The National Assembly on Wednesday approved a bill to create a new Yogmaya Ayurveda University with a majority vote.
Once the bill is passed by the House of Representatives, it will pave the way for the establishment of the university, which will be Nepal’s 12th largest. As all the major parties are unanimous on the bill, its adoption by the lower house seems certain.
The new university, which will be fully funded by the government, will be established in the Arun Valley, which straddles the Sankhuwasabha and Solukhumbu districts in eastern Nepal. The university is named after Yogmaya Neupane, a mid-20th century social reform pioneer and poet from Bhojpur. The bill states that there is a need for a university to produce qualified human resources in Ayurvedic medicine and this will be resolved with the establishment of Yogmaya Ayurveda University.
There are at least three more universities in the works. The bill for the establishment of the University of Science and Technology of Madan Bhandari, which bears the name of the famous communist leader late Madan Bhandari, is already in the lower house while the former government of KP Sharma Oli has announced in the national budget the addition of two more universities and facilitate the establishment of the University of Nepal, a new fully autonomous university to be established by a group of academics.
“Madan Bhandari University of Science and Technology, established to produce world-class human resources in the field of science and technology, will be put into operation next year in Panchkhal in Kavre district,” said the national budget document. “The engineering faculty infrastructure will be set up in Chitlang, Makawanpur. The government has allocated Rs 1.55 billion to build the infrastructure of the University of Science and Technology.
The government is working on the establishment of another university named after the late communist leader Bhandari. The Oli government had announced its intention to commission Madan Bhandari Polytechnic University within the next two years. Likewise, the government has also prioritized the establishment of the National Defense University while forming an Infrastructure Development Readiness Council for the University of Nepal. With the exception of the University of Nepal, the government itself will take the initiative to establish all the other universities.
If things go as planned, the country will have 16 universities in a few years. Education experts say, while it is good to have more universities, they should be created based on need and with proper planning. Kamal Krishna Joshi, former chair of the University Grants Commission, says there is a growing trend among politicians to advertise universities with no homework and no planning. “We first need to determine what kind of human resources are needed in the next 10 or 20 years and universities need to be set up accordingly,” he told the Post. “I haven’t seen such planning.”
Joshi, who is also a former vice-chancellor of Tribhuvan University, said there are cases where the government has put unnecessary pressure on the University Grants Commission to allow new universities. The approval of the commission is necessary to start the process of establishing new universities. Experts say there is a tendency to create universities that offer courses similar to existing universities.
For example, established in 1986, Nepal Sanskrit University, formerly known as Mahendra Sanskrit University, is the second oldest university in the country. But after the number of students wishing to pursue Sanskrit studies declined, he began to struggle to maintain himself. Then she started Ayurvedic studies. Likewise, Tribhuvan University also offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Ayurvedic studies. “Why do we need a separate university when the existing universities that offer Ayurvedic studies are already struggling,” asked Khim Lal Devkota, a member of the National Assembly who is also an expert on federalism, said. opposing the government’s plan. “I would ask for the invoice to be withdrawn [on Yogmaya university]. “He said the government should not create new universities without a needs assessment.
Education experts say that universities created after 2006 had the main objective of promoting innovation and research. However, their operation is no different from that of older universities like Tribhuvan University. “Maintaining a professional academic environment is a major challenge for universities,” Tanka Nath Sharma, professor at Kathmandu University, told The Post. “Stopping politicization is a big challenge. “