AAP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, known as the brain behind remodelling of the Delhi education system, is at the centre of a CBI case involving the now scrapped excise policy. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP’s spirited defence of Sisodia, hailing him as “India’s best education minister”, is rooted in several key projects he has spearheaded — from happiness and desbhakti curriculum in Delhi government schools to setting up of two universities exclusively for sports and entrepreneurship.
Ever since the arrest of Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Sisodia, who already held key portfolios of Finance, Education, Excise and Public Works Department, was given charge of 22 departments, including Health, Home, Power and Tourism. In the coming months, he is supposed to spearhead, shape and execute crucial projects such as:
Rozgaar budget: 20 lakh jobs
Sisodia was closely involved with the drafting of the rozgaar (employment) budget 2022-23. He is directly involved in formulation of the project and initiatives announced under it such as the shopping festival, food truck policy, redevelopment of Gandhi Nagar Market, and revamp and makeover of Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Kamla Nagar, Kirti Nagar and Khari Baoli.
Recently, he held a review meeting on the food truck policy and announced that it will be on the lines of US and UK standards. The aim behind introducing this policy is to streamline the business and increase employment opportunities in this sector.
The street-scaping and beautification of Delhi roads on the lines of European standards is one of Kejriwal’s most ambitious projects. After Sisodia took charge of the project, 9 sample stretches were selected for revamp at an estimated cost of Rs 90-100 crore. Besides, PWD is also redeveloping seven other busy stretches on a pilot basis. “The minister reviews and inspects the projects from time to time. Work is on. We’ve been given a target to complete the project by September,” said a PWD official.
An emphasis on honing sporting talent is a major part of the Delhi government’s public messaging, and a big part of that is the nascent Delhi Sports University. The project is headed by Sisodia. The University’s stated aim is to train young sporting talent and produce Olympic medalists.
The government made a big move by roping in India’s first woman Olympic medalist, weightlifter Karnam Malleswari as its V-C. It is in the process of admitting the first batch of students to a residential sports school under the aegis of the university. True to the national character the AAP is trying to project, this school is admitting students from across the country through sporting trials in different states. A senior PWD official said, “The department has started preliminary work. Consultants have been appointed for preparation of DPR.”
One of the big ticket projects proposed by the government is construction of a state-of-the-art building with spacious offices and cabins at ITO for Kejriwal, Sisodia, cabinet ministers , senior bureaucrats and other staff, at an estimated cost of Rs 1,910 crore. The new building will have 30-35 storeys and will be constructed after demolishing the existing structure at Vikas Bhawan-1, MSO Building (PWD headquarters) and GST Building. The project is being executed by PWD and tenders for hiring consultants were floated in January.
(inputs from Sukrita Baruah)