Govt allots land for Gaya central university

The government on Tuesday approved transfer of defence land to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry for setting up a Central university in Gaya district of Bihar in the absence of Union minister M M Pallam Raju.

Raju, who put in his papers on Monday against the Cabinet decision to create a separate Telangana state, has stayed away from office awaiting acceptance of his resignation by the prime minister.

The Cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, gave its nod to the transfer of 300 acres of defence land which the HRD Ministry had identified in Panchanpur, Gaya, to set up the proposed university last year. The Defence Ministry had already given its “in principal” approval to the HRD Ministry’s proposal for setting up the varsity at the proposed site which was part of an abandoned airfield.

The proposal was in limbo for want of land. Set up in 2009, the varsity is currently functioning from the premises of the Birla Institute of Technology in Patna. The Cabinet decision paves the way for the HRD Ministry to go ahead with its plan.

The ministry, which was at loggerheads with the Bihar government on the issue ofsetting up of a Central University in the state for nearly three years, had identified the defence land in Gaya to execute its plan last year.

The state government was not providing it with a suitable piece of land for the varsity as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar wanted it in Motihari.

The Ministry later acceded to Kumar’s demand and announced setting up of two Central Universities in the state–one in Motihari and another in Gaya–making an exception, apparently in a bid to woo Kumar amid the changing political scenario.

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