The day is not too far when India’s most architecturally magnificent city of Chandigarh will boast of being the first ever knowledge cluster of India. If everything goes as per plan, the day when Chandigarh would get the fabulous distinction is not too far away if sources are to be believed. The feat will add another feather to the already adorned crown of the bejewelled city of Chandigarh.
The formal announcement was made by Ashok Thakur, the Higher Education secretary of Union ministry of HRD who also happens to be an acclaimed Punjab University alumnus. He said that Punjab University’s initiative to develop and materialize Chandigarh Region Innovation and Knowledge Cluster (CRIKC) will be ardently funded by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
The prime aim of CRIKC would be to promote higher education in the region by creating interlinking understanding networks between various institutions which will also aid in innovative and interdisciplinary research. The region will be a true gainer through the initiative as it will strive for the development of affairs in the higher education sector.
Punjab University had propped up the idea last year to the union government for setting up the knowledge cluster and waited for further developments. Finally PU has received its due reward as the union government has approved the initiative where the university is all set to play the role of the nodal agency. It will act as the bridging intermediate between the various bodies and coordinate their functioning.
Reportedly, so far many reputed institutes have associated themselves with CRIKC for scope of mutual benefit and symbiotic development. The fabled institutes include Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, PEC University of Engineering and Technology and National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research among many others.
Speaking on this topic Thakur said, “Similar efforts are underway in Delhi and Hyderabad to set up speciality centres like these but the enthusiasm exhibited by members in Chandigarh is really commendable. Others must take a cue and follow suit keeping Chandigarh as an example in front of their eyes.”
On this occasion Thakur also welcomed Punjab University to take the onus to manage the ready-to-be-launched 50 direct-to-home (DTH) channels. This effort will help them join the league of elite institutes like IITs, IGNOU, DU and JNU who already are ready or working hard in the cause of managing the DTH channels. This initiative will add to the scope of the Punjab University and help it gain a commendable stature in the country’s education map.
Thakur also hinted at increasing the research work being carried out as well as bring about reforms in the teaching sector in order to qualify for Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan that which is an entirely government sponsored programme. It is all set to be initiated in September this year.
It is known that state universities and colleges will be the beneficiaries under the scheme as it will provide a combined assistance of Rs 25000 crores in total to the enlisted institutes. The state government’s need to provide a meagre 30% of the entire monetary requirements while the central government will provide the remaining 70%.