Bihar's budgetary outlay for education has jumped from just over Rs 4,000 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 33,000 crore in 2018-19, which is indicative of the government's resolve to provide all its citizens with adequate opportunities for learning, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Monday.
Launching the newly-established Pataliputra University, which has been carved out of Magadh University and comprises nearly 100 colleges, the chief minister said the state was spending 20 per cent of its overall budget on education.
Kumar also said that his government was aiming to raise the gross enrollment ratio to more than 30 per cent as against the national average of 24 per cent.
As part of the government's seven resolves, medical and engineering colleges, polytechnics, ITIs and institutes for paramedics were being opened across the state, said the chief minister.
"Pataliputra University is yet another step taken by us in the direction of doing something new while drawing inspiration from our history. Earlier, we have established Chanakya Law University, Chandragupt Institute of Management and Aryabhatta Knowledge University with the same spirit,” he said.
"We have also introduced schemes like students' credit card which will help youths pursue their education beyond Class XII without worrying about expenses. Students can get loans of up to Rs 4 lakh at an interest rate of 4 per cent while the same is only 1 per cent for girls, transgenders and divyangs,” he added.
Speaking at the same function, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi underscored that compared with other states, Bihar had a much larger proportion of students enrolled in government colleges.
"The number of students in government colleges in Bihar is 10.90 lakh as against only 1.98 lakh in private colleges. States like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have a much higher enrollment in private colleges. We must adopt according to changing demands and introduce new courses in our varsities," he said.
"At present the total number of universities in the state is 25 and within two months we will have a new university each in Munger and Purnea districts. But we must ensure that classes are held regularly, at least 180 days in every academic session, and results are announced not more than 30 days after holding of examinations,” the deputy chief minister said.
"The government is working towards filling up vacant posts of teachers and timely payment of salary to teaching staff in our colleges," he added.