Education

Will Give 20 Universities Rs 10,000 Crore to Become ‘World Class’, Says Modi

“We will provide assistance of Rs 10,000 crore to ten private universities and an equal number of government ones for a period of five years.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing at the centenary celebrations of Patna University, in Patna, Bihar on Saturday. Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing at the centenary celebrations of Patna University, in Patna, Bihar on Saturday. Credit: PTI

Patna: Lamenting that no Indian university figures among the top 500 globally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday (October 14) that the government intends to ‘unshackle’ these institutions and provide Rs 10,000 crore to 20 varsities to ensure that they are counted among the best in the world.

Addressing a function on the centenary celebrations of Patna University, he said measures like grant of central status were “a thing of the past” and his government has taken “a step forward” towards making ten private universities and ten government ones “world class”.

“My government took an important step towards unshackling the IIMs, freeing them from the clutches of restrictions and regulations set by the government. We intend to do the same for our universities and ensure that our centres of higher learning figure among the best 500 in the world,” Modi said.

In his speech that lasted a little over 30 minutes, the prime minister stressed on the need for universities to give more emphasis on “learning and innovation” and give up old teaching methods which focused on “cramming students’ minds with information”.

The prime minister also replied to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s plea, who in his welcome address urged Modi “with folded hands that central status be granted to Patna University”.

“I would like to say something about a demand that was raised here and met with loud cheers by the young crowd attending this ceremony. Issues like grant of central status have become a thing of the past. We are taking a step forward. We will provide assistance of Rs 10,000 crore to ten private universities and an equal number of government ones for a period of five years. All these universities have to do is to demonstrate their potential to become world class,” he said.

The universities will not be selected by the prime minister, chief ministers or any other political figure, he said, adding their potential will be assessed by a professional, third-party agency.

“I exhort Patna University to seize this opportunity,” he said in the presence of a host of dignitaries, which included Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi.

Hailing the role of young IT professionals in changing the global outlook towards India, Modi said, “earlier we were seen as a land of snake charmers, exorcism and superstitions”.

“Long back, while on a visit to Taiwan, I told a friend that we, as a nation, have moved from snakes to the mouse,” he said. “We are a nation of 800 million young people, 65% of our population is below the age of 35 years. There is nothing that we cannot achieve with such a huge demographic advantage.”

  • https://babupaedia.blogspot.in Sudhansu Mohanty

    This too is archetypal Modispeak! Full of glib talk and street-smart utterances, hyper-ably packaged or repackaged if you will (“we, as a nation, have moved from snakes to the mouse”; “more emphasis on “learning and innovation” and abjuring methods which focused on “cramming students’ minds with information”; “Issues like grant of central status have become a thing of the past. We are taking a step forward…provide assistance of Rs 10,000 crore to ten private universities and an equal number of government ones for a period of five years”). I wonder how – both attitudinal and financial – this are to be met. Not too long ago, the government had announced special privileges and stipend hike exclusively for IIT and IISc research scholars to the exclusion of other in a monumental case of differentiated treatment and academic elitism and snobbery. Again, recently too the government spoke about Institutions of Eminence (IoE). These, like every other issues, are just hot blustery air. Nothing more.

  • Anjan Basu

    One fails to see how the govt proposes to fund private universities too. Also, amusingly, Modi thinks that money alone can make a university great. As,his govt actively discourages academic freedom, seeks to even decide how text books will be re-written, all this glib talk about great universities is mere hogwash.

  • Pankaj Doharey

    Name one private University that deserves to get Rs 10000/- Crore funds? At any time government decides that so and so private university deserves x amount of fund and not that other private university it reeks of cronyism.
    Why not spend that Rs 10000/- crore to build more World class government universities? Isnt this cronyism?
    How does one decide that these are the top 10 private universities? Because the total research output of private universities is 0 (Zero).

  • kujur bachchan

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi was speaking at the function on the centenary celebrations of Patna University. What about doing something about the scores of colleges of Patna University that have gone to dogs? Didn’t his advisers or speech writers apprise him about the pathetic state of health of these colleges that has been graphically illustrated by Ravish Kumar in a series featured recently in a prominent TV news channel?