By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 28: The State Government has recently engaged themselves in trying to change the affiliation of AEC, JEC and the other government engineering colleges of the state to ASTU. The colleges are already affiliated to Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University since their creation. Under the banner of the All Assam Government Engineering College Students’ Union, AECSU president Kaustav Pallab Baruah said that following strong protests and rejections from the student and the teaching fraternity, the decision is yet to make its way.
Addressing the media in the city on Monday, Baruah said: “The ASTU was created with an idea to improve the technical education scerio of the state, nonetheless acknowledging to the demeaning status of the university that is also not AC accredited. The government colleges of engineering in the State have refused to affiliate themselves under ASTU following which the university became a home to the private engineering colleges of the state. The recent development in the entire scerio is, however, very interesting. Following the exit of many private engineering colleges of the state from ASTU, the government is again pressurizing these government institutes of much repute to now again affiliate themselves under ASTU.”
Baruah said: “It is never acceptable that one rejects a university of history and excellence and accepts ASTU that has no credibility of itself. The entire story started on January 19, 2017. The ASTU officials invited faculty members of AEC to be at a meeting to discuss academic collaboration of ASTU with AEC. Twenty-three professors from AEC were present at the meeting. Interestingly the ASTU officials did send minutes of the meeting to the government suggesting falsely that the AEC teaching fraternity wants AEC to be affiliated under the ASTU even as no such discussions were made by them at the meeting. Misrepresented by the ASTU officials, the Government of Assam ordered the Director of Technical Education of Assam to order these colleges to apply for affiliation to ASTU. Having acknowledged strong oppositions from the student and the teaching fraternity of these colleges, the Director was compelled to act to the several memorandums submitted to him by the student council. However, the government still kept pressurising the authorities of these colleges to apply for affiliation under ASTU. Similar was the situation in 2014 when the government sent letters to the principals of these colleges asking them to change their affiliation to ASTU but with rejections and strong protests, this decision was called off even then.”
“The Education Minister, having alysed the entire situation, invited members of the student council to his office at the Secretariat to discuss the matter on July 11. It was suggested at the meeting that Assam Engineering College will be upgraded to a university from the next academic session and that JEC will be the second campus of it. Following the meeting, Dr. M.K. Choudhury, the Advisor to the State Government for Higher Education, visited Assam Engineering College on August 14 wherein he declared that the next academic session onwards AEC would be upgraded to a University. This decision comes in regard of the Minister wanting AEC be upgraded to the IIT level. The situation again takes a backseat. After these important deliberations, the Principal Secretary to the Government of Assam on August 7 again issues an order to the principals of these colleges to immediately apply for affiliation under ASTU. After receipt of this order, Choudhury was asked about the matter. He, however, ensured the people concerned that this order may have come to the principals by some wrong done and that people should not worry about it. Nonetheless, the Principal Secretary kept on insisting the principals for the affiliation changing and being uble to tackle no more JIST and BBEC applied for affiliation to ASTU on August 14. The two institutes agreed affiliation to ASTU from the session of 2018. However, this affiliation that has been done completely violates the ASTU Act under section 37A of it. Interesting is, ASTU has already put on their website that JIST and BBEC are affiliated under it from the academic session of 2017. Wherein another clause arises and that is AICTE has already granted these four government engineering colleges of the state affiliation under GU/DU for the academic session of 2017-18 and has clearly suggested that this could be changed under no circumstances. The entire scerio is full of questions and speculation of what is the government trying to do with these colleges of engineering. Once promised with a university status, now orders to be affiliated under ASTU. The students and the faculty now demands the Assam Engineering College be upgraded to a University and in no condition should these colleges of repute be affiliated under ASTU,” Baruah added.