HRD Ministry grants two central varsities to Bihar



New Delhi: Giving in to the demands of Bihar, the Union government has decided to set up a central university in Motihari in addition to the one proposed in Gaya, ending a prolonged slugfest over the issue.

"I have given the approval for establishment of a central university in Motihari and I am happy that the issue has been resolved," HRD Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here on Friday.

HRD Ministry had decided to set up a central university in Gaya, arguing that it had good connectivity and enabling infrastructure.

However, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and other political parties had been insisting that the central university should be established in Motihari to end regional disparities, leading to a slugfest for months.

The Bihar Assembly even passed a resolution to demand the university in Motihari.

As a consequence of the decision, the Central Universities Act, 2009 would have to be amended to enable opening of two central universities in Bihar. The Act had a provision for setting two central universities in Jammu and Kashmir as a special case.

This is only the second exception made by the Union government of setting up two central universities in a particular state, the first being Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources said there would be no additional allocation for Bihar and the Rs 240 crore meant for the state for the central university would now be divided among the two varsities.

Sibal said the campus in Motihari would be adjacent to an upcoming national highway, the completion of which would reduce the travel time to and fro Patna by two and half hours.

PTI