Amritsar: Education and agriculture will have to go hand in hand for India’s development as has been the case in countries like Japan and South Korea, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Sunday as he laid the foundation stone for a new campus of IIM-Amritsar.
This would be the own campus of IIM-Amritsar, the 15th Indian Institute of Management in the country, which has been so far operating from a temporary facility.
Jaitley said the government and private companies will have to join hands for taking the education sector forward in Punjab.
Stressing that 55 percent of people are engaged in agriculture, Jaitley pointed at rising unemployment in the farm sector which has forced people to look at other sectors for income and stressed on the need for good quality education.
He also said that the government’s efforts to develop the premier institute in Punjab will encourage more educational institutes to set up campuses in the state.
“Education and agriculture will have to go hand in hand as we have seen in other countries like Japan and South Korea… Government and private institutions both will have to contribute for development of education in India,” Jaitley said.
The Union Minister also highlighted the contribution of Narendra Modi government in bringing reputed institutions like the AIIMs and IIMs to Punjab.
The new campus of IIM-Amritsar, which commenced its first batch last year out of a temporary facility, will be built on a 60-acre land in Manawala on the National Highway-1.
Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal also attended the event.
“In the coming years, IIM-Amritsar will become a premier educational institution,” Jaitley said.
In her address, Irani said that she hoped IIM-Amritsar will soon be among the top-five institutes of the country.
“I hope in Punjab, which is known for farmers, milk and agro processing, the IIM-Amritsar will have courses as per the state’s priorities,” Irani said.
Jaitley in his first Budget in July 2014 had announced setting up of five new IIMs in Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Maharashtra, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Amritsar was chosen in Punjab for setting up the IIM. Jaitley had in 2014 unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha election from Amritsar, where he lost to former Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh of Congress.
The IIM at Amritsar is reported to be the smallest among the IIMs in the country. Most of the 14 existing IIMs have 90 acres or more land for their campuses.
IIM Calcutta was the first IIM to be set up in November 1961 followed by ones at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Kozhikode, Indore, Shillong, Rohtak, Ranchi, Raipur, Trichy, Kashipur, Udaipur and Visakhapatnam.
In the Union budget presented on 28 Feb, 2015, two more IIMs were announced at Jammu and Kashmir andTelangana.