3 years on, no roadmap for setting up of skill university at Chamkaur SahibUpdated: Dec 17, 2019 23:26 IST
The Punjab government’s move to set up a skill university at Chamkaur Sahib in Rupnagar district has proved to be a mere announcement with no roadmap ready for the university almost three years after the declaration in this regard.
The announcement regarding the skill university was made by Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in its first budget presented in 2017, but the project is in limbo till date.
With no funds to set up the university, the state government tweaked its announcement and declared in 2018 that it will set up a ‘state-of-the-art’ constituent college of Inder Kumar Gujral Punjab Technical University (IKG-PTU), which would be later converted into a skill university.
The land for the college was acquired by spending Rs 19 crore from IKG-PTU’s kitty. So far, only the work on the boundary wall of the land has started.
An IKG-PTU official said, “Leave aside the roadmap for the constituent college, it is not clear till date if the funds for the institute will come from the IKG-PTU or the state government.”
He added, “Why should IKG-PTU spend its money for the institute which will be converted into a university?”
For the skill university, the government had announced to acquire nearly 100 acres of land, but for the institute, around 42 acres were acquired.
The institute has already been named as Guru Gobind Singh Skill Institute.
A senior official of the technical education department told HT that there is no such proposal on paper that the institute will be converted into a skill university at a later stage.
When contacted, technical education minister Charanjit Singh Channi said the government is planning to bring a legislation regarding converting the constituent college into university in the next budget session.
“We have hired a consultant from IIT Ropar to design the college in a way that it can later be converted into a university. After the boundary wall is completed, the work on building for the main campus is likely to start. If all goes well, we will bring the legislation regarding converting this institute into university in next budget session,” he said.
A senior government official, seeking anonymity, said the setting up of the university would have required nearly Rs 1000 crore and the government realised it later that it would not be able to afford to spend such an amount. “This led to the idea of setting up a constituent college by spending IKG-PTU’s money.”
Former Anandpur Sahib MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, who has been cornering Channi over the issue, said, “If the government wanted to set up a constituent college, why did it announce in its 2017 budget that it will set up a skill university.”
“The reality is that the government made the announcement about the project without checking its financial viability. I doubt if the constituent college will see the light of the day in the coming two years,” he added.