ChandigarhThe Punjab government has invited film producer-director Subhash Ghai to set up a centre of excellence in acting and filmmaking on the Guru Gobind Singh Skill University campus proposed at Chamkaur Sahib.The invitation was extended by technical education minister Charanjit Channi, who represents Chamkaur Sahib in the assembly, in a meeting with Ghai on Friday during the latter’s visit to Chandigarh. Channi said Ghai’s Whistling Woods Institute in Mumbai “ranks seventh among 1,400 acting institutes across the globe”. “The idea is to set up another branch of this institute in Punjab. As setting up the skill university campus may take time, we have asked Ghai to provide alternative arrangements for the institute,” Channi told HT. As per a technical education department official who was a part of the meeting, Ghai showed “keen interest” in setting up the centre as infrastructure will be provided by the government.On Twitter, Ghai said the minister offered him “maximum subsidies and support”.Ghai had planned to open such an institute in Jajjhar district of Haryana too, and took 20 acres of panchayat land on; but that allotment was cancelled in 2012 by the Punjab and Haryana high court. As for the one planned in Punjab now, “Ghai will run the institute while the fee will be fixed by the state government,” the official added. “Filmmaking is an area from which we can subsequently generate many jobs. Moreover, Punjabi youth is fascinated by the entertainment industry, and there shouldn’t be any problem in finding natural talent.”He claimed that representatives of Ghai’s institute will visit the department officials by the first week of May to further discuss the proposal. As per Channi, the process for the purchase of land for the skill university is likely to start by second week of May.Inviting Ghai is one step in a series by the technical education department through which leading industrial houses from different fields are being invited by the state government to set up their centres of excellence at the proposed university. In the last one month, officials have met representatives of Google, Oracle, Tata and ICICI Bank, among others, for this.“Mahindra & Mahindra has already provided a building in Radyala village near Kharar. By next month, the group will start offering various courses at the institute. Students, right from those who had to drop out, to engineering graduates, will be admitted in the institute in accordance with their educational qualifications,” the minister said, adding, “The company will train them and also provide jobs.”Kapurthala-based Inder Kumar Gujral Punjab Technical University (IKG-PTU) had on March 19 announced setting up of its centre of excellence at Chamkaur Sahib, for which Rs 10 crore has already been sanctioned by the varsity board of governors.Earlier, the technical education department had forwarded a proposal to buy land for the skill university by pumping in money from IKG-PTU. But the proposal, as per officials involved in the process, was not accepted by PTU officials who said that being an autonomous institute “it was not its job to fund the setting up of another institute of the government”.