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If Saraswati, Lakshmi meet, Bihar will be a front ranking state by 2022, says PM Modi

Patna university’s long standing quest for central university status did not materialize despite chief minister Nitish Kumar batting strongly in its favour, as the prime minister did not make any such announcement.

patna Updated: Oct 14, 2017 18:03 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
PM Modi,Patna university function,PU centenary meet
PM Narendra Modi addressing the Patna Universitycentenary year function in Patna on Saturday. (AP Dube/HT photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Monday Bihar had the blessings of Saraswati (Goddess of learning), but the government planned to make Saraswati meet Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) in the state.

“That will ensure that Bihar joins the front-ranking states by 2022, when India will celebrate the 75th year of its independence. The commitment of the Bihar government to development and the east-focused approach of the Centre will make it happen,” he said, while addressing the centenary year celebration of PU.

Though PU’s quest for central university status did not materialize despite chief minister Nitish Kumar batting strongly in its favour, the PM said the kind of legacy PU and Bihar enjoyed in the field of education was a big inspiration.

“The streams of knowledge in Bihar are as old as the streams of the Ganga,” he said, but hinted at the paradigm shift in higher education funding and approach.

“From conventional teaching, the universities need to move towards innovative learning. Owing to rapid changes happening in a dynamic world, people need to unlearn and pick up new things,” he added.

CM Kumar made a strong case for PU being granted central university status, starting off with his own experience as a student at Patna Science College and dwelling on the long and illustrious list of the PU alumni.

“The year 1917 was significant for Bihar. While Bapu started the Champaran Satyagrah, PU was set up through an imperial legislation, which was a central legislation those days, the same year. Everyone is looking at you with huge expectation. I request you with folded hands to give it the status of central university,” he said.

Earlier, deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi also batted strongly for PU. “JP would not have become Loknayak had PU not been there. It was PU that played a big role in the change of government in 1977. With both the PM and CM on the dais, the glory of PU will certainly return,” he said.

He also had a dig at RJD chief Lalu Prasad, while listing the alumni of PU. “The list of alumni is long and cuts across all fields – be it politics, education, law, bureaucracy, business, science. And Laluji is also from here,” he added.

PU VC Rash Behari Prasad Singh said PU would start 12 new under-graduate courses from 2018 academic session. “It is to the credit of PU that seven out of the seven dignitaries on the dais are from PU,” he said, pointing out how girls’ education had got a boost in PU both in enrollment numbers and performance.

Governor-cum-chancellor of universities Satpal malik, union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ram Vilas Paswan, Ashwini Chaubey and Upendra Kushwaha and Bihar’s education minister Krishnandan Prasad Verma were also present on dais.

A number of dignitaries including High Court judges, Bihar ministers, former and present VCs, MLAs, MLCs and academicians, among others witnessed the event.

First Published: Oct 14, 2017 18:03 IST