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Smriti nod for central varsity

Motihari residents’ long-cherished demand is going to be fulfilled soon. The ministry of human resource development (HRD) has decided to set up Mahatma Gandhi Central University of Bihar in Motihari.

Replying to a question by Arjun Meghwal, an MP from Bikaner (Rajasthan) in the Lok Sabha, Union HRD minister Smriti Irani in a written reply on Thursday said the ministry has decided to set up four new central universities — a Central Tribal University each in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, a Central University in Andhra Pradesh and Mahatma Gandhi Central University in bihar.

As per the Union Cabinet’s July 2012 decision, two central universities were to come up in Bihar, one at Gaya and the other at Motihari. The first central university of Bihar was set up in Gaya and runs from a temporary campus in Patna at the moment.

A senior Central University of Bihar (CUB) officer said on condition of anonymity: “There is no problem in setting up a central university in Motihari. It just requires an amendment to Central Universities Act 2009, which states that a state can have just one central university.”

The bill pertaining to establishment of a second central university in Bihar, at Motihari, came up before the Lok Sabha in September, 2012, but it is still pending.

The BJP MLA from Motihari, Pramod Kumar said: “The Centre is committed to setting up a central university in Motihari. Recently, Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, who represents East Champaran, met Union HRD minister Smriti Irani and was assured an amendment bill related to the central university would be tabled in the current session of Parliament.”

The MLA also said the Centre should speed up the plan to set up central university in Motihari and launch its academic session before centenary year celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran movement get under way. The first Satyagraha movement inspired by Mahatma Gandhi took place in Champaran, Bihar, in 1917.

Sources said if Parliament passes the amendment bill related to setting up of a central university in Motihari, a major roadblock would be cleared as the state government has already initiated the process for acquiring 300 acres of land in Motihari for the central varsity. Reportedly, the state has selected 301 acres at Fursatpur, Bankat and Bairiya villages for the campus, which would come up in Bairiya on the Motihari-Muzaffarpur NH 28, five km from Motihari town.