BY | February 24, 2009

Mandi: Anand Sharma,Union Minister of State for External Affairs & Information & Broadcasting today laid the foundation stone of Indian Institute of Technology (I.I.T.) at Kamand, near Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, in the presence of a large gathering of dignitaries and local citizens. Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh presided over the foundation stone laying ceremony. 
The move is being seen as an unique initiative of the Central Government. in the field of quality technical education in the country and will go a long way in the educational development scenario of Himachal Pradesh. 
The Government. of India decided, as a sequel to the Prime Minister’s announcement on the occasion of 60th Independence Day, to enlarge the strength of the present IITs from seven to fifteen last year by opening eight more IITs. Six of these started functioning last year and two of them namely IIT Indore and IIT Mandi will start functioning from this year .IIT Mandi will be run with IIT Roorkee as its mentor. An allocation of Rs. 2000 crore has been made for this IIT in the 11th plan with Rs. 50 crore sanctioned for the current year. 
Speaking on the occasion of the foundation stone laying ceremony, Anand Sharma said that it was a historic moment for Mandi , a town famous for its temples to have new temple of learning in the form of IIT. This will make Himachal a proud destination for higher technical education, he added. 
Talking about the vision of the First Prime Minister of Independent India Jawahar Lal Nehru , Sharma said that it was the foresightedness of Pt. Nehru which paved the way for the development of the country’s precious Human Resources and gave birth to institutions of higher learning like IITs , IIMs, IIScs. These institutions are the temples of modern India and have carried forward the image of India in the comity of nations. He said that the present Central Govt. is committed to the cause of spreading education and has increased allocation for education by five times. The Central Govt. has unleashed an ambitious plan of establishing several polytechnics 
Indian Institutes of Information Technologies etc. to provide best educational opportunities to country’s youth. 
Sharma emphasized that the Central and State Govt. should work together for the welfare of the people and for enhancing the prestige of the nation. 
Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Prof. Dhumal, speaking on the occasion, said that the new IIT has fulfilled the long cherished dream of the people of Himachal Pradesh. He expressed the hope that IIT Mandi will soon become a landmark on the educational map of the country. 
Chief Minister also recalled the contributions made by the Central Governments over the years for the development of Himachal Pradesh which included industrial packages , linking of Lahoul Spiti with Leh , foundation of the Branches of National Institute of Fashion Technology ,Steel Processing Unit of SAIL and ESI Medical Hospital . Chief Minister complimented Shri Anand Sharma for his continued cooperation and contribution in the interest of Himachal Pradesh. 
Ashok Thakur, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Human Resources Development , Govt. of India in his welcome address talked about the expansion programmes of the Govt. of India in the higher education sector.
Prof. S.C. Saxena, Director, IIT Roorkee and Director in charge, IIT Mandi while proposing the vote of thanks assured that IIT Roorkee as the mentor institution of IIT Mandi will spare no efforts to impart its traditions of excellence.

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