| Meira Kumar at the foundation stone-laying ceremony in Gaya on Thursday. Picture by Suman |
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Thursday laid the foundation stone for the campus of Central university of Bihar, of which she is the chancellor, at Panchanpur, around 15km west of the Gaya district headquarters.
Addressing the function, Meira expressed concern over the double standards in education.
Stressing the need to bridge the gap in the education system, she said: “While a section of children study in public schools, a large number attend classes under the open sky or under trees. A talent hunt is required, as there is no dearth of talented students who do not get proper facilities for studies.”
The chancellor said CUB has been running from rented buildings in Patna and Gaya since its inception on September 1, 2009. “In fact, CUB’s first convocation was also held in a rented building. Now that the foundation stone for its building has been laid, it will have its own campus. Hundreds of years back, people from across the world came to Nalanda and Vikramshila universities in Bihar for studies. Today, capable parents send their wards outside Bihar and also abroad for studies. Efforts should be made to help CUB gain such fame that students from across the country and abroad come down to Gaya for quality studies. The university has been set up with a vision to make the region well-educated.”
Meira insisted that the surrounding villages would be benefited from basic to higher studies offered at the university. She extended thanks to the ministry of defence that provided land for CUB. The ministry of human resource development has approved two central universities for Bihar but there could be more in the state, she said.
State human resource development minister P.K. Shahi insisted that infrastructure development work at the CUB site be started immediately. “Students engaged in research activities and higher studies would be benefited from CUB. It would prove to be a milestone for Bihar. The matter of the central university in Motihari is pending though the state government provided funds for land acquisition,” said Shahi.
CUB vice-chancellor (VC) Janak Pandey said the campus would spread across an area of 300 acres. The plot earlier owned by the ministry of defence has now been transferred to the CUB. The ministry of human resource development has paid Rs 22.18 crore as token money to the defence ministry for the plot. CUB paid Rs 8 lakh recently for mutation of the plot. The VC demanded more funds for the university to build a permanent campus.
In the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, Rs 279 crore has been provided to CUB in the 2014-15 financial year. However, there is a minimum requirement of around Rs 500 crore. More funds would be demanded from the ministry of human resource development as added budget by including the construction cost of the campus.
An estimate of Rs 600 crore has been prepared for constructing the campus buildings in phases. CUB on Thursday signed a memorandum of agreement with Rites Limited, an agency of the Government of India (GOI), which would carry out the construction work. The design development forum has prepared a model of the campus, which has also been approved by the project management consultant.
The CUB campus would have features such as eco-friendly green campus and buildings, waterbodies and fountains, recharging and recycling under rainwater harvesting, use of solar energy and bio-mass energy, water supply, sewerage, drainage, sub-station, underground treatment and fire-fighting, eco-friendly pedestrians and bicycle pathways, G+4 and G+8 buildings, boundary wall with entrance plaza.