Prime Minister promises IIT for Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 11 (PTI) Prime Minister ManmohanSingh today indicated that the Centre would sanction an IndianInstitute of Technology for Kerala.

"I know that state has demanded an IIT. I am sure thataspiration will become a reality," he said, inaugurating the''Kerala Development Congress'' here.

Highlighting several projects sanctioned by the UPAgovernment for the economic, social and educationaldevelopment of Kerala, he said Rs 475 crore has been earmarkedfor development of Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi under JNNURMprogramme.

Other projects were a new Central University at Kasaragod,the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research andIndian Institute of Space Education and Research inThriruvananthapuram, while a campus of Aligarh University wascoming up in Mallapuram, he said.

In investments in the Defence sector, Singh said HindustanAeronautics Ltd was setting up a new strategic electronicplant in Kasargod, while Bharat Earth Movers Ltd has set up anew unit for manufacture of products for defence, railway andmetro in the state with a total ivestment of Rs 260 crore.

The Prime Minister also referred to Kerala''s achievementsin the social sector, saying the state has the lowestincidence of poverty among major states in the country.

Women''s empowerment, especially their socio-economic conditiondeserves special mention he said

He said girls in Kerala have a better record than boys inshcool education. They also excel in sports and outnumber boysin enrollment in higher education. "That Kerala society treatswomen well is indicated in the fact that the average lifeexpectancy of women is higher than men by four years," hesaid.

Union Ministers A K Antony, Vayalar Ravi, K C Venugopal,Mullapally Ramachandran, KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala,Former State Chief Minister Oommen Chandy were among thosepresent.

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