Panel proposes multiple central varsities in states

Panel proposes multiple central varsities in states

With the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government walking the extra mile to woo Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United (JD-U) by opening two central universities in Bihar, a parliamentary panel has told the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry that other states should also get such bonanza.

“There may be other states in the country, particularly those which are large and educationally backward, where more than one central university needs to be established,” a parliamentary standing committee underlined in its report on an amendment bill for setting up a new central university in Bihar, besides the one set up in 2009.

It suggested that the HRD Ministry should carry out an assessment of all states with only one central university and initiate the process for establishing another university “wherever required and feasible.”

The report was tabled in the just-concluded monsoon session of Parliament.
The Centre had set up one central university each in 13 states, including Bihar, under a law passed by Parliament in 2009. It allowed them to start functioning from temporary campuses and directed respective states to provide free land for permanent campuses.

The HRD Ministry and the Bihar government were at loggerheads later over the location of the university campus. The Bihar chief minister wanted the university in Motihari district while erstwhile HRD Minister Kapil Sibal insisted on setting up a campus elsewhere.

The HRD Ministry even identified a defence land in Gaya district and managed to get in-principal approval from the Defence Ministry for setting up the campus there.

The Centre later acceded to the chief minister’s demand and Sibal announced another central university in Motihari. This was seen as an attempt by the UPA government to woo the JD-U with an eye on the elections. The committee noted that “the process has already started by getting the Central Universities Act, 2009, and other similar acts enacted.

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