Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the state university named after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, a Jat legend, in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh district on September 14.
Principal Secretary, PWD, Nitin Ramesh Gokarn, confirmed the news, saying that the university's construction will take at least 24 months from when the foundation is laid. Therefore, It is expected to be completed by January 2023, as reported by The Times of India.
Education Or Vote Bank Politics
The university will be erected over an area of more than 90 acres in the village of Lodha, in the Kol tehsil in the Aligarh district.
The project is expected to cost ₹101 crore in the first phase, of which ₹10 crore was released in March. The state government intends to build a sprawling academic block, an administrative building, a facility center, a health center, hostels for boys and girls, and residential buildings for academic staff.
Authorities claim that the university will be affiliated with 395 colleges in the districts of Aligarh, Etah, Hathras, and Kasganj.
Besides regular classes, the government intends to establish advanced computing, biotechnology, decision sciences, renewable energy, and advanced molecular genetics departments, as well as schools for multilingual studies, spiritual sciences, and yoga.
In Agra, the Aligarh division currently has only one state university, Dr BR Ambedkar University.
The decision to honour the Jat legend can be regarded as a move to counter political adversaries who have been lending support to the farmers' protest, majorly comprising from the Jat community.
In November 2019, when announcing the formation of the Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh University, Chief Minister Adityanath claimed that despite donating land to AMU, the university did not acknowledge Singh's contribution.
Some BJP leaders have also demanded that Singh's birthday be commemorated in the same way that the birthday of AMU founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan is commemorated.
In the run-up to the UP assembly elections scheduled for early next year, the development could signal the ruling BJP's overt attempt to win over the Jat community, which collectively account for around 17 per cent of the voting population in 12 districts in west UP.
The King Of The Jat: Mahendra Pratap Singh
Mahendra Pratap Singh was born in Hathras in 1886. He was a freedom fighter who is credited with being the driving force behind the formation of a provincial government in 1915. However, apart from AMU, he has donated land to the Arya Samaj Gurukul in Vrindavan, an initiative that helped him win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1932.