World class aviation museum, univ on 100 yrs of civil aviation

New Delhi, Jan 17 (PTI) A world-class aviation museum anda university are likely to come up this year when the countrycelebrates the centenary of civil aviation in India.

To mark the first commercial flight operated betweenAllahabad and Naini on February 18, 1911, the Civil AviationMinistry today decided to hold nationwide programmes,competitions for students in all districts, an airshow,exhibitions and road shows.

The year-long celebrations, aimed at taking the sector"closer to the people", would project it as "the sunrisesector which will create huge number of job opportunitiesnationwide", Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel toldreporters after a meeting of a high-level committee set up todecide on the series of events.

Tipped to be one of the largest in the world, a NationalMuseum for Aviation would be established in Delhi, probably atSafdarjung Airport, while a National University for AviationTraining and Management would also be set up during the year,he said, adding, "We will also ask all universities to includecourses connected with civil aviation in their curriculum."

Regarding the competition for students in all districts,Patel said 100 students from each district would be selected"through merit, and as an award, they will be given freetickets by the airlines."

He said not only Air India, but all the airlines wouldpool in to give these free tickets. "The modalities ofconducting these competitions will be worked out, the stategovernments and district administrations will be involved inthe process."

The meeting also decided to hold a two-day conference andhave functions where a commemorative stamp, a coin and coffeetable book would be released, he said.

"India is now the ninth largest aviation market in theworld. The growth in the sector between 2004 and 2010 has beenover 300 per cent, the highest in the world in six years,despite the economic downturn 2008-09", Patel said.

He claimed that by 2020, India would become the thirdlargest aviation market in the world after the US and China.

The committee would meet in the next two-three weeks tofinalise the locations where different events will take place,locate appropriate budgetary sources to finance thecelebrations and its entire schedule.

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