Sonia lays foundation stone of petroleum institute in Rae Bareli

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Amethi, Feb 20 (UNI) Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today underlined the need to explore new aspects of technical education, building on ongoing efforts.

''Excellence in technical education is a must and this should be developed at all levels,'' she said while laying the foundation stone of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology (RGIPT) at Jais, in Rae Bareli district.

The institute comes under Amethi parliamentary constituency represented by Rahul Gandhi, who was also present on the occasion along with Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora and his deputy Dinsha Patel.

Hailing the effort of the Ministry in setting up a world-class petroleum technology institute in India, Ms Gandhi said that its value would be realised fully later, and hoped the institute would churn out petroleum experts who could impart their knowledge for best use of resources.

In his address, Mr Gandhi said everyone had opposed the idea of setting up this institute here, saying it was a rural area.

''The same arguments were being given when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had established the IITs which have now become the centres of excellence,'' he said, and asserted the new institute would serve the purpose more than expected.

The young MP said the poorest of the poor deserved the best education to surge ahead in life and such institutes were needed for this purpose. ''I have no doubt that this institute would produce professionals of high standard,''he said.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry had piloted the enactment of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology (RGIPT) Act, 2007 with a view to incorporate it as an ''Institute of National Importance''. The institute will have a governance structure similar to that enjoyed by the IITs, and will be empowered to confer degrees like them.

RGIPT is envisaged to serve as the fountainhead for nurturing world class technical human resources capable of serving as the leaders and innovators of tomorrow in the field of Petroleum Technology.

The total estimated capital cost of the project is Rs 435 crore which would be met partially through budgetary support of Rs 285 crore and Rs 150 crore from Oil Industry Development Board. The total estimated recurring expenditure of Rs 260.58 crore would be met from the accrual of interest on Endowment Fund of Rs 250 crore to be created with the contribution of Oil Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), student fees, donations and other earnings of the Institute through Research&Development, consultancies, students' placement fees, etc.

The Institute is envisaged to be self sufficient and self-reliant by the year 2015-16.

The Institute will commence its academic operations from the academic year 2008-09. To start with, there will be two undergraduate courses -- B Tech in Petroleum Production&Reservoirs and B Tech in Petroleum Refining as well as an MBA course in Petroleum Management.

The Institute will become fully operational in 2015-16 and then have seven B Tech, six Integrated Masters, eight M Tech/MBA and 12 PGD and Ph.D programmes.


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