Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday directed the Finance Department to immediately release the sanctioned amount of Rs 60 crore for the first phase construction of the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Punjab Sports University (MBSPSU), Patiala campus.

He also asked the Finance Department to enhance the allocation for the premier institution in this year’s budget, saying that the Rs 15 crore allotted for the university was too less.

Virtually reviewing the progress of the state’s first sports university, the Chief Minister also asked PWD Minister Vijay Inder Singla to assign a chief engineer to steer the campus construction, in consultation with a good external consultant, to ensure speedy completion of the project.

He also directed Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Sodhi to set up a three-member committee to coordinate with the PWD for expediting the work on the university, which has been functioning from another campus since 2019.

To ensure world-class curriculum for the university, the Chief Minister approved a draft MoU to be signed with UK-based Loughborough University to institutionalise the collaboration between the two.

Stressing that he wanted to see Punjab develop as a sports hub, Captain Amarinder asked the departments to expedite work on the campus.

Vice Chancellor MBSPSU Lt. Gen (Retd.) J.S. Cheema told the meeting that the construction of the university was currently going on in full swing on the Patiala-Bhadson road at Patiala. The campus would spread over an area of about 100 acres. The meeting was also informed that currently, admissions have been made from the session 2019-20, and 130 students have been enrolled. A total of 76 posts have been sanctioned in this year’s budget.

At present, the university has three constituent colleges, namely Prof Gursewak Singh Government College of Physical Education Patiala, Government Art & Sports College Jalandhar and Government College Kala Afghana, Gurdaspur. The courses planned for the next two years are BPES, BA, PGD Yoga, B.Sc. (Sports Technology) and PGD coaching.

It may be recalled that the foundation stone of this prestigious Sports University was laid on 25 October 2020 by the Chief Minister as his flagship programme to promote education in the areas of sports sciences, sports technology, sports management and sports coaching. It will focus on education, training and research in areas related to sports based on high standard infrastructure, besides offering professional and academic leadership to other institutions in the field of physical education and sports sciences.

The university will also serve as a centre of excellence for the elite and other talented sportspersons of all sports and innovations to carry out, endorse and propagate research. It will also generate capabilities for the development of knowledge skills and competencies at various levels in the field of sports technology and high-performance training for all sports and games.

Besides the Sports and PWD Ministers, the meeting was attended by Senior Advisor to CM Lt. Gen (retd.) T.S. Shergill, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary Sports Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Principal Secretary Finance KAP Sinha and Principal Secretary PWD Vikas Pratap.