The United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s constituency, Rai Bareli, will get two Central universities, one in the name of her late husband, Rajiv Gandhi, and the other in the name of former Prime Minister and her mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi.

The Cabinet on Thursday approved the setting up of two universities – the Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University and the Indira Gandhi National University for Women.

To make it difficult for a non-Congress Government in future to change the name of the proposed institutions, the Government will move two Bills – Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University Bill, 2013 and the Indira Gandhi National University for Women Bill, 2013 – during the forthcoming Monsoon session of Parliament. Both the universities will be funded by the Centre.

Aviation university

The aviation university will be established with an estimated Central funding of Rs 202 crore in phase-l (2013-14 to 2018-19). About 26.35 acres available with the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udan Academy (IGRUA) has been identified for setting up the institution, which is likely to begin courses for pilots, cabin crew and aircraft engineers by September next year.

The university is being set up to cater to the growing educational and training requirements of the civil aviation sector.

It aims to facilitate and promote aviation studies, teaching, training and research with focus on emerging areas of studies, such as aviation management, regulation and policy, aviation history, science and engineering, aviation law, safety and security, medicine, search and rescue, transportation of dangerous goods, environmental studies and other related fields.

Women’s university

The university will be the first exclusive one for women in the country. The process to set it up will take place after approval of the Bill concerned. The cost involved is Rs 500 crore during the 12th Plan period.

Women constitute around 58.6 crore of the total population of about 1.2 billion, and 9.5 crore of them are in Uttar Pradesh.

The proposed institution would set the pace for all-round growth and development of women and supplement the Government’s efforts to empower women by giving them increased access to employment-oriented basic courses and high-end research, the Government said.

(This article was published on July 11, 2013)
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