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Private varsity on state radar

Patna, Feb. 24: The state government is set to reverse its “no private university” policy to stop brain drain.

Education minister P.K. Shahi today said the government was working on a mechanism to set up private universities in the state. “The government will table a bill in the Assembly in this regard,” he said, while speaking at a workshop “Excellence of higher education in Bihar”.

Experts from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), National Assessment and Accreditation Council (Naac), World Bank and other academic institutions attended the meet in a city hotel.

The minister refused to set a timeframe for introducing the bill but said the vice-chancellors, pro-vice-chancellors and teachers in the private varsities would be appointed after consultation with eminent academicians of the state.

The Nitish government’s sudden U-turn on the entry of private universities is being attributed to the trend of large number of Bihari students taking admission in deemed universities in Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and other places.

Referring to the good response institutes such as Chandragupt Institute of Management, Patna, and Chanakya Law Universities have evoked from Bihari students, an official of the education department said: “Why not bring these universities to Bihar to offer good education to students in their home state? Infrastructure in higher education can also be strengthened by the funds pumped in by private universities.”

Welcoming the proposal, Shashi Shekhar, a final-year computer science student at National Institute of Technology, Patna, said: “It is good that the government is planning to set up private universities in Bihar. Students who have no option but to migrate to other states to pursue higher education will get a chance to study in their home state.”

Satyaveer Singh, a final-year postgraduate psychology student at Patna University, differed. He said: “Opening private universities will make higher education more commercial in nature.”

Khagendra Kumar, a senior teacher of Patna University, echoed his student. He said: “The concept of private university is the state’s attempt to shirk its responsibility of providing quality education to the deprived sections of society. The private varsities will be cent per cent profit-oriented.”

A senior teacher of Magadh University said: “On one hand, the state government chants hymns of socialist leaders like Jaiprakash Narayan who opposed private universities. On the other, it is planning to start private varsities.”


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