Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar made a fervent appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving central university status to Patna University but he fell short of announcing this and instead invited the university for a challenge league which will select 20 universities to be developed as world class institutions.
After Nitish’s return to the NDA fold, this was the first occasion when he shared the dais with Modi in Patna on the occasion of centenary celebrations of Patna University.
Speaking on the occasion, Nitish turned back towards Modi and said, “There has been a long demand of giving this university the status of central university. This is a great opportunity when our PM is with us. I appeal with folded hands to fulfil this long-standing demand.”
The prime minister, though, said there was more in store for Patna University than the status of central university. Elaborating about his government’s initiative, he said, “Top ten private and government universities would be converted into world class educational institutions and we will give them financial assistance of Rs 10 thousand crore in the next five years.”
The prime minister said that the selection of universities would be based on a challenge and not anyone’s recommendations and they would be given full autonomy.
“This is more than the status of central university. I hope Patna University would not leave behind and grab this opportunity with both hands," he said.
On the other hand, opposition parties have accused the prime minister of diverting the demand. Main opposition party Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) said that the prime minister has fooled Nitish. RJD national vice president Shivanand Tiwary said, “Narendra Modi has shown the mirror to Nitish Kumar and he should learn to be happy with that. We were also hoping that Modiji would announce the demand of granting central university status.”
Senior Congress leader and former education minister Ashok Choudhary also lamented the way, as he said, the prime minister ignored the issue. “Instead of announcing anything, he invited the university to participate in a challenge league. Who knows the result?” He quipped.
However, Nitish’s party Janata Dal (United) tried to play down the issue. Party’s spokesman Neeraj Kumar said, “RJD can only think of Charwaha schools. They have no understanding of education system. The PM is committed for the development of Bihar.”
But he also hoped that the demand of central university would be met in future.
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Updated Date: Oct 14, 2017 15:09:00 IST