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Private varsity at capital door

Fears of brain drain from Jharkhand may be soon allayed to an extent, with the state Assembly likely to table a bill to clear the entry of Usha Martin Group into higher education.

The Usha Martin University Bill, 2012, is due to come up in the winter session of the state Assembly, which is set to begin on November 30.

Usha Martin University is slated become the fourth private varsity to set up campus in Jharkhand. The varsity, which proposes to offer courses in engineering, management and media studies, may be a reality as early as next year, with the cabinet already clearing the bill last week.

“It all depends on the Assembly. If the winter session of the Assembly passes the bill, we will be setting up the varsity anytime in 2013,” said a top official of Usha Martin Group.

A global conglomerate that manufactures rope wires and has its establishment in the capital, Usha Martin Group already has a management institute in the city — Usha Martin Academy — that offers BBA, MBA, BCA and MCA.

“The focus of our varsity will be on rural transformation and social entrepreneurship. Besides, courses on engineering and media studies will also be launched,” said the official, adding that courses on law and architecture, too, were on anvil.

At present, three private varsities — ICFAI University, Rai University and Sai Nath University — are functional in Ranchi. While ICFAI University came to Ranchi in June 2008, this July the two other centres followed suit.

“A large number of students in engineering and management institutes down south are from Jharkhand and Bihar. If they are offered good courses back home, this surely can be of great help,” said Sabyasachi Chakraborty, assistant professor and in-charge, external communications, Rai University, Jharkhand.

Rai University functions from a three-storey building at Ashok Nagar, though it is looking for land to set up a permanent campus.

The varsity is offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses in engineering, management and fashion technology. It plans to launch undergraduate and postgraduate courses in biotechnology next session.

Ranchi boasts higher educational centres such as Ranchi University, Central University of Jharkhand, Birsa Agriculture University, Indian Institute of Management, and National University for Study and Research in Law — all of which are government-owned — apart from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, a deemed varsity and St Xavier’s College (autonomous).

However, despite the presence of the institutes, 12,000 to 15,000 students head for private varsities in other cities, particularly in the southern states, to pursue higher studies.

“We are getting good response from students. But better days are ahead, for the students as well as universities,” said Praveen Kumar, an official of ICFAI University.