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PSUs may be roped in to set up 300 polytechnics

Prakash Kumar, NEW DELHI, Dec 1, 2012, DHNS:

Private sector reluctant to open institutes

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) is contemplating roping in public sector units (PSUs) to open new polytechnics under public-private- partnership framework in various parts of the country, as its proposal to set up 300 such institutes in collaboration with industries received a cold response from the private sector.

To address the increasing industry skill challenges, the ministry had planned to open 300 new polytechnics in partnership with industries in the 11 Five Year Plan period itself, but this could not happen due a “poor response” from the private sector, sources in the HRD Ministry told Deccan Herald.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) initiated a move to find industry partners but after all the efforts only four suitable partners could be identified.
“At a review meeting on November 2, it was felt that PSUs should be roped in as partners for setting up new polytechnics under PPP,” sources said.

As the proposal to open 300 new polytechnics under PPP framework did not have any provision allowing partnership with the PSUs, a decision was taken to prepare a fresh cabinet note for obtaining approval of the cabinet.  “Process is now being initiated towards preparation of a fresh cabinet note,” sources added.

The idea to rope in PSUs for opening polytechnics under PPP gained ground in the ministry after some public sector units showed their interest in opening technical institutes.

After the AICTE recently allowed both public and private limited companies with annual turnover of at least Rs 100 crore to start their own technical institutes, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) among others submitted an application before the council showing its interest in establishing such institute, sources said.

Under a programme to open 300 government polytechnics in unserved and under-served areas of the country, the Ministry has provided financial assistance to the states.Out of 300 such district, 281 have been provided partial financial assistance of Rs 1915.99 crore so far. Setting up of new government polytechnics in these areas are in various stages, ministry sources said.

“The resource limitations of the government necessitated funds and investments from the private industry for setting up of technical institutions. If we could rope in PSUs for the opening of new polytechnics under PPP, we hope many more such institutes could be open to generate skilled workforce in the country,” sources added.


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