In a unique feat of its kind, Union Minister for Human Resources Development Mrs. Smriti Irani and Minister for School Education and Languages, Punjab, Mr. Surjit Singh Rakhra today inaugurated a boys’ hostel at Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar under Rashtriya Uchchtam Sikhya Abhiyan (RUSA) at a cost of Rs. 144 crore. The said hostel has capacity of 144.The unique aspect was that both the dignitaries did the honours through digital technique as part of digital functions of the Union Government from New Delhi and N.I.C. office at Punjab Civil Secretariat respectively with the pressing of a button. One more significant feature was the holding of 10 such similar digital inaugurations by RUSA in 10 states simultaneously.In a chat with the students of GNDU via video conferencing, the Union Minister greatly lauded the meritorious schools initiative of Chief Minister, S. Parkash Singh Badal which has been successfully catering to the need of free education of meritorious students of the government schools.
On the occasion, Mr. Rakhra apprised the Union Minister of the projects being carried out by Punjab Government in the Higher Education sector and invited her for the inauguration of 11 degree & 2 professional colleges in the state which are nearing completion, which she graciously accepted.The novel feature of today’s functions was that along with Punjab, 10 digital inaugurations and foundation stone laying functions were held in Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Sikkim and Mizoram. The Union Minister also interacted with the Higher Education ministers of these states via video conferencing with students from each state posing queries to the Union Minister.The Union Minister said that she has plans in the skill development sector with regard to the meritorious students from Punjab. Earlier, Mr. Surjit Singh Rakhra while thanking the Union Minister for today’s functions apprised her that a total of Rs. 69.73 crore are being spent in Punjab on higher education under RUSA. He further said that as per 60:40 ratio, the contribution of Punjab amounted to Rs. 24.55 crore but the state government contributed Rs. 10 crore more taking the contribution thereby to Rs. 34.95 crore.Divulging more, he said that at present 11 new Degree and 2 Professional colleges are being constructed in Punjab (Punjab Aeronautic Engineering College Patiala and Government Arts & Sports College Jalandhar) which are on the verge of completion and classes would begin from this academic session.