Nitish has a post ready for Kalam: Visitor at Nalanda
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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has an offer ready for President APJ Abdul Kalam once he leaves Rashtrapati Bhavan: that of a Visitor at the proposed University of Nalanda. Kumar also wants Kalam to play an active role in setting up the international university that already has several East Asian countries eager to partner the project.
Kumar today said though he had made the offer earlier, he would repeat it as soon as Kalam relinquished office. "I will personally meet him and make the request," said Kumar who had strongly favoured a second term for Kalam.
The post of "Visitor" is an important one. "The Visitor will exercise a lot of power," said Bihar Education Secretary M M Jha.
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen is expected to head the newly constituted Mentor Group of the university. Its first meeting will be held in mid-July in Singapore.
The Bihar Government hopes to revive one of the oldest universities in the world that existed at Nalanda before 500 BC. Kalam had pioneered the idea and taken it up with Asian countries keen to partner the project. Kalam spoke of it in his special address to the joint session of the Bihar legislature last year as a prescription for the state's prosperity.
Apart from offering him a top post in the proposed university, Kumar continued to press for a second term for Kalam as President. He was in fact the first politician to make his choice public, calling him "the most popular and inspiring President".
"My choice was Kalam. I wanted a consensus among political parties over his name. But unfortunately, the UPA was stubbornly against it. Now we have to go with the NDA decision and support Bhairon Singh Shekhawat," he said. Kumar even took a dig at the Left for using the terms "citizen and netizen" while speaking about Kalam's popularity. He said Kalam was equally popular among urban and rural Indians.
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