Lok Sabha clears way for agricultural varsity in Bundelkhand
The parliamentary approval was accorded to the bill to set up a central agricultural university in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, when the Lok Sabha passed it Thursday. The Rajya Sabha approved the bill Wednesday.
The Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University Bill, 2012, seeks to establish an agricultural varsity whose jurisdiction will extend to the Bundelkhand region that covers seven districts in Uttar Pradesh and six in Madhya Pradesh.
Initially, it would establish two colleges in Jhansi and later two in Madhya Pradesh.
The key objectives of the university will be to impart education in different branches of agriculture and allied sciences, undertake research in agriculture and programmes of extension education in Bundelkhand region, and to promote linkages with national and international educational institutes.
Participating in the discussion before the bill was passed in the Lok Saha, Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress said the land is very infertile in the Bundelkhand region.
"It is very important to do research to do dry farming in the region," Roy said.
Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Arjun Meghwal also supported the bill and commended the government for naming the university after freedom fighter Rani Lakshmi Bai.
Samajwadi Party member Shailendra Kumar also supported the bill.
The bill was then passed amid din created by members who were demanding special status to Bihar.
MPs from Janta Dal-United and the BJP trooped near the speaker's podium while raising the issue and kept shouting slogans.
The issue was first raised during zero hour by BJP's Shahnawaz Hussain who said Bihar has been "cheated" by the UPA government.
"There is no IIT in Bihar, no IIM, no National Law University and even the Nalanda University has not been developed fully," he said.
He said a committee headed by Raghuram Rajan had recommended granting special status to Bihar but the central government has not yet implemented the recommendation.
This evoked sharp reaction from RJD member Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Congress member Sanjay Nirupam and others.
"People of Bihar will not tolerate such injustice," Hussain said.
Strongly supporting the demand for special status to Bihar, Sharad Yadav of the JD-U said it is a "just demand" of the 10 crore people of Bihar and there should not be any delay in taking such a decision.
Yadav said 1.5 crore people have sent representation to the president, demanding special status to Bihar and several rallies were held in Delhi to press for it.
(Posted on 20-02-2014)