New Delhi: Parliament has passed a bill to convert the National Rail and Transportation University, a deemed-to-be-university, into Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya, an autonomous central institution. The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, which also seeks to expand the scope of the 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. Union Railways and Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw responded to the debate on the bill.
The education minister introduced the bill. “The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2022 seeks to amend the Central Universities Act, 2009, inter alia, to provide for the establishment of Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya as a body corporate under the said Act,” Pradhan said in the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill. He said the establishment of 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.
“The proposed University will reverse brain drain and create critical capability and capacity by developing masters and doctoral degrees in transportation, go a long way in making the nation self-reliant in the transportation sector through its programs for skilling and digitising India,” Pradhan said. He 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, Pradhan 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.