Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh cabinet on Friday decided to set up the AIIMS in Bilaspur district and send a revised proposal for setting up the main campus of Central University at Dharamshala after addressing objections of the Union Environment and Forests Ministry.
The AIIMS location had been a contentious issue with leaders from different districts lobbying for it. The Cabinet decided in favour of Bilaspur, considering its proximity with five districts of Shimla, Solan, Mandi, Una and Hamirpur.
Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced AIIMS for four states but Himachal did not figure among them and later the state government took up the matter with the Centre and the then Health minister Harsh Vardhan asked the state to provide 200 acres of land.
Bilaspur happens to be home district of Union Health Minister J P Nadda and as such the project is unlikely to face hassles at the Centre.
The decision to send fresh revised proposal for setting up the main campus of central university at Dharamsala has been taken in view of the reported decision of the Union HRD minister Smriti Irani to grant clearance for setting up the University at Dehra, which falls in Kangra district but is part of Hamirpur Lok Sabha constituency represented by BJYM president Anurag Thakur.
Earlier, two campuses of the university were proposed at Dehra and Dharamsala but the chief minister categorically stated during the Winter session of the Assembly at Dharamsala recently that there would only one campus of the University at Dharamsala.
The cabinet also decided to reduce minimum service for converting the PTA (Grant-in-Aid) teachers into contract appointees from eight year to seven years, benefiting about 6300 teachers.
The High Court had stayed the decision of the government to takeover the services of PTA and PARA teachers but gave its nod for regularisation on December 9 this year.