India Education
Several countries offer to revive Arabic-Persian university
May 7, 2007 - 8:55:13 AM

Patna, May 7 - An Arabic-Persian university in Patna, which is almost in a state of non-existence, might soon overcome the crisis as some West and Central Asian countries have offered funds to revive it.

Moved by the non-functional state of the Maulana Mazharul Haque Arabic Persian University, seven West and Central Asian countries have shown interest in its turnaround.

'Some West and Central Asian countries have offered help to enrich the faculty and library of the university,' S. Alam, vice-chancellor of the university, told IANS.

The offer has brought new hope to the varsity, said a retired professor, who was one of the brains behind the institute's establishment. The University was set up in 1998 when Rabri Devi was Bihar's chief minister.

Last year, it was housed in a sprawling government bungalow, over a decade after it was established, but it is yet to open its counter for admissions due to a fund crunch and lack of a campus.

A Muslim cabinet minister of the present Nitish Kumar government was instrumental in allotting a government bungalow despite hue and cry made by ally Bharatiya Janata Party - leaders.

According to the BJP, the university did not require a government building as it had no students and teachers since its inception. Interestingly, the university has a vice-chancellor and a registrar but it neither has any institution affiliated to it nor a faculty.

Bihar Minister of Human Resource Development Brishen Patel had last month assured that land would soon be allotted to the university.

'The state government has spent millions on the salary of the people administrating the university despite the fact that it hardly exists beyond paper,' a government official said.

Seven embassies of West and Central Asian countries - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia and Tajikistan - have offered help to the university authorities.

Alam said some of them had even offered to set up language laboratories that could help train translators of different languages who are in great demand in Asian, American and European countries.

The idea of an Arabic and Persian University was mooted for the first time during the Congress-led government in the state in mid-80s.

According to official sources, the government is planning to convert the senior section of the Patna-based Madarsa Shamshul Hudan into a constituent unit of the university. It is also likely to transfer 34 madarsas offering Alim and Fazil courses from the Bihar Madarsa Education Board to this university.

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