Union human resource development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani on Monday exhorted chief minister Virbhadra Singh to draw consensus on the issue of setting up a permanent campus of Central University of Himachal Pradesh (CUHP).
"The chief minister should take an initiative to resolve the issue," said the HRD minister, after laying foundation stone of Central School at Saloh in Haroli assembly segment of Una district.
"I am hopeful that the chief minister will draw consensus on the issue and a fresh proposal will be sent to the Centre so that work on CUHP campus can be started," added the union minister.
It is worth mentioning that the issue of setting up Central University has been hanging fire for five years. The temporary campus of the institution is being run in a rented building at Shahpur in Kangra.
In fact the issue has remained a bone of contention between Congress and BJP. The previous BJP regime had proposed split campus for the university- 30% at Dharamsala and 70% at Dehra- which forms the part of Hamirpur parliamentary constituency represented by Anurag Thakur. Thakur raised the issue with Irani, demanding that the campus be set up as per the earlier proposal.
However, after coming to power, the Congress government reversed the decision and fresh land was identified for the CUHP campus at Dharamsala.
Meanwhile, the union minister said, "Politics should not be played on education as it decides the future of our children."
Irani also assured to look into the facts about Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), which is proposed to come up at Haroli in Una district. The minister asserted that Narendra Modi- led NDA government had been focusing on quality education and a big change was likely to come in the next few years in this sector.
She added that the Centre had decided to set up an e-library and work on digitisation of books is already underway. "All NCERT books will be made available online by November this year and children can download these books free of cost," said the union minister, adding that there would be no dearth of funds for Himachal in the 14 Finance Commission and the Centre was ensuring equal development in all the states. "There will be no bias against the hill- state and Centre will extend all possible help to Himachal for development," she asserted.
Himachal industry minister Mukesh Agnihotri, Hamripur MP Anurag Thakur, state BJP chief Satpal Singh Sati, former minister Praveen Sharma were among others present on the occasion.
No knowledge about change in portfolio
Meanwhile, speaking to mediapersons at Una circuit house, Irani refused to have any information about prime minister considering changing her portfolio. "So far, I have no such information. I will perform whatever responsibility is given to me," she added.