Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a corpus of Rs 10,000-crore to be given to top 20 Indian universities for their development, in order to ensure that the top ranking institutions are counted among the best in the world.
Addressing a function on the centenary celebrations of the Patna University in Bihar, PM Modi said measures like grant of central status were now “a thing of the past” and that his government has undertaken “a step forward” towards making 10 private and 10 government universities world class.
Replying to a request made by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in his speech earlier about giving Patna University the status of Central University, Modi said, “I would like to say something about a demand that was raised here and met with loud cheers by the young crowd attending this ceremony. Issues like grant of central status have become a thing of the past. We are taking a step forward. We will provide an assistance of Rs 10,000 crore to 10 private universities and an equal number of government ones for a period of five years. All these universities have to do is to demonstrate their potential to become world class,” he said.
The top 20 universities will be selected through a challenge which will be judged by a third party. Addressing the centenary celebrations, Modi said, “The universities will be a selected on the basis of a challenge in which they will be required to prove their mettle. The selection will be based on factors such as history, performance and its roadmap to reach global benchmarks. A third party professional agency will be involved in the selection process.”
The Prime Minister also called upon Patna University to seize the opportunity coming its way through the challenge and strive to be among the globally-ranked varsity based on the competition. Modi said, “Patna University should not stay behind (in the challenge).”
Urging both private and public institution to shift from the conventional way of teaching, Modi asked them to engage more alumni in the process and adopt innovative methods of learning.
Hailing his government’s decision of giving autonomy to Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Modi said, “It is for the first time that the IIMs are out of government control and have been professionally opened up. This is a big opportunity for them and they would make the best use.”
Modi, who visited the Patna University for the first time said, “In every state, the top levels of the civil services have people who have studied in Patna University. In Delhi, I interact with so many officials, many of whom belong to Bihar. I consider it my honour to visit Patna University and be among the students. I bow to this land of Bihar. This university has nurtured students who have contributed greatly to the nation.”
PM Modi praises CM Nitish Kumar
Modi also heaped praise on Nitish Kumar for his “commitment” to Bihar’s development, as the two leaders shared the dais for the first time after the JD(U) returned to the NDA fold following a split from the grand alliance. “Nitishji is committed to the development of Bihar and the central government has pledged to develop the country. Together the two will work to ensure that Bihar is counted among the prosperous states by 2022 when the country celebrates 75 years of independence,” the prime minister said.
He went on to add that Bihar has been blessed by Saraswati, the Goddess of learning. “But the time has come to propitiate Laxmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity) as well and take the state to new heights of development,” he said. “The commitment of Nitish Kumar towards the progress of Bihar is commendable. The Centre attaches topmost importance to the development of eastern India,” Modi added.
This is the prime minister’s first full-fledged official tour to the state since Nitish Kumar led JD(U) formed an alliance with the BJP.
With PTI, IANS inputs