PM Modi inaugurates BASE University campus in Bengaluru; ‘flagship project’ of Congress, says Siddaramaiah

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a new campus of the Dr PR Ambedkar School of Economics (BASE) in Bengaluru on Monday even as Karnataka opposition leader Sidaramaya launched a backdoor attack on him with a series of tweets about the assets of the institution, which was founded in 2017 when Congress was in power in the state.

Prime Minister Modi, along with Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, unveiled a statue of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar which has been installed on the campus in Chandra Layout.

BASE Residential University was established in 2017 in recognition of Ambedkar’s contributions to independent India on the 125th anniversary of his birth when Sidharmaya was Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Hours before Modi visited the campus, Sidaramaya, via his tweets, apparently indicated that Prime Minister Modi was inaugurating a “pilot project” for Congress.

“Former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, inaugurated our flagship project Babasaheb Dr BR Ambedkar College of Economics in 2017. It gives us great pleasure to remember the satisfying anniversary of the dedication of a world-class university to the people of Karnataka,” he wrote on Twitter.

He went on to say that BASE was established in 2017 on 43.45 acres of Bengaluru University land and that the Congress government had allocated Rs 350 crore for land and infrastructure.

“The late former President Shri #PranabMukherjee laid the foundation stone for BASE and our government completed the construction of the building in just 6 months. Bachelor’s classes in Economics (H) started in June 2017, he said in another tweet.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate a new building in BASE today. I wish you success in this event.”

Congress leader and former state minister Priyank Karj Modi has questioned why he opened the already functioning campus. “Why is PMOIndia opening an already semi-functional campus with 3 batches of alumni who have already graduated?” He tweeted.

BASE University is planned in line with the London School of Economics. It has 13 blocks built at an approximate cost of Rs 250 crore. Academic activities began in 2017 in a temporary building with a capacity of 50 students and the institute gained consolidated university status in 2019. It now has 250 students and aims to gradually increase its strength to 1,100 by 2024-25, according to officials.

PM Modi launches ‘Tech Centers’

At the event, PM Modi also launched 150 “Tech Hubs” developed by transforming Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) across Karnataka. These technology hubs have been developed at a cost of more than Rs 4,700 crore and aim to create a skilled workforce to meet the needs of the “Industry 4.0” workforce, according to officials.

Of the total cost, the state government contributed Rs 657 crore while Tata Technologies Limited (TTL) and its industrial partners contributed Rs 4,080 crore. Apart from this, the state government has also spent an additional Rs 220 crore to set up dedicated workshops and tech labs at 150 ITI’s, according to officials.

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