Bihar Must Focus on Education

It is nice that Bihar government, particularly CM with support from the centre could get a number of educational institutes initialised during last one year or two that can bring a sea change in the state. I consider it a great achievement. Institutes that has been proposed and sanctioned for Bihar are:

1. AIIMS- the medical and education facilities on the line of AIIMS, New Delhi.
2. IIT
3. Chanakya Law University
4. Nalanda International University
5. National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Hajipur initialized by Shri Paswan
6. The IIM standard management school approved by the steering committee of the Planning Commission.
7. Indian Institute of Information Technology
8. The central government university

It will be in the interest of the CM, state and the student community that these institutes start functioning fast enough. The thrust must be on the quality of faculty and education standard. The institutions can initially start functioning from some existing facilities. Simultaneously, the campuses must get built following the best standard for educational infrastructure in a maximum time frame of 2-3 years, if not less. The state must facilitate the executions by appointing some senior administrative officer of integrity such as Kunal Kishore or Avayanand to coordinate the work, and must never create speed breakers for political gains as reported frequently.

Interestingly, the list of approved projects of the state government on the website of Bihar government includes about ten or more medical and engineering colleges. I don’t know if the promoters are serious and have started execution. I request the state government and CM in particular, to get a positive commitment about the timeframe for getting the projects running, when the government has given all the approvals. A close watch will be essential particularly initially, otherwise the institutions will fail to serve the community and just be commercial units.

PM has announced the proposal of one central university in every state. The state must manage to get one or more of them. The state on its own must select some professional institutions such as engineering colleges of Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur, Patna Science college and provide sufficient special incentive and financial support varying from Rs 5 crore to 10 crore to make them excel and to be one of 50 best in the country. MPs may be requested to fork out from their fund for these educational institutes following the example set by Arun Shourie who donated his MP fund to IIT, Kanpur to set up a world class facility.

However, I shall also appeal to the state government to avoid making all the institutes reserved for the students of Bihar only. It must accommodate sufficient number of meritorious students from different states too, to develop a cosmopolitan culture at these educational institutes and to set an example for others.

I am observing that many from Bihar are consciously concerned about the need of the institutes of advanced learning in Bihar. Biharbrains.com is doing a good work. The CM is responding.
In a letter written to the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, CM has asked him to personally intervene on the matter of setting up of a National Institute of Science/Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) in Bihar to maintain regional balance in the field of education.

But the state must move on its own to get as many of extension centers of the best of the institutes of India in Bihar. The services of NK Singh and Muchkund Dubey or any one else can be used to get the big corporate houses that are in education sector. But for that Patna must not remain the only location of these institutes.

At least four cities in four corners of the state must be selected and developed for excellent physical and digital connectivity as well as other infrastructure-related provisions.Further, the state government must go for at least 12 science colleges or more of excellent standard in those four cities. On the same way, each district headquarters must develop an education cluster of at least 10 or more Higher Secondary schools affiliated to CBSE.

On the whole, a roadmap for expansion of education in Bihar in next five or ten years will be essential. Bihar can compete with other advanced states particularly of South only if its education facilities can compete with them in quantity as well as quality.

And I request and appeal to all the Biharis in the state and outside with wealth to help building educational institute and promoting education. And then perhaps the prediction of Ram Chandra Guha in the latest issue of Outlook can be proven right. “Who knows: a few decades down the line, perhaps historians will be asked to explain why Bihar is so much more prosperous and peaceful than Tamil Nadu.”

Finally, I make a request to the state government and its education ministry to create a website where the project status regarding the 8 institutes mentioned above is available and updated regularly.<

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