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Parliament passes Central Universities (Amendment) Bill 2022

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New Delhi: Parliament has passed the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill 2022 with the Rajya Sabha approving it today with a voice vote. The Lok Sabha had already passed the Bill. The Bill seeks to amend the Central Universities Act, 2009, which provides for establishing central universities in various states. It also seeks to convert the National Rail and Transportation Institute at Vadodara into the Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya which will be a central university.

The National Rail and Transportation Institute was declared a deemed university. The Bill provides that Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya will take measures to provide quality teaching, research and skill development in disciplines related to transportation, technology and management.

Speaking on the Bill, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted its importance, saying that the transport sector is an important sector in the economy. He said, railways, highways and waterways infrastructure will be pushed through the Gati Shakti master plan. The Minister said, a talented, well- trained and focused cadre is required to promote the vision of PM Gati Shakti.

He said, the jurisdiction of the University is not only confined to Gujarat as it will cover the entire country. Mr. Vaishnaw said, Railways has made provision of 166 crore rupees for this University along with additional funds for infrastructure development. He said, over three lakh 50 thousand recruitments have been done in the Railways in the last eight years.

Initiating a discussion on the bill, Dr. L. Hanumanthaiah of Congress said, Central Universities are witnessing a lack of permanent staff and poor infrastructure. He said a huge backlog of vacancies is a worrying factor. Echoing the same view, Dola Sen of TMC said, most of the Central Universities across the country face a lack of infrastructure and shortage of funds. She said, it is a good decision that another university is getting the Central University status.

Vandana Chavan of NCP supported the legislation. V Vijayasai Reddy of the YSR Congress raised the issue of pending vacancies in Railways and demanded it to fill them in a time-bound manner. He also drew the attention of the government to the demand for a Railways zone in Visakhapatnam. V Sivadasan of CPI (M) raised the issue of research scholar fellowship and vacant teaching posts in central teaching institutions. Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party stressed the need for a hostel and basic facilities for the students in the Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya. Several other members also spoke on the Bill.

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