Rejects Nitish Kumar's renewed appeal to set up institution at Motihari

Uncertainty over the location of the Bihar Central University (BCU) continues with the Centre rejecting Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's renewed appeal to set up the institution at Motihari on the ground that inaccessibility would be a barrier to attracting quality faculty. The Centre wants to establish the University at Gaya as it is better connected.

“I beseech you to accept the decision for locating the Central University of Bihar at Gaya and proceed ahead. You are aware that the University is under pressure to shift from its present temporary campus. We have already lost a few years in identifying an appropriate location. Let us collaborate in the national task of providing quality education to children. Please do not let distrust or politics intrude in this endeavour,” Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has written in response to a letter addressed to him by Mr. Kumar.

He pointed out that the Centre had considered different yardsticks for identifying locations for setting up Central universities.

Mr. Sibal has reiterated his commitment to help in establishing a State university at Motihari to fulfil the aspirations of the people of the region and as a token of appreciation for the efforts made by the government in taking education to the masses.

“The Ministry of Human Resource Development had, in the initial stage, agreed on the establishment of Central universities in locations offered by the State government. However, there has been severe disquiet in the academic community on the selection of sites in certain locations. The Central universities were intended to be exemplars of the highest quality education. They were meant to be pace-setters fostering a culture of quality teaching-learning and research in their environment. The difficulties being faced by some of the Central Universities, most notably Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Karnataka in attracting quality faculty due to the disadvantage of their location have been discussed numerous times, even receiving adverse comment in the media. Therefore, a conscious decision was taken to identify the most appropriate site for the Central University so that it does not start with a disadvantage in attaining its lofty aims,'' Mr. Sibal explained in his letter while citing the examples of Jharkhand and Gujarat where sites were changed precisely due to bad connectivity.

The Site Selection Committee entrusted with the task of selecting an appropriate site for locating a Central university normally includes a nominee of the State government concerned when land is provided free of cost by the State government. However, as the land for the Central University of Bihar is being provided by Ministry of Defence, a nominee of the Ministry of Defence was included in the Site Selection Committee.