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Home > News > Report

Modi offers to start university for NRIs in Gujarat

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | January 09, 2008 13:37 IST

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Complete coverage: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 08

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] has offered to start the first university for non-resident Indians, suggested by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] during his opening speech on Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, in his home state.

"We have the infrastructure and we offer to start the first such university," he said.

Speaking on the concluding day of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Modi told the audience that in the last Five-Year Plan, Gujarat had been set a target of 10.2 per cent growth. "I am glad to tell you that we achieved 10.6 per cent and we will achieve 11.2 per cent going forward, as has been fixed by the Planning Commission," he told a captive audience.

Modi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met before the session and exchanged views on developments in Gujarat. He suggested to Dr Singh that at least two functions be held abroad every year to pay homage to non-resident Indians who laid down their lives in the Indian freedom struggle. "I salute those people of Indian origin," he said.

He emphasised that right now, Gujarat was in the process of connecting ports with rail and land routes with the help of a Japanese firm. "Gujarat is the first state which has private railways," Modi told the audience.

He urged the Gujarati community to come forward in helping a new project called 'healthy child'. Speaking on education in his state, Modi claimed that the number of student drop-outs have come down from 49 per cent to 3 per cent, and in next five years he would take it upon himself to bring it down to zero.

Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit are the only chief ministers to have attended all the PBD conferences.