The Union government’s gift of two central varsity campuses to Bihar has renewed Patna University’s age-old demand for a similar tag.
Union human resource development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal on Friday announced that the state would get two campuses of Central University of Bihar, one in Motihari and another in Gaya.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD leader Lalu Prasad, however, said the struggle would be incomplete unless the Centre accorded PU the status of a central university.
PU is the seventh oldest university in the country.
“The state government will again write a letter, in the form of a reminder, to the Union government requesting it to provide PU with the central university status. The demand has to be accepted,” education minister P.K. Shahi told The Telegraph on Sunday.
PU vice-chancellor Shambhu Nath Singh said: “The demand for granting central university status to PU is not new but has always been ignored because there was no strong political lobbying.”
“Many universities have been earned the status of central universities. Guru Ghasidas University, Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), and HP Singh University, Sagar (Madhya Pradesh) are among them. But the Centre never considered the case of PU seriously. Being the seventh oldest varsity in the country, PU fulfils all the criteria required for a central university,” the VC added.
Teachers and employees of the university are also raring to join hands with politicians to put pressure on the Centre for the status.
Patna University Teachers’ Association president P.K. Poddar said a team of teachers and employees would meet the chief minister, the education minister and, if required, the Union HRD minister.
He added: “The university will approach members of its alumni, many of whom are in top position in politics as well as bureaucracy, to join the cause.”
V.S. Dubey, a senior teacher of the institute, claimed that PU was not only one of the oldest universities in the country but also fulfiled the norms necessary for the coveted tag.
He added: “Apart from being a residential university, it would introduce semester system from the next academic session. The university’s biggest strength is the quality of its faculty.”
Patna College teacher Randhir Kumar Singh said: “If PU gets the status of a central university, several problems will be sorted out because it will get funds from the Centre. Posts of teachers will be filled up and research activities can be strengthened with UGC and Union government funds.”
All India Students’ Federation member Sushil Kumar said: “Patna University fulfils all criteria to become a central university. But constructive and strong political lobbying are required both at the Centre and the state.”