The Lok Sabha Wednesday passed a bill that seeks to transform the National Rail and Transportation University into central university to be called Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya. Currently, the National Rail and Transportation University located in Vadodara is a deemed-to-be-institution. The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, which also seeks to expand the scope of the deemed university from beyond the railways to cover the entire transport sector to support the ambitious growth and modernisation in the field, was passed by a voice vote after a brief discussion.
Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya, a multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional institute, would be the first central university after rollout of the National Education Policy, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said replying to a debate on the Bill. The plan is to unify different departments to create a new infrastructure where various transport sector elements — railways, road, waterways, aviation and port along with information and technology — will coordinate with each other on the platform of Gati Shakti Mission.
The proposed global standard institute aims at not producing job-seekers but job creators, he said He said the establishment of the Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya will address the need of talent in the strategically important and expanding transportation sector and meet the demand for trained talent to fuel the growth and expansion of the sector. Earlier Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the focus of the institute will on five major aspects — transport focussed courses, skill development, applied research, technology development and transport economics and infrastructure financing.
“While the headquarters will be in Vadodara there will be campuses across the country which will be developed as centres of excellence. Transportation is a complex sector and globally all countries have such institutes,” he said. Vaishnaw said the Budget has allocated Rs 166 crore for the institute in FY’23.
Pradhan said the university will carry out critically-needed research and development by creating innovative technologies to encourage local manufacturing and substitute the imports of expensive technology, equipment and products. The university will also take additional measures for providing high quality teaching, research and skill development in diverse disciplines related to transportation, technology and management including establishing centres in India and abroad, he said. The university is named after the government’s flagship Rs 100-lakh crore PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity. The Gati Shakti Master Plan is essentially a digital platform bringing together 16 ministries, including roadways and railways for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects.
It seeks to incorporate infrastructure schemes of various ministries and state governments such as Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, dry and land ports, UDAN.