Bihar govt may allow private varsities

Beset with the problem of brain drain, the Nitish Kumar regime is mulling over allowing private universities in the State.

The move assumes significance as an increasing number of Bihar students are opting for institutions in Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and other metros for studying engineering, medical, law and management courses,
“We are working on legislation to allow private universities in the state. The officials are preparing the draft of the bill,” said state Education Minister P K Sahi at a workshop on “Excellence in higher education in Bihar.”

The decision of the state government to allow private universities comes close on the heels of its recent standoff with the governor-cum-chancellor over the appointment of eight vice-chancellors. The minister said: “We have studied more than half a dozen pieces of legislation from Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Assam and Punjab. The government will table a bill in the Assembly soon.”

N R Madhava Menon, founder director of the National Law School of India, Bangalore, said governors should not be vested with the power of appointing vice chancellors.  Citing the Yashpal panel report, Menon said in the changing education sc­e­­n­a­rio, it is important to keep institutions free from all kinds of political meddling and adopt a transparent method in appointing persons for the top posts.

“Time has come to allow universities to decide who should be their vice-chancellor. The best example is the IIT model, which has been adopted in the national law schools, including Chanakya National Law University. The executive council and other bodies s should have a say in it,” he added.

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