Gandhinagar : Despite accounting for 15% of the state’s population and 18% of the state’s land, Gujarat’s scheduled tribes (STs) do not have adequate higher education facilities and the state has no academic facilities to study its rich tribal heritage.
As some patidar and dalits voters distance themselves from the BJP, the Vijay Rupani’s BJP government is looking to protect its tribal vote bank and promote academic research on Gujarat’s tribals. In view of this, the state government has decided to set up ‘Eklavya Tribal University’, near the Statue of Unity project site at Kevadiya Colony in Narmada district.
The state government finalized a Bill to be moved in the budget session of the assembly that begins on February 10. A key official close to the development said: “There are a few tribal universities in the country, but this will be the first in Gujarat. The university, named ‘Eklavya Tribal University’, will provide technical education, academic and vocational training for jobs involving applied science, skill-base and modern technology. It will emphasize understanding and practical applications of science and mathematics, rather than proficiency in manual skills which is properly the concern of vocational education.”
“To fulfill this vision, the university will develop flexible and innovative academic programmes to cater to a broad range of students from varied backgrounds, and prepare them to compete at the national and international levels. The university will offer graduation, post-graduation and higher studies in various fields including professional BBA and MBA courses in tribal business management, tribal tourism, minor forest produce management, several specialized BA and BSc courses in tribal art, tribal medicine, tribal culture and anthropological studies etc,” a source added.
The focus of the tribal university will be technical education, tourism, eco-tourism, minor forest produce management, tribal art and craft, painting, modern trades (i.e. high-end skill training, CAD/CAM, and plastic engineering), among others.
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