Union Cabinet approves Rs 127 cr for CUJ

Stagnating projects to start soon
Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Jan 16: In a significant development paving way for infrastructure development by the Central University of Jammu, the Union Cabinet today granted approval to an expenditure of over Rs 3,600 crores for setting up of 13 new Central Universities within the next 36 months.
The amount, which has been granted approval, includes Rs 127 crores for the newly created Central University of Jammu for infrastructure development on the campus at Bhagla in Samba district where several projects were stagnating due to no release of funds in the last more than three years, official sources told the Excelsior.
Establishment of School of Basic and Applied Sciences , separate hostels for the male and female students and shopping complex on the campus are among the CUJ projects for which Rs 127 crores have been approved by the Union Cabinet, sources further informed.
Even as the Central University had earlier projected Rs 157 crores for the capital expenditure, which was also approved by the UGC Standing Committee last year, sources disclosed that the projected amount was curtailed to Rs 127 crores on the direction of Union Ministry of Human Resources Development.
In the earlier projection, project cost of Rs 25 crores for boundary wall around the campus, Rs 16.3 crores for the establishment of Kendriya Vidyalaya and Rs 7.5 crores for School of Education were also included.
Pertinent to mention that the new Central Universities were established under the Central Universities Act, 2009 in Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. While one university each is to be set up in 11 of these States, J&K has got two new Central varsities, one each at Kashmir and Jammu .
The Cabinet has given its approval for incurring an expenditure of Rs 3,639.32 crore for these 13 Central Universities for recurring cost and creation of necessary infrastructure for completion of the campuses. The work will be completed within 36 months.
The Cabinet has also given ex-post facto approval for Rs 1,474.65 crore being the amount spent over and above the earlier Cabinet approval of Rs 3,000 crore for these Central Universities. The move will increase access to higher education and set exemplary standards for other universities to emulate and will help in minimising the regional imbalances in educational facilities.
According to the sources, the Cabinet approval of funds for incurring on capital expenditure in the universities will greatly help the Central University of Jammu, which was finding it difficult to establish new academic blocks due to paucity of grants for the same.
It may sound strange but is true that even after more than eight years since its establishment, not even a single academic block has been so far raised on the CUJ campus despite expenditure of more than Rs 320 crores on different utilities.
However, notwithstanding the financial constraints, the CUJ has recently entered into Memorandums of Understandings (MoUs) with prominent institutions for academic and research purposes. In this connection, ISRO Space Study Centre is being established at CUJ with Rs 25 crores project cost, which will be first of its kind in North India.
DRDO team had also recently visited the CUJ campus for establishment of Advanced Research Lab with Project cost of Rs 70 crores for research in Life Sciences, Physics, Chemical and Material Sciences, Computer & Mathematical Science.