Recently the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was introduced in parliament house by the Indian minister Dharmendra Pradhan who is serving as the Minister of Education and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in the Government of India. It was introduced on Lok sabha on 1 august, 2022 for discussion and later cleared on 3rd august,2022. The bill has also passed by the Rajya Sabha on 8 august,2022.
The bill seeks to amend the central university Act, of 2009 which established central universities in different states.
Key features of the Bill
The bill has introduced to upgrade the National Rail and Transportation Institute into the Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya, which will be a central university. It will be sponsored and funded by the central government through the Ministry of Railways. The National Rail and Transportation Institute has been declared as a deemed university under the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.
It is India’s first transport institute, found on 5 September 2018, located in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. It is situated inside the 55-acre campus of the National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR), which is the apex training institute of the Ministry of Railways. The conversion of NRTI into the Vishwavidyalaya will create appropriate human resources to fulfill the requirement of the growing infrastructural development of the country. The Bill will expand the scope of the National Rail and Transportation Institute beyond railways affairs and also cover the entire transport sector to promote ambitious growth and modernization in the transportation field.
The Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya will serve quality teaching along with research. It will encourage skill development in trained talent in disciplines related to transportation, technology, and management. If required, the University may also establish centers in India and abroad. The bill also provides the provisions related to the appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor(VC). It states that the existing Vice-Chancellor of the NRTI will hold office as the new VC either for six months from when the Act is notified, or until a new VC for the Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya is appointed, whichever is earlier.
The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2022 will unify different departments of the transport sectors such as railway, road, waterways, aviation, and port along with information and technology, to create a new infrastructure for pushing infrastructure development which will coordinate with each other in Gati Shakti Mission.
The Gati Shakti Mission is India’s first National Infrastructure Masterplan launched on 13th October 2021 by prime minister Narendra Modi to integrate the planning and implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects in the next four years. It is the government’s Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity of Rs 100-lakh crore which will act as a digital platform, bringing together 16 ministries.
In his statement, Union Minister for Education and Skill Development Shri Dharmendra Pradhan said that Gati Shakti University will be a world-class, multi-disciplinary, multi-dimensional, futuristic institution for the transport sectors of India. He added that it will be a 21st Century infrastructure that the government is trying to create and by the end of 2022, India will be Aatmanirbhar in the area of frontier technologies.
Meanwhile, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw stated that the focus of the institute will be based on five major aspects which are transport-focused courses, skill development, applied research, technology development and transport economics, and infrastructure financing.
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