Mirik College, established in 2000, is a government-run degree college in Mirik, Darjeeling district, India. It offers undergraduate courses in arts. It is affiliated to the University of North Bengal.
The delegation led by Roshan Giri, including Morcha Study Forum member Swaraj Thapa, former Kurseong MLA Rohit Sharma and GTA executive sabha member R.B. Bhujel had approached the governor, Keshari Nath Tripathi, at Raj Bhavan in Kolkata.
|New building for Mirik College|
|Bimal Gurung inaugurating the newly constructed two storied Mirik Degree College building|
Writes: Vivek Chhetri
Bimal Gurung said he was hopeful that a central university would be announced for the Darjeeling hills in the Union budget today and getting it would be tantamount to accomplishing half of Gorkhaland.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley is scheduled to present the budget in Parliament tomorrow. A central varsity for the hills was promised in the GTA memorandum of agreement signed by the central and state governments and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
Speaking at the inauguration of a new building of Mirik Degree College yesterday, Morcha president and GTA chief executive Gurung said: "I am very hopeful that when the budget is placed, a central university will be declared for the hills. This is something that the hill people have wanted for long and in a sense, getting a central university is like getting half of Gorkhaland."
Among the academic circles, there has been much support for a separate central varsity in the hills. This is largely because the academic session in the hills starts from March and ends in November. The hill students lose classes as colleges are closed for three months during the winter vacation from December to February, unlike in the plains. If the central varsity is set up, the academic calendar can be worked out keeping into account this factor.
Observers feel Gurung is putting himself under pressure by giving hope to the people that the central varsity is likely to be announced soon.
Gurung had been saying at public meetings for few days that he was hoping that something good would be announced for the hills in two-three days. "It was obvious that Gurung was talking about a central university that the Morcha has been harping on about for long. However, his sudden decision to specifically say the central varsity is in store for the hills has unnecessarily put himself and the Morcha under pressure," said an observer.
"What if the central university is not declared. The opposition is going to seize on the issue especially because the Morcha is an ally of the BJP. The Morcha is already facing criticism as nothing concrete was declared for the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in the railway budget last week," said the observer.
The new building of Mirik Degree College has been built at Kowlay, about 1km from Mirik town, by the GTA at a cost of Rs 7.6 crore.