PATNA: HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has rued that the country was lagging behind in innovation and said the government has launched several schemes to change the orientation of students towards research.
He referred to schemes such as “Smart India Hackathon” and “Prime Minister Research Fellowship” to highlight the government’s initiatives in this regard.
Javadekar was speaking at the valedictory function of Patna University centenary celebrations at Bapu Sabhagar in the state capital.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the centenary celebrations of the Patna University in October last year.
The function was presided over by Govenor-cum-Chancellor of universities Lalji Tandon, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Education Minister Krishna Nandan Prasad Verma and Patna University Vice-Chancellor Ras Bihari Prasad Singh.
“India lacks innovation. We are behind in carrying out innovation and research…The country will become prosperous when it carries out innovation… Sustainable prosperity of any country depends on its innovative ability,” Javadekar said.
He said the government was committed to create better laboratories in higher education institutions in the country.
Javadekar said the HRD ministry’s budget was increased to Rs 1.10 lakh crore in 2018-19 from Rs 63,000 crore in 2013-14, an increase of 70 per cent.
He said several schemes were launched to change the orientation of students towards research.
“Smart India Hackathon” was launced two years ago when 40,000 students from 1,000 engineering colleges participated in the hackathon to find out digital solution of 600 problems,” the minister said, exuding confidence that Patna University students would also participate in the competition.
The government has also started “Prime Minister Research Fellowship” under which 1,000 bright minds would get Rs 1 lakh per month for carrying out research, the HRD minister said, adding that the scheme is not aimed at checking “brain-drain” rather to ensure “brain-gain” in the country as people will not go out of the country.
The minister assured that money would be no bar if Patna University submits proposal for its overall development.
Govenor-cum-Chancellor of universities Lalji Tandon said that the state has witnessed progress in higher education.
The Patna University, which is the eighth oldest varsity in the Indian subcontinent, has contributed immensely in education and research which can not be forgotten, he added.
“I assure you that the state government and Raj Bhawan will make every effort for the development of higher education with the cooperation and coordination with the Centre,” the Governor said, adding that every effort should be made to develop the Patna University as the centre of modern education.
Speaking on the occasion, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, himself a alumni of the university, assured both teaching and non-teaching staff that they would get revised pay as per the recommendations of the 7th pay commission for which the government has set up a three-member pay committee.
“They don’t need to go on strike for this as the government is sensitive towards them,” Modi said adding that out of 3,364 vacant posts of teaching staff, the process for appointment of 2500 teachers in 20 subjects has already been completed.
CCTV would be installed at colleges, hostels of the Patna University, Modi said, adding that students availing loan under Students Credit Card for pursuing higher education can return the loan amount after getting job.
“Unless and until they get job after completing their studies, they don’t have to worry for repayment of loan amount. They dont have to worry whether it takes two or four years in getting job,” he added.
Earlier, the Governor and other dignitaries released a commemorative postage stamp on the occasion.
The Governor, Javadekar and others felicitated 18 former VCs of the Patna University of whom 10 were present to receive memento and shawl.
A centenary souvenir was also released on the occasion.