| Nitish and Abe: Joining hands
Patna, Aug. 19: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is scheduled to attend the dinner to be hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the honour of his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on the latter’s three-day India visit beginning August 21.
“The Prime Minister’s Office has faxed a letter to the chief minister inviting him to the dinner with Abe,” a spokesman at the chief minister’s office said.
Sources said that the PMO wishes Nitish to discuss the opening up of the proposed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Bihar with the Japanese collaboration at his meeting with Abe.
The Japanese premier, who is visiting India with a large contingent of business executives and experts, said that he would “provide technological and fund support in opening IIT in Bihar — the land of Gautam Buddha” during his previous visit.
The Union government has already sanctioned the opening of the IIT in Bihar for which the state cabinet has also allotted land at Bihta on the outskirts of Patna. Recently, a central team had visited the site of the proposed IIT to study the feasibility of the new project.
Experts say that so far the US, Germany and the UK have supported the IITs in different parts of the country. “It is for the first time that an IIT unit will be opened with Japanese collaboration,” said a senior human resource development department official.
The experts believe that Japan has a reason to support the opening of the IIT in Bihar. “For, Japan has its stake in the state. It is collaborating in opening of the international university in Nalanda. Besides, it has its temples and monasteries in Bodh Gaya and other parts of the country which are frequently visited by the Japanese,” said an expert.
Nitish is also likely to discuss the “modalities of co-operation” in the opening of the university in Nalanda with Abe.