Shimla: Himachal Pradesh has emerged as the role model in the field of education since the literacy rate there has reached 88 per cent while the net enrolment ratio in respect of elementary education has touched almost 100 percent, the state government claimed on Sunday. The state is poised to achieve universal access to secondary education by 2017 as targetted, an official statement said. More than 1,000 new schools and 29-degree colleges in rural areas had been opened by the Congress government in the last three-and-half years to provide qualitative education to students, especially females, near their homes. Besides, 21 industrial training institutes (ITIs) and two engineering colleges were also opened during this period. More than 135 health institutes were also opened or upgraded during this period, besides filling 60 posts of specialist doctors and 550 general duty officers. The tele-stroke management programme has been started in the state for the first time on a pilot basis in collaboration with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. The Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Shimla and Dr. Rajendra Prasad Medical College in Tanda are being developed as super specialty medical institutes. Three new medical colleges and one AIIMS will also be opened in the Himachal soon. The government has introduced a common application to fast-track the process of according time-bound approval to industrial proposals. As many as 247 industrial units with an investment of around Rs 12,572 crore have been approved in the state during this period, which will provide employment opportunities to 24,760 youth.