Sibsagar (Assam), Feb 19 (ANI): Emphasising that the UPA Government has an enduring commitment to the development of Assam and the North East, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Saturday said appropriate utilisation of technology in oil exploration and refinery will be of great importance for the country in the coming years.
Laying the foundation stone of the country's second Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology (RGIPT) here, Dr. Singh said: "All these areas will need qualified and skilled personnel in increasing numbers. The few existing institutes are not in a position to meet this increasing requirement of technical man-power in the petroleum sector. The proposed Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology is intended to reduce this gap between demand and supply of skilled personnel in the future."
The Prime Minister said that the new centre of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology will help the local youth to gain the knowledge and skills to exploit the opportunities created by new projects like the Assam Gas Cracker Project and the resultant downstream industries.
Dr. Singh said: "A long cherished dream of this state in the petrochemical sector is the Assam Gas Cracker Project. The Government of India will make more than Rs. 5500 crore investment in this project. We are making every effort to see that the project is commissioned next year."
"Once completed, it will help a large number of downstream industries in the petrochemicals and plastics sector come up, thereby creating a substantial number of jobs for the local youth." he added.
He said the North East region is greatly endowed with hydrocarbon and during the last fiscal year contributed around 15 per cent of the country's crude oil and produced 3.38 billion cubic metre of natural gas.
"In eight rounds of the New Exploration Licencing policy, 25 exploration blocks covering 42,000 sq km have been awarded so far to the North East states and of these 50 are in Assam," he added.
The Prime Minister said RGIPT would be of world class standard and will produce technical personnel serving as leaders and innovators in the fields of petroleum technology, engineering and management.
"Since the few existing institutes are not in a position to meet this increasing requirement of technical manpower, the proposed RGIPT is intended to reduce this gap between demand and supply in the future," he added.
He further said that it was only befitting that the institute is named after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as his contribution to modernisation and development of our country is immense and he believed that application of science and technology was crucial to our development processes. (ANI)