Dharamsala: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Monday said the government will not issue licences to new private universities in the state, saying they are "not needed in a small state".

"The Himachal government shall not give any fresh permission to any private university in the state," Singh said. "It is not needed for a small state", he said, after laying the foundation stone of a secrecy branch of the Himachal Education Board here.

Singh said that a committee has been constituted to find out irregularities in the working or allotment of licences to private universities opened during the BJP regime.

"The government shall deal strictly if anyone is found guilty", he said, adding that the report of the committee is awaited. The Chief Minister denied any plan to extend Himachal University. "As a central university is coming up at Dharamsala, there is no need of any extension of the study division of Himachal University in Dharamsala. The government has asked Himachal University to submit a report regarding this," Singh said.

Regarding setting up of the Central University, he said, "as soon as the Ministry of Environment gives a clearance over the land issue, the foundation stone of the Central University shall be laid."

The university was allotted to Himachal in 2007 and its temporary study centre is already functional at Shahpur (35 km from Dharamsala), Singh said.

He further said that no new medical or engineering college shall come up in the government sector in Himachal as the government wants to provide all necessary infrastructures to already existing institutes before going in for new ones.


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