Following the abrogation of the special status and scrapping of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, the Indian parliament enacted the act to make Ladakh (born out of J&K) the Union Territory on October 31, 2019.
On Thursday, the newly formed union cabinet approved the setting-up of a central university in the Union Territory Ladakh. Union Minister for Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur said that the project would cost Rs 750 crore, and the first phase will be accomplished in four years.
It will be an integrated multi-purpose infrastructure development corporation to have inclusive development enabling employment opportunities, said the Union government.
The creation of this idea has “an aim of addressing regional imbalances in higher education level and stimulating the society of Ladakh,” news agency PTI quoted an official anonymously. It comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to the nation on last Independence Day to constitute a new university in Ladakh.
According to the statement by the government, the Cabinet nodded the formation of one post of managing director for the corporation in the pay scale of ₹144,200- ₹218,200 level. “The authorized share capital of the corporation will be ₹25 crore and recurring expenditure will be around ₹2.42 crore per year. It is a new establishment. Presently, there is no similar organization within the newly formed Union Territory of Ladakh,” it further said.
Union Minister Anurag Thakur said that the cabinet has given the nod to the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for speciality steel in an initiative aiming to foster domestic manufacturing and exports and reduce the import burden for the sector. It will be active for five years, scheduled from 2023-24 to 2027-28.
The central government stated, “With a budgetary outlay of ₹6,322 crores, the scheme is expected to bring in investment of approximately ₹40,000 crores and capacity addition of 25 metric tonne (MT) for speciality steel. The scheme will give employment to about 525,000 people, of which, 68,000 will be direct employment.”
Speciality steel has been picked as the target segment because out of the 102 million tonnes steel produced in India in 2020-21, only 18 million tonnes of value included steel or speciality steel was produced in the country, the statement read.
Meanwhile, the corporation will function for various sectors such as tourism, industry, transport, and local products and handicraft marketing. Alongside, it will also work as the leading construction agency for infrastructure development in Ladakh.
The central government added, “It will increase domestic production of goods and services and will facilitate their smooth supply. Thus, the approval will help in realizing the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat.” The Union Territory of Ladakh submitted a proposal to the home ministry to form the corporation in the UT of Ladakh. In April 2021, the Ministry of Finance, Committee on Establishment Expenditure (CEE) recommended it.