MODEL DEGREE COLLEGES
Construction of only one of 12 colleges barely half-way through as others languish, two sites not even filized
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
Guwahati, Sept 15: Grandiose in plan but miserable in implementation — this has been the sad litany in scheme after scheme undertaken by the Tarun Gogoi government. After its hat-trick win in 2011, the Congress government took a laudable decision to set up 12 model degree colleges in economically backward districts (EBDs) across the State. With barely eight months remaining at the fag end of its third term, not a single college has been completed under the scheme.
When undertaking the scheme, the State government aimed to benefit EBDs ‘which are predomintly rural in ture and suffer from poor transport facilities’. Establishment of the proposed model degree colleges in such districts was considered significant, so that these ‘may not be appropriated by better off areas, as is generally the case when it comes to disbursement of public services’.
A government status report on the progress of the scheme up to August, 2015 paints a gloomy picture. Available with The Sentinel, the report card shows that apart from the construction of the model degree college at Dalgaon in Darrang district which is barely 51 per cent complete, the construction works of the other colleges are still far from the half-way mark.
In fact, the sites for the model degree colleges at Kakopathar in Tinsukia district and South Salmara in Dhubri district are yet to be filized. As for the model degree colleges at Barjapur in Hailakandi district and Laharighat in Morigaon district, the government does not even have the data about the physical progress of the works.
A quick look at the progress status of the construction works of the other model degree colleges makes depressing reading, viz. 40 per cent at Samaguri in gaon district, 39 per cent at Eraligool in Karimganj district, 33 per cent at Amjonga in Goalpara district and Deithor in Karbi Anglong district, 20 per cent at Bihali in Sonitpur district, 11 per cent at Borkhola in Cachar district and 10 per cent at Tulungia in Bongaigaon district.
The criteria for setting up a model degree college in an economically backward district primarily related to predomintly rural location where the proportion of the rural population in the area is higher than the State average, having no other college within 10 km radius, having no separate college for women within 10 km radius, and only if existing college in the area has more than 1,000 students.
The implications are clear — the ibility of the Tarun Gogoi government to walk its talk has resulted in deprivation of higher education opportunities for economically backward, primarily rural districts with transport and accessibility problems. For poor students from such areas, getting to study at colleges near to home, continues to be a distant dream. At the cost of tremendous fincial sacrifices which their families can ill afford, such students are still forced to move on to existing colleges in more prosperous areas.