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GUWAHATI CITY

Dispur deliberately weakening government colleges: SFI

RTI information exposes devastating academic scenarios prevailing in the city colleges. Altogether, 225 teaching and non-teaching staff, 113 3rd and 4th grades and other posts lying vacant for years in 13 colleges in Guwahati. Cotton University and Cotton College together have 215 vacancies of teaching staff.

STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, June 22: At a time when the State government is going on establishing various medical and engineering colleges, vocational and skill development training institutes, universities and degree colleges in the name of Deen Dayal Upadhaya in different parts of the State, the premier and historic colleges located in Guwahati tell a different tale. As such every right-thinking people in the State feels like asking the rationale behind the establishments of such institutions.

In a series of RTI information gathered recently by the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) from different government colleges located in and around Guwahati, it has been revealed that these premier and historic colleges located in and around Guwahati are crippled with huge numbers of both teaching and non-teaching posts lying vacant for years, affecting the overall performance and glory of these institutions.

Addressing reporters in Guwahati on Friday, the SFI alleged that the State government is not at all trying to fill up these vacancies. Instead, they are trying to administer the higher education by recruiting temporary or contractual teachers, the students’ body said.

Referring to RTI findings, SFI general secretary Narankush Nath informed the reporters that the total number of teaching posts lying vacant in various colleges were 249. The college-wise vacancies are – Cotton University-149, Radha Govinda Baruah College-7, Cotton College-66, Pandu College-7, Karmashree Hiteswar Saikia College-12, Handique Girls’ College-14, SB Deorah College-5, Arya Vidyapeeth College-16, Guwahati College-9, Gauhati Commerce College-6, Lalit Chandra Bharali College-3, Pragjyotish College-9 and B Barooah College-12.

Notably, according to UGC directives, while the student-teacher ratio should be 1:25 at the graduate level, at the postgraduate level it should be 1:20. The question that remains now is: with so many posts lying vacant can these colleges maintain the UGC directive?

The general secretary further highlighted that the total number of contractual teachers engaged in different colleges located in Guwahati is 225, the college-wise break-up being – Lalit Chandra Bharali College-6, Dispur College-10, Guwahati College-27, Arya Vidyapeeth College-19, SB Deorah College-6, Handique Girls’ College-35, Karmashree Hiteswar Saikia College-19, Pandu College-16, Radha Govinda Baruah College-11, Cotton Univerity- 22 and Pragjyotish College-54. Moreover, the total number of non-teaching staff including 3rd, 4th grades and others lying vacant for years in 13 colleges of Guwahati is 113.

Keeping in mind the present scenario, the SFI alleged that the then education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had a camouflaged agenda behind converting Cotton College into Cotton University. Even after the conversion,the government has not strengthened the teaching and non-teaching staff, infrastructure and other basic amenities like hostel facilities to accommodate the increased numbers of student intakes, the SFI observed.

The SFI stressed that due to lack of infrastructure and teaching staff in these premier colleges, around 25,045 students were deprived of pursuing graduate courses in the current year while 61,562 students were deprived of pursuing postgraduate courses.

In this given situation, the SFI said, “The present State regime’s announcement of establishing a number of educational institutes is nothing but a political gimmick. The State is deliberately doing this. Through the introduction of the PPP model in the education sector, the State government is trying to accelerate privatization of education.”

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