Bangalore, Nov 12, 2013, DHNS: Politicians always love to be in a ruling party because their wishes are granted on priority. So is the case with the ruling Congress whose legislators, including ministers, are set to have the maximum share in the 100 government Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) to be established over the next two years.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had announced in the revised budget proposals for 2013-14 that 100 ITIs would be set up in backward taluks as part of the government’s plan to bring these regions on a par with the rest of the State.
A list of 92 ITIs prepared by the Labour department reveals that as many as 85 of them are proposed to be located in the constituencies of ministers or Congress legislators.
The move came to light when the list was circulated at a press conference convened by Minister of State for Labour P T Parameshwara Naik on Tuesday at the Vidhana Soudha. The minister initially tried to defend the list stating that it was drawn based on the recommendations made by MLAs and MLCs. To a volley of questions from reporters regarding the parameters used to draw the list, Naik said there was no politics involved and whichever legislator had come forward had been sanctioned ITIs.
However, much later, perhaps realising the folly committed by circulating the list to the media – that too at a press conference – the minister said it was a “draft”.
According to the list, Naik himself gets a lion’s share of eight ITIs, while the chief minister gets four. Ministers who figure in the list include T B Jayachandra, H C Mahadevappa, R V Deshpande, Sharanprakash Patil, Babu Rao Chinchansur, M B Patil, S R Patil, Umashree, Prakash Hukkeri, H Anjaneya, Vinay Kumar Sorake, U T Khader, Santosh Lad, Shivaraj Thangadagi, M H Ambareesh, H K Patil and H S Mahadevaprasad. Several of these ministers have sought more than one ITI.
Among the Opposition legislators whose constituencies have been shortlisted for ITIs are B R Patil (KJP), C T Ravi, B Suresh Gowda, Basavaraj Bommai, Lakshman Savadi (all BJP) and Sharada Naik (JD-S).
Naik said each ITI would be set up at a cost of Rs 10 crore with a faculty strength of 15 to 20. Trades to be taught at the institutes would be decided based on local demand. In the first phase, as many as 35 ITIs would start functioning from the next academic year, he said.
The State government would partly fund the project, while the Centre would extend assistance for purchase of equipment for the ITIs.
He said Rs 900 crore would be spent on building professional schools and housing complexes for the benefit of construction workers and their family members.