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Vice Prez assures to look into issue of Nitish Kumar’s central varsity demand for PU

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s response came after Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said that considering the rich legacy of Patna University, it was his desire to see it grow into one of the best and biggest universities of Asia.

patna Updated: Aug 05, 2019 10:19 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu seen with chief minister Nitish Kumar at Patna High School, in Gardanibagh, Patna,  on Sunday, Aug 4, 2019.
Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu seen with chief minister Nitish Kumar at Patna High School, in Gardanibagh, Patna, on Sunday, Aug 4, 2019.(Santosh Kumar / HT Photo )
         

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday assured to discuss the decades-old issue of granting central university status to Patna University (PU), the seventh-oldest university in India, after chief minister Nitish Kumar raised the issue once again and many students brought it to his attention by raising placards in support of the demand.

“I have heard it and the CM also told me about it. The position of the Vice President is a constitutional post, not an administrative post. But once I get back to Delhi, I will call the human resource development minister and talk to him in this regard to see what can be done and what are the provisions,” he said, while speaking at the centenary year celebrations of the PU Library at the Patna Science College ground.

Naidu’s response came after Nitish Kumar said that considering the rich legacy of PU, it was his desire to see it grow into one of the best and biggest universities of Asia. “When Prime Minister Narendra Modi came here at the inauguration of the centenary year celebrations of PU, I put it before him with a lot of hope, but my demand was rejected,” he added.

The Prime Minister had inaugurated the centenary celebrations of PU on August 14, 2017. amidst much hope that the institution would be granted central university status. However, despite Kumar’s fervent appeal, the PM did not accede to it and instead, exhorted PU to join the race for institutions of eminence tag.

Kumar, who is himself an alumnus of PU, in 2017 said: “I request you with folded hands to make PU a central university and for another 100 years it will prove itself.” Despite rejection of his demand, Kumar had later said that he would keep raising the issue again and again, “as it is my duty to voice this long-cherished desire of the people of Bihar and PU holds a special place in their hearts and minds”.

Kumar had said that he had raised the issue several times in the Parliament when he was the MP and the state government had also placed its demand before the centre. He once again reiterated it. RJD had also raised the matter in the last monsoon session of the Bihar Legislative Assembly, demanding that the House should pass a resolution for conversion of PU into a central university.

Set up in 1917, PU is among a few universities having completed 100 years. PU was established by an act of Imperial Legislative Council passed on September 23, 1917, that came into force on October 1, 1917 when JG Jennings took charge as its first vice-chancellor. It was set up on the recommendation of a high-power 18-member Nathan Committee, which had nine members from India and nine from Britain, as a teaching and residential university. Its jurisdiction spread to undivided Bihar, Orissa and Nepal.

Once famous as the ‘Oxford of the East’ due to its academic excellence, it was modelled on the lines of University of London after separation of Bihar and Orissa from Bengal. A unique feature of PU is that many of the institutions under its fold are older than it. Patna College was set up in 1863, while BN College in 1889. Patna Training College and Patna Law College were also set up in 1908 and 1909 respectively.

First Published: Aug 05, 2019 10:19 IST

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