‘L-G to inaugurate GGSIPU’s east Delhi campus’

The Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University’s east Delhi campus is the latest flashpoint between the AAP-led city government and Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena, with both sides insisting on inaugurating the newly built campus.

Both the parties have accused one another of trying to take undue credit for the new campus of the university.

Delhi Education minister Atishi had on Tuesday announced in a press conference that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal would inaugurate the new campus.

“I am delighted to announce that the inauguration of the east Delhi campus of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) is going to take place, and the chief minister will inaugurate it on June 8,” she had said.

However, an invitation by the varsity stated that Lt Governor V K Saxena will inaugurate the campus at 11 am on Thursday.

The L-G office on Wednesday issued a statement expressing “shock” that the education minister had announced inauguration of the east Delhi campus of GGSIPU by the chief minister despite knowing it “fully well” that the Lt Governor would do so. “Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal himself was aware of the fact that the L-G was scheduled to inaugurate the campus. In fact, they were also aware that they were supposed to be present in the function as Guest of Honour and distinguished guest, as desired by the L-G and had also consented to it,” the statement said.

Reacting to the statement, Atishi said the L-G should not forget that education, higher education, and technical education are all transferred subjects.

“The Kejriwal government has been working on all these three sectors diligently over the last eight years,” she said in a statement.

The L-G office also said the chief minister had asked for the date to be shifted from May 23 to accommodate his schedule and accordingly, the date had been re-scheduled to June 8.

“The fact that the Lt Governor will be inaugurating the campus was put on the file way back in March, 2023 when the university wrote to the L-G secretariat requesting for L-G’s consent to inaugurate the campus, and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was also fully aware of this,” it said.

The east Delhi campus of GGSIPU was conceptualised way back in 2013 with a seed fund of Rs 41 crore earmarked for it. The foundation stone of the campus was laid by the then Union HRD minister Smriti Irani on December 14, 2014, the L-G office statement said.

“The campus building was funded by GGSIPU itself. Out of the total cost of Rs 387 crore, the Delhi government share was Rs 41 crore which was paid in three installments, the last of which was released on June 5, 2023,” it stated.

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