Twenty-three per cent seats of Jadavpur University (JU) are vacant on account of students’ unrest, said education minister Partha Chatterjee in the state Assembly on Tuesday.

Tabling five Bills, including for setting up four new universities and renaming one, Mr Chatterjee said that one university is being set up in each district on the instruction of chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Taking a dig at CPI-M MLA Tanmoy Bhattacharya, who had complained of abysmally poor infrastructure and dearth of faculties in the newly set up universities, Mr Chatterjee said the erstwhile Left Front government had not set up such a huge number of universities during their tenure and so their MLAs are jealous of the success of the Trinamul-led government.

“Now academics are coming from other states to teach in the colleges and universities of Bengal. Twenty-three per cent seats of JU are vacant due to students’ unrest,” he said.

The minister said that enrolment has been raised from 12.5 lakh in 2011 to 18.5 lakh due to the various student-centric schemes and scholarships. Along with this, there has been a huge rise in budgetary allocation for the education sector, he added.

Prior to this, there was a commotion in the Assembly following Mr Bhattacharya’s statement that the newly formed Diamond Harbour University did not have a building. Mayor Sovan Chatterjee displayed a picture of the university’s building to Speaker Biman Banerjee and the Left Front MLAs. Mr Banerjee too asked Mr Bhattacharya to check before making a statement in the House.

The minister refuted all the allegations raised by the CPIM MLA and said that they were completely false.

New universities will be set up in four districts ~ Murshidabad, Darjeeling, Alipurduar and South Dinajpur ~ that did not have any university till now, said Mr Chatterjee.

The universities will help in bringing the economically backward classes under the ambit of higher education. All colleges of the concerned district will be affiliated under the respective new universities, he added.

The Murshidabad University Bill, which was passed by the House will pave the way for setting up a state-aided university in Murshidabad by upgrading the existing Krishnath College.

Next, the Alipurduar University Bill was passed to set up a state-aided university by upgrading the existing Alipurduar College, which is a government- aided college.

The Greenfield University Bill and The Dakshin Dinajpur University Bill were also passed to set up general state-aided universities in Darjeeling and South Dinajpur respectively.

The Purba Medinipur University (Amendment) Bill was passed wherein the university has been renamed as Mahatma Gandhi University to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi.

The university is on the verge of starting its academic activities soon and the renaming would not affect its working, Mr Chatterjee said.