| (From left) MLC of JD(U) Devesh Chandra Thakur, education minister P.K. Shahi, Governor DY Patil and industries minister Renu Kumari attend the concluding ceremony of Bihar Divas at Gandhi Maidan on Sunday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Governor-cum-chancellor of state universities D.Y. Patil, in his first public address after assuming office, said on Sunday that the state should work steadily to bring changes in higher education to help youths clinch good career opportunities.
He was speaking at the concluding function of the three-day Bihar Divas celebrations.
Patil, a founder of as many as 60 educational institutions across Maharashtra, said: “By taking oath as governor of the state on March 22, coinciding with Bihar Divas, I too have joined the league of Bihar’s rich history. Joining office on March 22 has increased my responsibility for the state.”
Appreciating the state’s initiative for choosing “Women’s Empowerment” as the Divas theme this year, Patil asked the government to start schemes for women.
Lauding chief minister Nitish Kumar’s announcement of 35 per cent reservation for women in the police force, the governor said: “It is a good step initiated by the state government but it should increase the quota for women from 35 per cent to 50 per cent.”
Earlier in the function, education minister P.K. Shahi used all arrows in his cannon to impress Governor Patil. Without naming former Governor Devanand Konwar, Shahi said: “The fate of higher education in the state is in bad shape with youths from Bihar moving out. We hope that the state would be benefited with the new governor and would always be ready to take his guidance in reforming higher education.”
Shahi also assured that the state government would always work in co-operation with Patil and seek his guidance.
Former governor Konwar was not on good terms with the ruling NDA as he had kept five bills related to the education department pending. With Patil as governor, the state government expects him to act on five key bills.
Moreover, understanding the stature of the 77-year-old Congressman from Maharashtra, Shahi also didn’t miss the opportunity in raising the special status category demand for Bihar, the pet project of his party JD(U). Shahi said: “ The state has made progress in various sectors but to compete with other states Bihar requires special category status.”
The Divas function concluded with live performances by Shubha Mudgal and Daler Mehndi.
People who visited Gandhi Maidan, the main venue of Bihar Divas, said the stalls and galleries put up this year were more informative as compared to previous years.
The energy department this year put up a stall with information related with various ongoing power projects in the state. “Information such as the date and venue of janata durbar organised by the energy department, awareness about power theft and power projects can be very useful for common people,” said Lalit Mohan Prasad, a resident of Rajendra Nagar, who visited the stall with his family.
The food stalls put up by the tourism department were much cleaner as compared to previous years. Ankit Sharma, a college student, said: “This year, some big restaurants such as Gargee Grand, Pind Balluchi and Dosa Plaza too have put up their stalls.” The youth said the price of the delicacies available at these stalls was half of the actual rate of the same items sold at the restaurants. “I tasted Mysore masala dosa and idli for just Rs 80, while at the Dosa Plaza restaurant, the same is available for Rs 150,” added Sharma.