Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday announced opening of 11 colleges on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, enabling the state to become the first one to have a college within a radius of 15 km.

He announced the setting up of the colleges at a function in Government Post Graduate College in Panchkula near here.

Stating that imparting education is a great gift, he said 97 colleges have been opened in the last five years, whereas in the last 48 years only 75 colleges were opened.

Khattar said the National Education Policy (NEP) announced recently aims to enhance the gross enrollment ratio (GER) in higher education up to 50 per cent by 2030, which presently stands at 32 per cent.

He expressed confidence that through the collaborative efforts of the state government along with non-government organisations, Haryana will achieve this goal.

Khattar said the country’s first skill development university has been opened in Dudhola in state’s Palwal district and has been named in the honour of Lord Vishwakarma.

The Chief Minister said this programme was initially to announce 10 colleges, but on the request of Minister of State for Woman and Child Development, Kamlesh Dhanda, 11 colleges will be opened in the state, including one in village Rajod in the Kalayat constituency.