Saturday, April 22, 2017

Nalanda and New Varsities Give Impetus to Higher Education in Bihar !

With as many as four new universities in the offing, the total number of universities in Bihar is likely to reach 24, thereby paving the way for enhancement of gross enrolment ratio in higher education.
Bills pertaining to creation of Patliputra University, Purnia University and Bihar Animal Sciences University were passed by the state legislature in August last year and official gazettes for the same were also published subsequently.

Furthermore, the state cabinet recently gave its nod for Munger University. All these new universities are expected to lighten the burden of the existing overcrowded parent universities and ensure smooth conduct of academic activities in colleges and university departments.

Carved out of Magadh University, the largest one in the state, the new Patliputra University with its headquarters in Patna, will have the colleges located in Patna and Nalanda districts. For the time being, the new university is expected to function from the MU's existing branch office at Kankarbagh. The university is likely to start functioning with the appointment of its vice-chancellor.

The Purnia University would be set up at Purnia with the colleges of B N Mandal University, Madhepura, located in four districts - Purnia, Araria, Kishanganj and Katihar. Similarly, Munger University would be established after its bifurcation from Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University. All the colleges located in Munger, Lakhisarai, Jamui, Shekhpura, Khagaria and Begusarai districts would be brought under the jurisdiction of the new university.

Ever since the state got its first modern university in 1917 in the name of Patna University (PU), it has witnessed a sluggish growth of higher education. PU managed the growth and development of higher education in the state till January 1952 when it was bifurcated into two - PU and B R A Bihar University. Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur and Ranchi University were created out of Bihar University in 1960. Two more universities - Magadh University and Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University - were set up in 1961.

Nalanda University Gets a New Vice Chancellor !

With the post lying vacant for the past four months following the end of the tenure of Gopa Sabharwal, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday announced his decision to appoint Sunaina Singh, the sitting Vice Chancellor (VC) of Hyderabad English and Foreign Language University, as the new VC of Nalanda University in Bihar.
Sabharwal, whose five-year term ended in 2015, was given an extension of one year but that was revoked by President Mukherjee who, instead appointed Pankaj Mohan, a senior professor at the Nalanda University, as the interim Vice Chancellor of the university.

Sunaina Singh was chosen from an initial list of 125 applications. She made the first short list of six candidates and later an even shorter list of three candidates, former Rajya Sabha MP and a member of the Nalanda University governing body, N K Singh said.

Since its revival, Nalanda University has been marred with one controversies or other involving bruised egos of office holders and general administrative failure. Earlier last November, its Chancellor and former Singapore politician George Yeo resigned from his post accusing lack of autonomy in the university.

As if that was not enough, two days ago on March 29, acting Vice Chancellor Pankaj Mohan resigned from his post on 'moral grounds' after a girl student accused her classmate of sexual harassment. The accusation led to a massive protest within the campus forcing the Nalanda SP to intervene to stop students from going on a rampage.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Nitish Kumar Urges Centre to Maintain the Autonomy of Nalanda University !!

Nalanda University’s chancellor George Yeo had recently resigned from his post, because government had dissolved the previous governing board of the university without taking him into confidence. Regarding this, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has written a 2 page letter to External Affairs Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, stating that the NDA government should not change the motive behind the idea of establishing the new Nalanda. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar was not happy with this step and said that center needs to consult with all the members of distinguished academicians and stakeholders before taking such a decision.

Nitish Kumar said that Centre should keep in mind that how state government has decided to recreate the Nalanda university fame as it was in the ancient times and establish a new Nalanda university in Bihar.

In 2007 Bihar government enacted a state law on Nalanda University and requested the Central government to take control of the university.  “In 2010 when Central Act on Nalanda University was passed, all powers were transferred to central government”,   stated Nitish Kumar.

George yeo stated that central government is interfering and affecting the autonomy of the university.  When the decision of dissolving the previous governing board was taken he was not informed about it.  According to Nitish, such an important decision was taken without informing the chancellor, raising a question on the autonomous behavior of the university.

On 25th November, George yeo submitted his resignation letter to the president Pranab Mukherjee, when NDA government decided to cancel the extension of time tenure of the vice chancellor Gopa Sabharwal.

Nitish, stated in his letter, that provisions concerned with the formulation of the governing body in the Nalanda University Act, 2010, were flawed and the central government wanted to amend the Act. "Therefore, the centre had requested the 'Nalanda Mentor Group' to continue functioning as the 'governing board' till the said Act could be amended. So far, there has been no amendment in the Act and yet a new governing body has been constituted by the centre without due consultation. This has affected the prestige and credibility of the university," Bihar CM said.
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Sunday, December 25, 2016

RSS- Backed Academicians Tipped to Head Nalanda University !!

Great Nalanda University
The Nalanda University, set up to become an international institution of national repute, is likely to get a right tilt as academicians with RSS affiliations are tipped to become chancellor and vice-chancellor (VC) of the varsity.

Chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), Yellapragada Sudershan Rao, is the frontrunner to take over the reins of the varsity as its chancellor. The appointment of Rao, a history professor at the Kakatiya University in Telangana, as chairman of ICHR in 2014 invited criticism from professional historians who saw it as the Narendra Modi-led government’s attempt to rewrite history.

“The appointment of the chancellor is expected in January as his appointment is required for the VC’s appointment,” Ministry of External Affairs officials said. The process to appoint a VC started in November as the term of then VC Gopa Sabharwal was to end on November 24.

The university has received 160 applications for the position, and the frontrunners for the post are English and Foreign Language University’s VC Sunaina Singh, art historian and professor of Buddhist Studies at the International Academy of Indian Culture Nirmala Sharma, and Prof Makarand Paranjape of JNU.

Singh, in the dock for misuse of funds, is the choice of the RSS. Paranjape grabbed headlines for coming out against the Left during the nationalism controversy in JNU.
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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Nalanda University chancellor’s resignation unfortunate: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar !

Nitish Kumar said on Saturday that the resignation of former Singapore foreign minister George Yeo as the Nalanda University chancellor and the circumstances around the move were “unfortunate”.

Speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Kumar dwelt on the “idea of Nalanda”, and said he will write about the issue to the Centre. The resignation of Yeo was not in the interest of the university and appeared to “infringe on its autonomy”, he said.

Yeo said he was “not even given notice” of the leadership change after the government reconstituted the board and severed Nobel laureate Amartya Sen’s decade-long association with the university.

Kumar dwelt on the “idea of Nalanda”, and said he will write about the issue to the Centre. The resignation of Yeo was not in the interest of the university and appeared to “infringe on its autonomy”, he said.

“It is the Bihar government that conceptualised the idea of Nalanda…Many people were involved in it from the beginning, and Yeo was one of them,” Kumar said.

The chief minister also said the Nalanda University has a different character and the institute cannot be equated with other universities.

“It is an attempt to recreate ancient Nalanda, which epitomised knowledge and learning across the globe. The Nalanda spirit needs to be kept intact,” he said.

“There were talks about necessary amendments in the NU (Nalanda University) act, which did not happen though the board has been constituted. When Prof Amartya Sen (the first chancellor) was not given extension, it was understandable with the change of guard at the Centre.

“In Yeo, there was one person who had been with NU since the conceptualisation stage, but now he has also quit,” Kumar said.