Rural development varsity to come up in Bangalore soon

Rural development varsity to come up in Bangalore soon

It will be more of a research centre than a teaching institute

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj University is likely to come up near Jakkur in Bangalore soon. The State government may opt for Bangalore to set up the proposed varsity as it can tap the best brains in the field and also get visiting faculty from abroad.

Official sources said the government has around  10 acres in Jakkur which now houses Mahatma Gandhi research centre.

The same premises could be developed into a university, which will be more of a research centre than a teaching institute. Hence, not much space would be required for the project, the sources said.

The government has sanctioned Rs one crore as seed money and the work will commence once a special officer is appointed.

Rs 10 crore

It was Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil who had mooted the idea of starting such an university, basically to study and evaluate the programmes of the department.

The government is inclined to give budgetary support of Rs 10 crore every year to the varsity instead of raising funds from different sources.

Patil, while interacting with reporters here on Friday, said the government will soon constitute a high-level committee to work out the modalities and framework for setting up the university, which will work towards promoting skills and competence in rural development sector.

Training centres

The government will set up dedicated centres in each district to train members of gram panchayats  in local administration and implementation of rural development programmes. The training centres will be set up as part of the Centre-sponsored Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan launched to strengthen the Panchayat Raj system.

Patil said the State Cabinet recently decided to implement the scheme which will be taken up on a cost sharing basis of 25:75 by the State and the Centre respectively. He said the government proposed to spend Rs 100 crore under the scheme during the current fiscal.

Infrastructure facilities

Besides training programmes and capacity building of panchayats, funds under the scheme would be utilised for building infrastructure facilities. The members would be trained in implementing the 15 priorities set by the government towards improving rural infrastructure and amenities, including drinking water, sanitation, roads, playgrounds and open auditoriums among others.

Patil said the government aims to provide individual toilets to all rural households in the next five years. It has been proposed to convert a part of the toilet into bathing area. The toilet-bathroom concept can become a reality with the government deciding to increase the subsidy amount for constructing toilets from Rs 9,200 to Rs 15,000 a unit, he added.