first time that institutions that have acquired a “brand name” outside the state are getting funds pumped in, they added, explaining their importance.
“This assistance is the first that the state government has got for higher education in the technical field,” state higher education secretary Jawahar Sircar said. “We have got loans for the polytechnic colleges in the past, but this is the first time that money is pouring into colleges with a reputation outside the state.”
Officials said the state government should be proud of the way the assistance was brought in this year itself.
“The funds for the Tenth Plan were supposed to go to six other states,” one of them said, adding that Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kerala were five of the six selected for this plan period.
“The state government team had to fight hard, using all its persuasive skills, to bring in the money for this plan period,” the official added. “Ultimately, the efforts paid off, resulting in this huge inflow of cash.”
The money that is going to come in will be used for improving aspects of education in the two institutes. In the case of Jadavpur University, only the faculty of engineering and technology will get the funds.
“From infrastructure to research, from teachers’ training to improvement of students’ facilities, from the modernisation of laboratories to increasing the stock of the libraries, the money will come in very handy for these two engineering faculties,” Sircar said.