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Sansad TV: Bills & Acts- Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya

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Introduction:

Parliament passed the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill 2022 for conversion of the National Rail and Transportation Institute into Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya. Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya will be an autonomous central institution aiming at expanding horizon of the university beyond railways.

Highlights the scheme:

  • The Gati Shakti Bill that seeks to convert the National Rail and Transportation University into the Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya, an autonomous central institution. The National Rail and Transportation University at Vadodara in Gujarat is currently functioning as a deemed-to-be institution.
  • The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill that aims at expanding the horizon of the university beyond the railways to cover the whole of the transport sector to support growth and modernisation in the field was passed by a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha after a brief discussion.
  • Gati Shakti will be NationalInfrastructure Master Plan for our country which will lay the foundation of holistic Infrastructure.
  • This scheme of more than 100 lakh crores rupees will result in new employment opportunities for lakhs of youth.
  • The plan will help raise the global profile of local manufacturers and help them compete with their counterparts worldwide.
  • It also raises possibilities of new future economic zones.
  • A similar plan, called the National Infrastructure Pipeline was previously announced.

National Infrastructure Pipeline:

In the budget speech of 2019-2020, Finance Minister announced an outlay of Rs 100 lakh Crore for infrastructure projects over the next 5 years.

  • NIP is a first-of-its-kind initiative to provide world-class infrastructure across the country and improve the quality of life for all citizens.
  • It will improve project preparation, attract investments (both domestic & foreign) into infrastructure, and will be crucial for attaining the target of becoming a $5 trillion economyby FY 2025.
  • Covers both economic and social infrastructure projects.

How Gati Shakthi scheme helps in good governance in infrastructure

  • It is a significant step forward for the country’s logistics, where inefficiencies result in an estimated cost burden of 13-14% of gross domestic product (GDP), compared to 6-8% in more competitive economies.
  • Greater visibility in core areas such as railways, shipping and roads and highways should serve to feed the development of facilities in an integrated manner.
  • With a single portal including multi-layer levels of data, decision-making and various implementation processes can be streamlined and made both efficient and timely.
  • Gati Shakti is expected to facilitate the planning, implementation, monitoring and administration of transport infrastructure projects so that they do not suffer delays.
  • Time savings will lead to monetary savings, which can be ploughed back into the social sector, among others in need.
  • For industry, the availability of detailed data on the facilities at a particular location would save a lot of time and effort in taking investment decisions.
  • A plug-and-play model for industrial parks, as promised through the scheme, has long been a request of Indian industry so that approvals and clearances are pre-obtained for an enterprise to start functioning expeditiously.

Challenges associated with the functioning of PM Gati Shakti:

  • The Economic Survey for 2020-21 underscored the role of active Centre-State partnerships for infrastructure building.
  • With the pandemic and its associated challenges, the state governments don’t have enough finances to invest such large amounts. This will delay the implementation of the master plan.
  • According to the RBI’s paper, the growth rate in credit off-take has steeply declined to 5.8% in November 2020, as against 14.2% in 2013.
  • This will reduce private investment in infrastructure projects. At present, there are concerns about the declining credit offtake trends from banks as they don’t want to get into another Non-Performing Asset (NPA) crisis in future.
  • There are other issues such as litigation issues, alienation of local communities and the violation of environmental norms, etc.
  • These issues make the rate of implementation of projects is very slow on global standards. The Gati Shakti master plan offers little or no solution to these major challenges.

Conclusion:

  • The portal would help states avoid both cost and time overruns, and allow them to provide the benefit of valuable infrastructure to their residents sooner.
  • The Gati Shakti will boost economic growth, attract foreign investments and enhance the country’s global competitiveness thereby enabling smooth transportation of goods, people and services and creating employment opportunities.
  • Thus, the PM Gati Shakti will help India to realise its dream of becoming the “business capital” of the world. But all the challenges must be addressed on priority in order for the project to be a success.