What could be described as indifferent attitude of the state government towards education, a government industrial training institute (ITI) in Muktsar, the home district of the chief minister, has been running from a rented house as the institute has failed to get land and funds to construct its own building.
The ITI has about 100 students doing different courses in the institute, which is running one-year diploma in computer sciences, 2-year course in information technology, two-year diploma in electronic mechanics besides providing training in stitching, tailoring and embroidery for girls.
The ITI has failed to get a plot of land for the construction of the building for many years. “About 14 acres of land on the Guru Har Sahai road near Kotli Devan village was donated by the village panchayat in 1992 for the construction of a polytechnic and an ITI. The government had also constructed the boundary wall and pillars in some parts of the land. But, the ownership was not transferred in the name of the department according to law. Later, the donors refused to hand over the land. so the process of construction had to be stopped. Now the ITI is running from a private building on the Malout road near the bus stand and it has to shell over Rs 20,000 as monthly rent,” claimed a source.
“If the ITI has its own building, it can start some new courses for plumbers, welders and carpenters, who easily get jobs with private companies and can go abroad to earn their livelihood,” the sources said.
According to the sources, there are about 20 such courses which are in demand and are supposed to be run from an ITI at the district-level.
“The ITIs were supposed to promote the public sector, but as the government is interested in promoting the private sector everywhere, it is not paying much attention towards these institutes. The government also talks about the development of various skills among the youths for self- employment, but the ITIs, which train youths for self- employment, are being ignored. Most of the people from the lower strata of society cannot afford private institutes and only government institutes are their hope,” said Rajinder Singh, state general secretary of the Punjab Students Union.
However, Resham Singh, principal of the ITI, said the land was no longer a problem. ”We have got about 2 acres of land out of the 14-acre chunk, where it was supposed to be constructed earlier. The mutation of the land in the name of the department has been made and it would be registered in the name of the department soon. The deputy commissioner, Muktsar, has been very helpful to us in getting the land. Some funds are available with us and hoped the government would provide us more funds for its constriction. We hope to construct the building soon,” Resham Singh said.
According to an estimate, a sum of about Rs 5 crore is required for the completion of the project, while the ITI has only Rs 1 crore.
Sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Ram Singh, said he was not aware of it and it might be in the notice of the office of the deputy commissioner.