Published On: Thu, Jun 23rd, 2022

BJP, JD(U) now in blame game on higher education

In fresh trouble for the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar, state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal has squarely blamed alliance partner JD(U) of chief minister Nitish Kumar for the less than satisfactory condition of higher education in the province.

This comes days after education minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary, in a departure from the past, called a meeting of the vice chancellors in the wake of growing discontent among students over derailed exam calendar in the state universities. Traditionally, it’s the Governor, who is also the Chancellor of state universities, chairs such meetings.

Speaking at Raxual, which falls under parliamentary constituency of West Champaran which he represents in the Lok Sabha, Jaiswal said he felt like laughing at the JD(U) for demanding a rethink on “Agnipath” scheme. “In Bihar, students still have to wait for six years for their three-year degrees. Education portfolio is with JD(U). They should rethink how the students would get their three-year degree on time. A student who got enrolled in graduation in 2019 is yet to take his second-year exam. The Agnipath scheme has made it easy for students to clear graduation on completion of training, as they would be required to clear just two subjects. Two other subjects would be cleared as part of the training on specialized fields,” he said.

JD(U) hit back immediately, saying the state BJP president should know he was training guns on the Governor, who happens to be the chancellor of state universities. “The chancellor happens to be the administrative head of the state universities. Are those questioning higher education raising fingers at the Chancellor?” asked JD-U Neeraj Kumar.

In Bihar, higher education has remained a vexed issue, with the government and the chancellor often coming face to face over controlling power in universities.

Earlier this year, controversy surrounding some of the vice chancellors and raids by the vigilance sleuths on Magadh University prompted the Raj Bhawan (Governor House) into writing to the government and describing it as an “infringement on the autonomy of state universities”.

The government also tried to bring a bill to take control of universities, but it got stalled. Later, the CM was made the Chancellor of three new yet-to-be-born universities for medical, engineering and sports. A former additional chief secretary, Sanjay Kumar, had also referred to “diarchy system” in Bihar, with administrative control of varsities with the chancellor although all finances are taken care of the by the state government.


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