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Varsity focus on women

The Assembly on Monday passed the Diamond Harbour Women’s University Bill 2012 that seeks to set up a unitary university for promoting higher education among women.

The university — exclusively for women — will be set up at Cheora More in Diamond Harbour, South 24-Parganas. It will start functioning from the 2013 academic session, said sources.

“The university will be the first of its kind in Bengal and eastern India,” higher education minister Bratya Basu said after the bill was passed.

Nearly 18 acres have been earmarked for setting up the university. Seven acres have already been acquired, the minister added.

The university will initially offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the humanities and basic sciences. But it will also offer courses in technology and the performing arts once it starts operating in “full swing”, said a source.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the government’s plans to set up the university at a programme on Teachers’ Day.

Basu said the process of selecting the first vice-chancellor would soon start and the university would operate from a temporary site — preferably the premises of an existing college — till it gets its own building.

The rules and regulations for running the university will be on the lines of those governing the existing 14 state universities, with provisions for policy-making bodies such as the court, an executive council and academic bodies such as a faculty council and board of studies, the source added.

Representation in these bodies will be on the lines of other state universities, with no provision for student representation in the highest policy-making bodies.

Assembly fire

A cook suffered burns when a fire broke out at the Assembly canteen at 4.35pm on Monday. Fire officers said a gas leak in the kitchen caused the fire. Three engines put out the fire in 25 minutes. No MLA or VIP was present in the canteen when the fire broke out.