Silchar, Nov. 2: The construction of a National Institute of Technology in Mizoram is likely to start soon, with the selection of a site at Lengpui, about 40km from Aizawl.
The Northeast already has five NITs out of the total 30 in the country and the number will increase with the establishment of two more institutes in Aizawl and Itanagar.
The existing NITs in the region are at Silcoorie near here, Agartala, Dimapur, Shillong and Imphal.
Mizoramís minister for higher and technical education, Lalsawta, said the site selection committee had recommended Thenzawl, 93km from Aizawl, for setting up the institute but the proposal was altered, as the ministry of human resource development insisted on Lengpui because of its closeness to the airport.
Lalsawta said the Mizoram government would urge the Centre to reserve a quota for admission in the proposed NIT for indigenous candidates considering its dearth of technical people and backwardness in economic and social spheres.
Chief minister Lalthanhawla, however, had said in a recent session of the Mizoram Assembly that since the NITs are central institutes, the one set up in the state would have to follow their norms of recruitment while inducting non-technical local staff. But he had said the Centre would be requested to keep some reservation in the non-technical posts for locals.
Lalsawta said Mizoram has made rapid strides in higher education after it became a state following the signing of the landmark peace accord between the Union government and the Mizo National Front in 1986, ending 20 years of insurgency.
A central university and a centre for the study of mass communication have been set up on the outskirts of Aizawl in Thanril and the state government has been pressing Delhi for establishing an Indian Institution of Information Technology.