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BIT door shut on Bihar pupils

Ranchi, May 9: The Jharkhand government will turn away students from Bihar seeking admission to the Birsa Institute of Technology (BIT) at Sindri because the Rabri Devi government has failed to clear the dues of those from the state enrolled in the institution.

Bihar’s debt has exceeded Rs 8 crore and Jharkhand may suffer a loss of another Rs 29 crore if it continues to admit Bihar students, chief minister Arjun Munda announced at a news conference here this evening.

Munda also threatened that his government would drop students admitted to the BIT in earlier sessions if Bihar failed to clear the dues.

He directed his officials to take up the issue with the Centre for early recovery of the dues. Other legal measures too are being worked out, he said.

According to the terms agreed following the bifurcation of Bihar in November 2000, three-fourths of the seats at the BIT — meaning 251 students in every academic year — have been reserved for students from the sibling state for five years since the creation of Jharkhand.

The average spending on each student amounts to Rs 77,887. Jharkhand has already spent over Rs 11 crore on Bihar students. After protracted legal battles, Bihar has so far paid Rs 3 crore to Jharkhand, Munda said.

The BJP regime at Ranchi has stopped admission of Bihar students to Netarhat Public School and Indira Gandhi Awasiya Uchcha Vidyalaya in Hazaribagh. Munda said students from Bihar would be welcome again if their government paid up.

The chief minister argued that the 251 seats reserved for Bihar at the BIT would now be allotted to Jharkhand students. “So long we were losing almost 200 seats every year. Now I have found a permanent cure to the problem,” he said.

The Bihar government has kept 26, 43 and 50 seats reserved for Jharkhand students in its engineering colleges at Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur and Patna, respectively. But Jharkhand has forfeited the reserved seats in the Patna-based institute after the Bihar College of Engineering was granted the National Institute of Technology status.

Munda also accused the Bihar government of denying admission to Jharkhand students to its engineering colleges.

“Last year, Manoday Hembrom had passed the joint entrance test. He was selected for admission to Bhagalpur Engineering College. But he was denied admission. On one hand, they are not clearing our dues and on the other hand, they are denying admission to our poor tribal youths. This cannot be tolerated. I have directed the department secretary to stop admissions to Bihar students henceforth,” Munda said.

Replying to another question, Munda said sophisticated weapons were seized from the vehicle of Furqan Ansari, the Congress candidate from Godda, on April 29. He claimed the vehicle was with Ansari from April 24, before which it was used for Pradip Yadav’s campaign.

He ruled out a judicial probe into the incident and also turned down his party workers’ demand to book Ansari under the anti-terror law.

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