Rajasthan Assembly finds university named in bill only on paper

From over 80 acres of land to 155 university blocks with 62 lecture halls and 38 laboratories. These are some of the key features of the private Gurukul University in Sikar, according to a bill introduced by the Rajasthan government and up for debate in the Assembly.

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But the House found on Tuesday that the ‘state-of-the-art’ university existed only on paper – leaving the Congress government red-faced and prompting President CP Joshi to seek a mechanism to avoid a repeat.

The Gurukul University Sikar Bill, 2022, which seeks to incorporate the Gurukul Shikshan Sansthan, Sikar, as a university was filed on February 24. On Tuesday, Rajendra Singh Yadav, minister in charge of higher education, was expected to propose a motion to pass the bill.

According to the bill, the university has 80.31 acres of land, with 28 administrative blocks, including the offices of the President, President, Pro-President, Registrar, Deputy Registrar, Deputy Registrars, supervisor, deans, etc., on 2,053.21 m².

The bill claimed that the university has 155 academic blocks with 62 lecture halls and 38 laboratories, besides tutoring rooms, computer labs, drawing rooms, workshops, seminar rooms, five common rooms for boys and girls, three libraries, three reading rooms, ten teachers’ cabins, a language laboratory, etc., spread over 17,947.93 m².

He claimed that the library had about 50,000 books, in addition to subscriptions to 36 newspapers and magazines, 56 physical journals and 23 electronic journals – and that there was a 740.05 m² teachers’/officers’ residence, a living unit for boys and girls, and a mess and cafeteria.

According to the bill, the total area covered by the residential blocks was 40,70.27 m² and the three blocks together had a built-up area of ​​24,811.46 m².

Other facilities, according to the bill, included health care, backup power, projectors in classrooms, fire safety provisions and a shooting range as well as facilities for table tennis, chess, carrom, kabaddi, athletics, yoga, meditation and football – and a gymnasium, among others.

In the statement of the objects and motives of the bill, the state government stated: “In order to keep pace with the rapid development in all spheres of knowledge in the world and the country, it is essential to create world-class modern research and study. facilities in the state to provide state-of-the-art educational facilities to the young people at their doorsteps so that they can make them human resources compatible with the liberalized economic and social order of the world.

However, Deputy Opposition Leader Rajendra Rathore had discovered that the university did not exist.

The seat of the Rathore Assembly is Churu in the Shekhawati region, like Sikar where the university supposedly existed. Traveling between Churu and Jaipur, Rathore has to pass Sikar and take the road where the university was supposed to exist.

According to Rathore, he visits his constituency “every Saturday” since the Assembly session is in Jaipur. The BJP leader said he thought “probably my eyes have betrayed me since I kept looking for the infrastructure mentioned in the bill.” He called the local patwari (revenue officer) to take him to where the university was supposed to exist.

At the land revenue figures given in the bill, Rathore found an empty lot – there was a rusty sliding door next to a small, partially built room with no roof. As proof, he clicked on the photos.

On Tuesday, Rathore and opposition leader Gulab Chand Kataria reached the president’s chambers and informed him of their “sting”. “It is the duty of the opposition. When the bill was listed in the LoB (case list), they came and said you listed it in the cases, and in this bill, those are the things they brought” , Joshi told The Indian Express.

Afterwards, Joshi asked the Sikar district collector to visit the place. Once the official confirmed Rathore’s claims, the government was informed and the House decided to withdraw the bill.

Rathore and Kataria, meanwhile, alleged that a massive scam was almost carried out in the state’s highest legislative body. Demanding an FIR on the matter, Rathore alleged that since the bill got this far, millions of rupees had to trade hands.

Kataria said he had “not witnessed such a thing in 40 years” in the Assembly. He said there was a long process before a bill reached the House and asked whether the officials involved “were high on the bhang” since “everyone just gave the go-ahead without checking assertions”.

The opposition also targeted Amarika Singh, vice-chancellor of Mohan Lal Sukhadia University in Udaipur and the oldest of the four-member committee that had allegedly vetted the claims, especially on infrastructure, before they were listed. in the bill. Amarika Singh could not be reached for comment.

The bill states that the university is headed by Gurukul Shikshan Sansthan, Sikar, who was registered under the Rajasthan Public Trusts Act 1959 on July 18, 2017 – and “is engaged in the field of education and the management of educational institutions in recent years”. ”.

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Rathore cited the Private Universities Act of Rajasthan, which stipulates that the project report submitted to the government must contain information on the financial resources of the sponsoring body as well as audited accounts for the past five years. He said that since it has not been five years since the registration in this case, how could the audited accounts have been submitted?

While withdrawing the bill, Education Minister Rajendra Yadav did not speak about the false information submitted to him.

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