Patna,(BiharTimes): Though chief minister Nitish Kumar is leaving no stone unturned to make the Central University of Bihar (CUB) a prestige issue he has not spoken a single word in the last so many months on the controversy involving the Nalanda International University. This notwithstanding the fact that Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, has strongly criticized the functioning.
The Standing Committee was chaired by senior MP Anant Kumar of BJP and included the likes of Dr Shashi Tharoor, Dr Karan Singh and even Janata Dal (United)’s Shivanand Tiwary.
The deceptive silence of the chief minister is being interpreted in several ways here in Bihar as the proposed university is coming up in his home district, Nalanda. Not only that Rajya Sabha MP of Janata Dal (United), N K Singh, himself a former bureaucrat, was very much in the Mentor Group of the NIU. Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, who is the chairman of the Group, now called Governing Board, has a very good rapport with the chief minister.
Nitish even remained silent when Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, whose brainchild the NIU is, resigned from the post of Visitor last year. In fact this news was completely blacked out by the media. The world could know about this major development only when a retired journalist, K K Singh, last year e-mailed to Kalam on NIU. It is then that his secretary disclosed that Kalam is no more the Visitor.
Though as per the Indian Constitution the Centre has the right to open central university anywhere in the state and the state has no such role, yet Nitish has made the location of CUB––Motihari and not Gaya––a prestige issue for no apparent reason. He did the same in case with the setting up of the branch of the Aligarh Muslim University, also a central university, in Bihar.
In contrast when the same Centre is hardly doing anything on the Nalanda International University front the chief minister––and his alliance partner the BJP––has nothing to say. He did not sent letters to HRD Minister Kapil Sibal or External Affairs Minister, S M Krishna.
The chief minister did not say even a word when a Reader of a Delhi University college, Gopa Sabharwal, was appointed as the Vice Chancellor. As per the UGC criteria only a Professor with work experience and not Reader can be appointed as the VC of any university.
Nitish said nothing when the Nalanda International University set up its office not in Nalanda, or even in Patna, but in R K Puram in New Delhi. Perhaps this has never happenened anywhere in the world. How can a University be run from a distance of 1,100 km. But for the Janata Dal (United)-BJP alliance in Bihar this is not worth sitting on dharna outside Jantar Mantar.
Nitish, who never waste anytime in attacking the UPA government in New Delhi did not say a word when the same Centre is paying a whopping salary of Rs 5,06,513 per month to Gopa, double than the VC of Delhi University. Not only that she and seven of her associates are drawing salaries since October 2010 when the Union government formally confirmed her as the vice-chancellor of the NIU in April 2012.
Not only that the Bihar government has reduced the land allotment to NIU from 1000 acres to 500 acres. All this is happening with vocal chief minister remaining completely silent.