TT, Gangtok, June 8: The Union human resource development minister, Smriti Irani, is scheduled to visit Sikkim on June 24 and lay the foundation of the National Institute of Technology at Thekabong in East District on the same day.
Sikkim HRD principal secretary G.P. Upadhaya today said Irani would be in the state for at least three days, during which she was slated to hold interactions with ministers and bureaucrats and chair the meeting of a parliamentary committee on her ministry.
“The Union HRD ministry has accepted the proposal of setting up of the NIT campus at Thekabong. The Union HRD minister will lay the foundation of the campus during her visit to Sikkim on June 24,” said Upadhaya.
Thekabong is nearly 30km from Gangtok and close to Pakyong where Sikkim’s first airport is being built. The state government has acquired 172 acres of land for the campus.
The Sikkim NIT was set up in 2010 and is operating out of a government building at Rabong in South District on a temporary basis with six departments.
Residents of Thekabong are happy that the NIT is coming up in their village. “Employment will be generated and villagers can do more business after the campus is established. We are grateful to the government for bringing the project to our area,” said a villager, D.B. Chettri.
Upadhaya said Irani would hold a meeting with Sikkim ministers and bureaucrats at Chintan Bhawan here on June 26.
“State HRD minister R.B. Subba will place our demands before the Union minister at the meeting. There are four major demands: establishment of IIT/IIM and model degree colleges in the state, granting permission to start a state university and the upgrade of the Law College to National Law University,” he said.
Irani will also visit a few government schools. “Our department is yet to finalise the schools which will be visited by the Union Minister. Keeping the time constraint in mind, we would take her to some schools in East District,” said an HRD official.
On June 25, Irani will chair the meeting of the Consultative Committee of Parliament of the MHRD in Gangtok.
She is expected to leave Sikkim on June 26 or the next day.