The decision to have the Central University outside Patna is right one. I don’t know if the decision of Motihari is just by a person such as the chief minister or by a group who has decided it on certain transparent technical or social criteria. I strongly feel that it must be done in the later way.
Let there be no criticism about the location of these educational institutes. If properly established and administered each one can be pride of the state.
However, it will be prudent if Bihar develops at least four five of its cities in different part of the state for a balanced development. All the basic infrastructures, be it an airstrip or railway or expressway connectivity, must be ensured in advance.
The first IIT came up at Kharagpur in 1951. There was hardly anything around the campus that was started in a jail building (HIJLI). Kolkata was the nearest big city but it took many hours to reach.
The location of Central University may be at Motihari or Muzzafarpur, but it must be connected with Patna by a six lane highway.
Since the takeover of Nitish Kumar many educational institutes have come in and around Patna. IIT Bihar and AIIMS are coming up in Patna. Besides all the older institutes such as NIT, Patna (Former Patna Engineering College) and university such as Patna University with many famous colleges such as Science College, the new ones such as Chandragupta School of Management and Chanakya Law University have already started functioning. Perhaps one of the urgent needs will be to discourage the indiscipline and encouraging competing with the best in its categories in India and abroad.
With insufficient capacity in the institutes of higher education, Patna can have many more. But it will be against the overall interest of the state and its student community.
For the population of Bihar, every district headquarter requires an education hub to have a number of institutes for professional studies of engineering, management and medicine besides good colleges of science and humanity subjects but with preference for making the students employable with applied knowledge, skill, soft power and research. Every collector of the district must be assigned with this task as special assignment.
Should Bihar not envy states such as Andhra Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra and very soon Uttar Pradesh with many hundred professional institutes that cater even the requirement of the students from Bihar?
Will it not save the outflow of the money that the students from Bihar are spending? Will it not reduce the financial burden of the students studying outside Bihar? Will the educational institutes that get set up not create employment too in a state that hardly has any industry?
However, I still think the state government must focus in establishing minimum of one higher secondary school with trade training facility in every panchayat. If it needs fund, it must go for PPP mode for the project and ask the society to participate. The government can’t keep million of students both girls and boys of rural areas, particularly of underprivileged categories (who can’t afford going out) away from the higher education. Rural Bihar needs priority in education as in urbanization, Bihar is at the bottom. Private entrepreneurs are taking care of education in urbanized regions, metros, in tier I to tier IV cities and even small towns. Competition will force them to improve. But schools in rural areas need the sincere government interferences. If the government fails, millions of rural youth will just remain literate but never get higher education in proportion to its population and contribute. The dream of taking advantage of demographic dividend will never be realized.
Panchayat Administration must focus on education and healthcare. The wonderful school buildings in Bihar must be electrified and provided with security arrangement for full utilization, if necessary in shifts, for adult education, for skill training and imparting knowledge about newer techniques of agriculture.