Congress prince blew up Vayalar Ravi's dream of getting the proposed world-class civil aviation university on his home turf in Kerala; declared  that the much-awaited varsity will come up in his own constituency

With just a handful of days remaining at the office, after Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh was sworn in as a cabinet minister and was allocated Union Civil Aviation Ministry yesterday, outgoing Union Minister for Civil Aviation Vayalar Ravi, has to forget the dream of hosting the proposed world-class civil aviation university on his home turf -- Kerala.

It's mine! Rahul Gandhi surprised everyone by his announcement that
the university would be built in his LS constituency. File pic

Congress prince Rahul Gandhi -- rather than Ravi or any of the civil aviation officials -- announced the much-awaited venue of the university, which till date was a mystery.

Addressing a public function at Fursatganj in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi surprised everyone by his announcement, proposing that Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University would be built at Fursatganj with an aim to give better training facilities to the pilots.

He also announced the expansion of Fursatganj airport, so that farmers' produce can be exported.

The announcement was made at a function to mark the 25th anniversary of Indira Gandhi National Aviation Academy (IGRUA), a premier academy of pilot training in India, where Ravi was also present.

Pitching hard
On October 17, during the International Civil Aviation Conference in Mumbai, Ravi had announced the plans for the  university. Since then, he is believed to be pitching hard for the institution to come to his home turf.

MiD DAY had reported ('Kerala to host world class aviation school', Oct 19) that during discussions for the project, debates supported that the university should be located between northern and western India, but the aviation minister was of a view that the university must be established in Kerala.

It's official
Talking to MiD DAY, Nasim Zaidi, union civil aviation secretary, said, "Yes, it has been decided that the university would be built at Fursatganj in UP and its campus will be close to IGRUA at Fursatganj airfield."

Despite repeated attempts, Ravi remained unavailable for comment. In order to minimise the scarcity of aviation professionals in the country, the Civil Aviation Ministry mooted the idea of the first aviation university.