| The Birla Institute of Technology campus in Patna from where CUB runs its courses. Telegraph picture |
The Centre-state debate over the permanent campus location has not affected the popularity of Central University of Bihar (CUB) among prospective students.
A number of applicants taking the Cucet (Central Universities Common Entrance Test) have opted for the CUB as their first preference. The varsity, too, has decided to expand its course structure by adding seven more to its existing nine from the coming session.
According to CUB registrar Mohammed Nehal, 2,964 applicants have opted for the varsity as their first preference in the form for Cucet, which will be conducted on June 3, 8 and 9. If applicants’ second university preference is considered, the choice for CUB would rise to around 7,000, Nehal said.
In Cucet application form, a student can make a preference for a university he or she wants to study in. This year, around 25,000 students have applied for different courses being offered by the seven central universities.
Nehal said: “Such a large number of applicants have opted for the courses offered by the CUB because of the placement of the first-batch students (of development studies, the only course offered then).” As many as 16 of the 20 students from the CUB’s first batch have been placed with big firms.
The CUB started functioning from Birla Institute of Technology, Patna, campus with a two-year master programme in development studies in 2009. New courses were added in the following years, taking the total count to nine.
From the next session, the varsity will start seven new courses and plans to take 315 students, more than twice the current strength of 148 students.
Another reason for the overwhelming response is the exclusivity of few courses, including masters programme in environmental science, life science, bio-informatics and sociology, the registrar said.
CUB vice-chancellor Janak Pandey said: “All central universities are expanding their courses. We cannot sit idle. Starting seven new courses is a step towards the CUB’s expansion.”
University sources said it would be a big task for the varsity to accommodate such a large number of students as no final decision has been taken on the permanent campus location yet. The Centre is keen to set up the varsity in Gaya, while the state government wants it in Motihari.
The CUB administration is also facing pressure from the BIT administration to vacate its premises so that the latter could start new courses. Pandey said: “We are hopeful of an early settlement on the permanent campus site between the Union and the state governments. CUB is looking for a temporary place (private buildings), preferably in Patna, to start the new courses.”