PM Modi was sharing a public platform with the Bihar CM for the first time after the coming together of JD-U and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over two months ago.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today attended the centenary celebrations of the Patna University and also launch several development projects worth over Rs 3,700 crore.
Nitish Kumar was personally present at the airport to receive Narendra Modi, from there upon the wish of the Prime Minister, both the leaders went to visit the newly opened Bihar Museum.
The Prime Minister stressed that the Central government gives utmost importance to the development of eastern India.
Modi recounted how an earlier Chief Minister of Bihar (in reference to Lalu Prasad) would "dissuade from the construction of roads on the plea that roads were meant for only well-off people with motor vehicles, and not poor". Arguing that the resource-starved Bihar would take 25 more years to catch up with India's developed states without an economic distinction, Nitish and JD (U) had led a long, clamorous campaign. for it.
The excitement and anticipation of the students at Patna University were apparent as the Prime Minister arrived.
PM Modi did lay the foundation stone for programmes worth 5,000 crores to build roads and water works.
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Speaking to a large gathering, Nitish Kumar urged the PM to give Patna University the stature of a central university.
"It would have been better for the university if the crores of rupees spent on PM Modi's trip had been ploughed into the university", he said.
He said the government has come out with a scheme to make 10 private and 10 public universities world-class by providing them autonomy from the constraints of government rules and freedom to grow.
"We intend to do the same for our universities and ensure that our centres of higher learning figure among the best 500 in the world", Modi told PTI.
The Prime Minister also attacked the previous UPA government saying that they always dragged India behind rather than working for its development. "I assure you that the central government will walk with you shoulder to shoulder to fulfil dreams of people of Bihar and take this journey of development to new heights", he said. "This university has nurtured students who have contributed greatly to the nation", he added.
At Mokama, Modi will lay the foundation stone for four Rs 3031 crore national highways projects and as many sewage treatment plants (STPs) and related works worth Rs 738.04 crore, an official statement said.
Modi said reforms in the country's education sector have progressed at a slow speed and there have been differences among educationists which had hampered innovation with the governments too not measuring up to the task.