Indian cabinet approves establishment of new aviation university

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The Indian cabinet has given approval for the establishment of the country's first aviation university.

The school, to be named Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University, will be a body under the administrative control of the ministry of civil aviation.

A plot of land, measuring some 26.35 acres, has been identified for the construction of the university and government funding of Indian rupees (Rs) 2.02 billion ($33.8 million) will be pumped in for its first phase of development.

"Despite (the) existence of a large number of private institutions in India that provide aviation education and training, there is general consensus among stakeholders that the number of programmes offered, depth of course content and infrastructure facilities available with them are not sufficient to meet the industry's requirements," says the ministry of civil aviation.

"It is therefore, necessary to establish (a) national aviation university to cater to the growing educational and training requirements of the civil aviation sector."

Besides facilitating and promoting aviation studies, training as well as research, the university will also be a knowledge partner of India's safety and security regulators.

Passenger numbers in India, which reached 120 million in 2011, could hit 450 million by 2020. While the grounding of Kingfisher Airlines last October has reduced competition in the market, AirAsia is working towards launching its Indian joint venture in September.