Bihar, one of the Indian State which is entirely dependent on agriculture. Considering its third position in the most populated states chart, the problems are inevitable large. Though the higher education sector has never been of much concern for previous governments, school education system has also been suffering. But here comes the hope, academicians belonging to Bihar are looking towards Nitish Kumar, newly appointed Chief Minister of Bihar who has promised a seven-point program for the development of state. The program was promoted thoroughly during election campaign, which includes youth employment and skill development, women empowerment, electricity, clean drinking water and sewage disposal, sanitation, road infrastructure and higher education.
As of now, Nitish Kumar is gearing up to fulfill what he promised to the people of Bihar and academicians are too, in that list. Kanhaiya Bahadur Sinha, working president for Federation of University Teachers’ Associations of Bihar (FUTAB) said, “since the Nitish government is back with a massive mandate, it should now strive hard to strengthen the higher education system and check the migration of talent to other parts of the country.” He also accused the state education department for not taking up any proper measures for reforms in higher education sector. He pointed out, “the state higher education council should be restructured and made functional with a view to finalizing important policy initiatives. Long-standing problems of teachers should also be looked into.”
Sinha opined his concern, “The state education department has so far been plagued with indecisions, resulting into increasing litigations in utter violation of the State Litigation Policy, 2011. Until the universities are freed of the unwarranted government interference and continued violation of the provisions of Act and statutes, the functioning of higher education is unlikely to improve.”
Improper functioning of the education department is not one thing that concerns the academicians, but mass migration of talented students from Bihar to other states haunts to a large scale. Pramod Kumar Poddar, President of Patna University Teachers’ Association said that the new government should take preliminary steps of appointing teachers in different colleges and universities where the positions are vacant for a long time. He pointed that this large level shortage of teachers and officials in colleges has paralyzed education activities. It is of serious concern that no fresh appointment has been made during last 15 years, he added.
Mr Poddar also said that the new government should appoint local academicians as vice-chancellor and pro-vice-chancellor in state universities. He said, the “outsiders” fail to comprehend the intricacies of the state education system.