Gandhinagar: The Gujarat Legislative Assembly on Monday passed a bill, seeking to set up Infrastructure Technology, Research and Management (IITRAM) University, with a majority vote.

The bill- IITRAM Act-2012, was passed by voice vote amidst stiff opposition from the Congress, who alleged that the bill was not in accordance with the UGC guidelines about setting up a varsity, as it proposes to have director-general, instead of a vice-chancellor, which means that it will by-pass the state Governor.

Foreseeing a demand for engineers in the infra-space over the next few years, the state government has decided to set up a university and the bill shall pave a way for it.

Opposing the bill, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) President Arjun Modhvadiya alleged that it lacked measures for providing autonomy to the university and was not in accordance to the UGC guidelines.

Modhvadiya also opposed the provisions made by the BJP government to appoint a director general in place of a vice-chancellor saying, "It would adversely impact the autonomy of the varsity."

Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil said that a university, without a vice-chancellor can never be autonomous. The varsity should have Gujarat Governor as its vice chancellor, he added.

"Around 60 percent posts are lying vacant in the engineering and technical colleges of the state, the government should first fill them to ensure its smooth functioning," Gohil said.

Dismissing Opposition's claims, Minister of Education Ramanlal Vohra said that a few private universities in the state have the post of Director General, which ensures autonomy.

"Once operational, the varsity would provide skilled manpower for infrastructure," Vohra said.

"To cater to the need of specific demand of trained manpower in infrastructure and to provide a platform for research based institute in the field of engineering, it is considered necessary to have a dedicated autonomous institute with powers of a University, Vohra said.

"The proposed varsity shall have an 11-member governing body, with an industrialist as one of its members," he said.

The bill, once enacted and brought into operation, will have an estimated expenditure of Rs 18 crore in FY 2011-12 and a sum of Rs 67 crore in FY 2012-13, of which, Rs 47 crore will be capital expenditure.

The state government shall provide capital support to the proposed university for eight years. It would charge normal fee from the students to meet its recurring expenditures from the fee structure, for financial autonomy.

The proposed universities thrusts shall be on research. It is expected to accommodate around 2,000 students in campus, once fully operational.

Out of these, 50 percent students will be under- graduates and remaining from PG doctoral and sponsored courses in the area of engineering and management.

In the backdrop of rapid industrialisation here, the demand for engineers in Gujarat is touted to be higher as compared to the other states.

The state engineering colleges presently offer courses across 32 segments such as aviation, textile processing, automobile, amongst other at nominal fee of Rs 3,000 to 4,000 per annum.