New Delhi: A parliamentary panel Monday expressed displeasure over delay in the upgradation of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) to international standards. The panel said targets need to be achieved on time considering IIMC’s significant role in conducting specialised courses to meet diverse requirements of the dynamic media industry.
The Standing Committee on Communication and Information Technology, in its 34th Demand for Grants report, asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to expeditiously complete the project while noting that a previous report of 2019-20 had found that the upgradation project had not taken off and till date there was a status quo on it.
“The committee is surprised to note that there is status quo in the project and till date construction activities on the New Delhi campus have not started,” the panel said in a statement.
The panel observed that when asked for reasons for slow progress of the work in IIMC, the Ministry informed that construction of guest house, hostel building and academic block on the New Delhi campus could not be started for want of approval from Ridge Management Board and other civic bodies of the Delhi government.
It was presumed that the approval could be received during the financial year 2018-19. Accordingly, a provision of Rs 3 crore had been made at BE (budget expenditure) stage, which was further reduced to Rs 20 lakh at RE (revised expenditure) stage and at the Final Grant stage, all the funds were surrendered, the panel noted.
“It is very disheartening that such an important project has been languishing for such a long period and the Ministry is unable to settle the impediments as of yet. Considering the significance of IIMC’s role in conducting a number of specialised courses to meet the diverse requirements of the ever expanding and changing media industry and in training and research, timely meeting of the targets under IIMC is very much desirable,” the panel report said.
The committee, while disapproving such inordinate delay in execution of projects under IIMC, has recommended the ministry to take necessary steps for the expeditious completion of the project so as to avoid cost and time overrun.
The committee has asked the ministry to apprise it of the new timeline fixed for completion of the new building at IIMC Delhi and take up the issue regarding clearances at the highest level.