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PU ready for a 100-year first

4,300 guests for varsity's date with PM

Preparations were under way on a war footing on Friday for Narendra Modi's visit on Saturday, which will be the first time a serving Prime Minister will visit Patna University in its 100-year history.

The university administration has erected a huge pandal at the sprawling ground of the Patna Science College to hold the mega event, and invited around 4,300 guests.

"Several Presidents such as Rajendra Prasad, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and VV Giri had visited Patna University to participate at various functions, but this is the first occasion when a PM will be attending a varsity event," said Jaydev Mishra, whose book, History of Patna University, Prime Minister Modi will release at the event.

The varsity had received confirmation about the PM's participation in July this year, but it was only this month that the varsity administration received the date from the PMO.

"Former vice-chancellor Y.C. Simhadri had invited the PM last year for the centenary year function, but due to the PM's busy schedule, the PMO (Prime Minister's Office) could not give its consent then," said a Patna University official.

When Rash Bihari Prasad Singh became the VC he again approached the PMO inviting the PM for centenary celebration." "Jawahar Lal Nehru had visited Darbhanga House in 1948 to meet the Darbhanga maharaja, but at that time Darbhanga House was not part of Patna University. It became part of the varsity in 1957."

Darbhanga House now houses the postgraduate departments of arts and commerce.

Upendra Kushwaha, Union minister of state for human resource development, on Friday demanded central university status for Patna University, voicing a demand that has been growing within the country's seventh-oldest varsity.

However, the varsity administration has decided not to raise the issue before the PM.

"As PM is the guest of the university we will not raise the demand for granting central university status," said VC Rash Bihari Prasad Singh. "If required, the varsity will again approach the PM (later) to demand central university status."

The centenary year celebrations - that will have events such as debates, competitions, seminars and workshops - will continue till December.

The varsity has invited President Ram Nath Kovind for the concluding event then, which will be held at Patna College.

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