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Brickbats not bouquets for Kalam in Nalanda
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna |
February 08, 2008 14:22 IST
Former President A P J Abdul Kalam and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday faced angry farmers in Nalanda, who pelted stones while demanding compensation from the state government for land acquisition for a proposed international university.
"A mob of farmers raised slogans against Nitish and pelted stones at him when he tried to pacify the protesting farmers," police sources told rediff.com over telephone.
In a bid to disperse the protestors after taking Nitish Kumar under security cover, police carried out a baton charge.
"Both Kalam and Nitish managed to leave the site safely," police sources said.
According to district administration sources, situation was brought to normal after the protesting farmers were convinced that they would be paid adequate compensation soon.
The Bihar government has acquired 446 acres of land at Rajgir near Nalanda for setting up the Nalanda International University and government officials have been claiming that the farmers had been provided compensation.
Meanwhile, Kalam is scheduled to attend the first board meeting of the Nalanda International University in Patna later in the day.
Kalam arrived in Patna on Thursday night on a two-day visit -- his first after vacating the country's highest office last year.
In its first phase, the university will offer only post-graduate, research, doctoral and post-doctoral degrees. However, the detailed project report is in favour of offering undergraduate courses in specific areas.
The university will impart courses in science, philosophy and spiritualism along with other subjects. An internationally-known scholar will be the chancellor of the university.
Around 1,137 students from India and abroad will be enrolled in the first year. By the fifth year, the number will go up to 4,530. In the second phase, the enrolment of students will increase to 5,812.
The university will have a 1:10 faculty-student ratio. The 46 international faculty members will receive an estimated $36,000 per annum as salaries.
Nalanda, about 100 km from Patna, is a famous Buddhist centre of learning in Bihar. Lord Buddha is known to have visited the town several times, as did Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism.