State government gives Rs. 20 crore for Vajpayee chair in universities

A dedicated chair named after former Prime Minister and senior BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be set up in all 13 universities in the State. The Atalji Vichar Adhyasan Kendra in each university will be funded by the State government, which has granted Rs. 20 crore as initial expenditure and will be seeking more funds from the Central government.

State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said on Tuesday that the memorials to Vajpayee will be for intellectual discussions, cultural centres and libraries. “Books written by [Vajpayee] and on him will be available for students to study the life and thoughts of Atalji. Students will be encouraged to research and study his life.”

Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters in Mumbai, Mr. Mungantiwar said these chairs are expected to conduct at least six programmes every year that explore various aspects of Vajyapee’s life and career, such as his work in foreign policy, as a poet, author and politician, and his work as PM. Students can also opt to pursue a doctorate on the life and work of Vajpayee. “The BJP will extend an annual stipend of Rs. 3 lakh each to 10 students,” he added.

Mr. Mungantiwar said the BJP will be bringing out a coffee table book on Vajpayee’s life, comprising memories shared by his followers and activists across the State. “He used to come to Maharashtra often and interacted with thousands of people. He was very fond of the people and the State. We’re sure that people in Maharashtra must have a treasure of memories, like articles and photos. We appeal to them to share it with us, so that they can be the part of the coffee table book we are planning. It will be an introduction to Vajpayee for the next generation.”

Earlier, Mr. Mungantiwar had said a condolence meeting for Vajpayee will be held by the party in Mumbai on Wednesday. A part of the former PM’s ashes will be immersed in rivers in 13 districts, and each district will hold condolence meetings.

Books written by [Vajpayee] and on him will be available for students to study the life and thoughts of AtaljiSudhir MungantiwarState Finance Minister

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