Govt may privatise Indira Gandhi Udan Academy soon

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udan Academy (IGRUA), the pilot training institute that was the
brainchild of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, will soon be in private hands with the
Modi government deciding to privatise it.
“The view is that the government should not be in this business of running a pilot training
institute and a decision has been taken to give it to private players for a period of 50
years,” said a senior government official on condition of anonymity.
A cabinet note on this is being prepared and will be sent for approval soon, the official
The move has the approval of the Prime Minister’s Office, people in the know said. The
PMO’s view is that the government should “facilitate private companies to start pilot
training institutes at airports and airstrips that are lying idle” instead of operating those,
said one of them.
The institute is located at Amethi, the constituency that Rajiv Gandhi, a former Indian
Airlines pilot, had represented in the Lok Sabha. His wife Sonia and son Rahul too had represented the constituency, which was
considered to be a Gandhi family bastion, before BJP’s Smriti Irani won it in 2019.
The institute is making losses averaging around Rs 6 crore annually, and the government does not see any merit in funding its losses.
IGRUA, founded in 1985, is the largest pilot training institute in the country with over 150 students undergoing training at present and a
fleet of 24 planes. Other institutes in India average around twothree planes.
14/01/20 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

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