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HRD rules out private university branch

Patna, Jan. 19: Bihar is changing and investments are pouring in from all directions.

Private educational institutions are not to be left far behind and are joining in the race as well. Today, a Bareilly-based private institution — Invertis University — announced its plan to open a branch in the state at a news meet. Vice-chancellor Umesh Gautam said the university would cater to the needs of students who move outside the state for higher education. He said officials would approach the human resource development (HRD) department to seek approval for setting up the university, which would be spread over 50 acres.

However, HRD principal secretary claimed ignorance of any proposal received by the department from the Invertis Group. He said: “According to government rules, only the Union and state government can set up universities.” Singh also ruled out the possibility of giving 50 acres of land to set up the private university in Patna where land prices have touched an all-time high. An official said: “The state government is faced with problems in allocating land to set up institutions like Chandragupt Institute of Management, Patna, and others. Then, how will the government be able to allocate 50 acres to a private institution?”

President of Patna University Teachers’ Association Randhir Kumar Singh said: “Both parents and students should beware of such type of private universities. In January last year, the Union HRD ministry had decided to de-recognise as many as 44 ‘deemed universities’ spelling uncertainty for nearly two lakh students enrolled in these institutions.”

A teacher said: “The main reason behind mushrooming of such private institutions is that higher education in Bihar is in a bad shape.”

Though the Patna University has started several vocational courses, most of them are in poor shape because of faculty shortage. Many of such courses do not have classrooms or buildings too. Ankit Raj, a student of BN College, said: “The vocational courses started by the university are in a bad shape. The best factor is the fee structure for the courses is far less compared to private institutions.”

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