Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Education related news from Assam in 2007

First Open University of the state
25 December, 2007

Finally Assam gets to flaunt its very own Open University. The very first open university of the state – Krishna Kanta Handique Open University (KKHOU) which was set up last year opened its doors for students recently as it started its academic activities with a Bachelor’s Preparatory Programme (BPP).KKHOU is an answer to the prayers of those student’s who have been unable to continue with their studies owing to various reasons. Though Assam has been flooded by other Universities providing rather claiming to provide distance learning courses but these universities are of questionable repute as they are plagued by recognition issues. Moreover, the exams are not held regularly and the evaluation process too reeks of anomalies. Such universities fail to provide a support or assurance to the students and sometimes even jeopardize the future of the students. In such a state an open university in the state is a great confidence booster for the students of the region.The BPP is a six month programme aimed at preparing students above 18 years who had failed to complete their 10+ 2 courses for higher studies.. The courses will be offered twice a year. The BPP admissions are already under way and will continue till February 15. Classes are slotted to start soon after and the exams for the first batch is planned to be held by July next year. About 60 study centres have been set up around the state where classes will be held for 15 Sundays. Results of examinations conducted will be declared within a month and the eligible ones will be able to pursue Bachelor courses launched by the University. The admission Fee for the BPP is Rs 700.An affordable fee structure of the BPP is an added advantage for poor students and the innovative process of the BPP aims to provide a platform for many deserving students.The university also plans to offer need based degrees and post graduate courses apart from a large number of professional and vocational diploma and certificate courses aimed at promoting development of human resources suitable for the job market, self employment and entrepreneurship development. Moreover the University will also start research oriented training programmes. The Medium of instruction will be English and Assamese and Bengali for the students of Barak valley.

Birla Group to invest Rs 10 cr to set up technical institute in State
GUWAHATI, April 24 – Leading industrialist and chairman of the Birla Group, BK Birla, has today announced an investment of Rs 10 crore for setting up of a technical institute in the State. The business tycoon also assured more investments in the State in a phased manner to develop the education scenario.Birla while talking to a section of newsmen also said that he is considering the idea of setting up well-equipped technical institutes in the State including an engineering institute to check the exodus of students from the region to other parts of the country to pursue higher and quality education. Birla has, meanwhile, asked the State Government to allot 50 bighas of land for the same.Earlier, State Education Minister Ripun Borah met the business tycoon and requested him to invest in the education sector, especially for the setting up of technical institutes, in which the State is lacking.BK Birla was also accompanied by his wife Sarala Birla, a noted educationist, to inaugurate the new school building of Sarla Birla Gyan Jyoti in Amingaon today.Meanwhile, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who also attended the inauguration function requested Birla Group to invest in the education sector for its promotion in the State and added that setting up of more and more technical institutes in the State would help the State to move forward.“We are giving education topmost priority to the education sector as we want to emerge as a super power State in the entire country. We want to increase our knowledge power which would in turn increase our economic power,” Gogoi said.Gogoi further added that the State Government is initiating steps to set up a separate Law University and an Institute for Science and Technology in the State. The Chief Minister also appealed to the corporate sector to come up with more investment to uplift the higher education scenario in the State. “It is only to facilitate the growth of higher education that the Private University Act was passed,” Chief Minster opined. “We are now encouraging the private-public partnership for the development of the various sectors in the State, for which the State Government would extend all possible help,” Gogoi asserted.

Power Training institute to be set up in Guwahati
NEW DELHI, May 5 – Decks have been cleared for setting up of Regional Institute of National Power Training Institute (NPTI), at Kahilipara in Guwahati.The NPTI is an apex body under the Ministry of Power and Government of India sanctioned setting up of the North Eastern Regional Body in 2001. The Power Grid Corporation of India has been engaged by NPTI for turn key execution of the Project, Union Power Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde said in a Lok Sabha reply to a question by Narayan Borkotoki.The Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) has provided 15 acres of land along the SLDC complex Kahilipara for the project. The project comprises construction of an institute building, hostel, residential quarters and guest house. The main objective of setting up the Institute is to develop the human resources of the power sector of the NER, the Minister said.The project is proposed to be set up at a cost of Rs 18.29 crore and is expected to be completed by April 30, 2008, Shinde said.

New name for RRLs:
The Regional Research Laboratories in the country operating under the New Delhi-based Council of Scientific and Industrial Research have been renamed after a proposal to this effect was made in December last year. The Jorhat-based RRL will henceforth be known as the North-east Institute of Science and Technology. A circular for this nomenclature was received on March 6 this year, well-placed sources said. The four other RRLs located at Bhopal , Bhubaneswar , Jammu and Thiruvananthapuram, too, have been renamed. However, there will not any drastic changes in the administrative structure and recruitment process at the premier research institution here after the change of name, the sources pointed out. The Jorhat RRL was established on March 18, 1961.

Students urged to avail opportunities in IT sector
GUWAHATI, April 29 – Gautam Baruah, director, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IITG) today said that the new industrial policy announced by the Government would open up several new opportunities in the Information Technology (IT) sector and students should gear up to cash in on these opportunities.Baruah also sparked the need of creating a pool of qualified IT professionals to meet the rising demand of such professionals in the region. Speaking at the annual franchise meeting in the city, Baruah also said that the programmes like the Rajiv Gandhi Computer Literacy Programme and Sarba Siksha Abhijaan would achieve greater mileage if the manuals of the computer learning can be developed in the local languages, at least for the beginners.“This apart from helping the students would make such literacy programmes more successful and more and more people would get attracted to it,” Baruah stressed.Anuj Kumar Paliwal, managing director, Third Eye Infosys Pvt Ltd while apprising the gathering about the growth and contribution of Third Eye for the development of IT in the region said that it is the undeterred attitude of the company, which made Third Eye Infosys the first and only ISO 9001 IT company of the region, having about 90 training centers in the NE. Paliwal also appreciated the efforts of the State Government in spreading IT education and awareness in the State through various projects and suggested that the Government should involve local entrepreneurs in implementing IT projects.PK Das, Director Software Technology Park In India and K Baruah, Director, DOEACC centre, Guwahati were also present during the occasion. During the programme, top performing franchisees of the State were given away awards for their performance.

APA scheme for BPL students
GUWAHATI, May 6 – Assam Professional Academy, an ISO 9001: 2000 certified academic institute of the city, as part of its social commitments, has introduced a scheme for Below Poverty Line (BPL) students of the State under which such students will be provided financial help, academic guidance and assistance in job placements, a press release said.The BPL students seeking to pursue various vocational and professional courses in the institute will be eligible for such financial and job placement assistance, the release said. The institute has also introduced many other student welfare schemes such as free accident insurance cover upto Rs 1.5 lakh, concessions in admission fees for girl students, monthly stipends and scholarships for meritorious students, free sessions on spoken English, the release added.

ONGC-Assam Asset’s noble gesture towards DU
GUWAHATI, May 11 – ONGC-Assam Asset recently handed over SunSPARC20 computer to Dibrugarh University. In a meeting with Dr K Pathak, vice chancellor, Dibrugarh University and his team of distinguished faculty members, BM Singh, ED-Asset Manager, Assam Asset, ONGC handed over the Workstation SunSPARC20 to Dr K Pathak. This was stated in a press release.The workstation procured in 1996 was utilised mainly for data processing of the field logging data.In June 2005, the Centre for Computer Studies, Dibrugarh University had approached ONGC-Assam Asset and showed their keen interest in acquiring the ONGC after obtaining all mandatory approvals required for donation, handed over the SunSPARC20 to Dr GC Hazarika, director Centre for Computer Studies, Dibrugarh University, who accepted the SunSPARC20 on behalf of the department.Speaking on the occasion BM Singh said that ONGC was always in the fore front in extending help to the students of this NE university. He further explained that under industry-university linkages many projects are being run in collaboration with ONGC and Dibrugarh University for exposing students to real field problems. He expressed his satisfaction that with this gesture from ONGC, the students would be benefited in the long run and this would help them in obtaining better employment opportunities.Dr K Pathak, vice chancellor, Dibrugarh University thanked ONGC and BM Singh, ED-Asset Manager while accepting the SunSPARC20 Workstation. He said that indeed the students of Dibrugarh University would stand to gain in learning more about the workstation by software development and would also get exposure to the Solaris operating environment.

Mamoni Goswami rues poor state of education in char areas
KALGACHIA, May 13 – “I was ignorant about the education system and real problems of char-chapori areas before coming here. After visiting this place and another char area at Bhamuraguri, I came to know about the real condition of char-chapori people. I feel quite shocked and distressed having learned about the pathetic educational environment, particularly at primary level in char areas and remote villages,” said litterateur Mamoni Raisom Goswami while addressing a seminar held under the aegis of TND Gramya Sikshya Unnayan Samiti at TND HS School, nine km away from here on May 6.Earlier, to draw Smt Goswami’s attention some light was thrown by reception committee chairman Abdul Kader Ahmed on the topic of the seminar “The present education system obstructs the people of char-chapori area in the process of constituting greater Assamese society.” The chairman pointed out that ninety five per cent LP Schools in char chapori areas under Barpeta education block are running with a single teacher where the average ratio of students and teacher is 90:1. He spoke of the unhygienic environment and dilapidated school buildings of the area.Expressing concern over the shortage of teachers in primary level Smt Goswami assured the gathering that she would not only give focus on this real picture of rural education in her writing but also present it to the Union Ministry of HRD. However, she called upon the rural women to give their children the first education at home.Responding to a question on the insurgency problem of Assam she said, “People of Assam are unfortunate that the truce with ULFA has not been possible yet.”Addressing the seminar Abdul Mannan, professor of Gauhati University remarked “Education is the backbone of a nation. That is why to put emphasis on the need of education prophet Hazrat Muhammad called upon his followers to try the hardest in seeking education. In our society a struggle is always going on between the poor and rich. The rich always try to push the poor back. At present the poor children are falling victim to the process of commercialisation of education. Education is being compressed by the government. According to a 2005 survey report only nine dollar are spent every year by the government per student in India whereas 159 dollars are spent in European countries. In rural India toilets are not found in almost 80 per cent of the schools, because of which 23 per cent girls leave school. Only 1.89 per cent of the Union Budget is allotted for education sector. Thirteen per cent students can go up to HSLC.”Attending the seminar Haren Kalita, executive member of Asam Sahitya Sabha remarked that the Muslims in Assam should no more be called Bangamuliya. They are now part and parcel of the Assamese society.

Significance of English learning stressed
TEZPUR, May 14 – A three day workshop on ‘communicactive English for primary teachers of Kendriya Vidyalayas at the cluster level’, was organised at KV No 2, Airforce station, Tezpur on May 6, last.The programme was formally inaugurated by Air Commodore AG Patil, AOD, 11 Wing Indian Air Force.The director of the workshop Mani Ram, principal of the school, welcomed the distinguished, guests and participants of the workshop and listed out the objectives of the workshop with a focus on those school leaders who are not adequately trained in English as a language and are always handicapped in the world of higher education.In his inaugural speech, he observed that due to lack of knowledge they find it exceedingly difficult to compete for a place in the premier institutions. “The National Knowledge Commission believes that the time has come to teach our people, English as a language in schools, resource libraries should be set up in classrooms with journals, newspapers, audio-visual aids and magazines in English. English is the most important determinant of access to employment possibilities and social opportunities. Knowledge clubs should be formed to discuss and disseminate knowledge as well as extend the use of English outside the class room.”Attending the programme as chief guest, air commodore AG Patil defined what communication is and gave the participants insights into the historical development of communication over the ages and how important communication has become in the present day scenario. He urged the participants to acquire necessary skills in Communicative English in the three-day workshop and hoped they would apply what they learnt in the workshop for the benefit of the endusers who are, of course, the students.The workshop was attended by Flying Officer Sneha Singh of the wing, B Venkateswarly and Indu Singh as resource persons.Dance contest: An inter-school dance competition was organised by Past Pupil’s Associations of St Joseph’s Convent School, Tezpur in association with Aditya Tours and Travels, Tezpur, here at District Libary on May 6 last with a day long programme.The competition featured 65 participants in presence of a mammoth gathering.It is worthmentioning that the programme was held in two phases-Group -A and Group-B. Risharity Hazarika from St Joseph’s Convent School Srutashini Das from St Joseph’s Convent School and Chunki Deka from Gurunanak Model School bagged the first second and third prizes respectively in the category -A, while Divine Jyoti Kalita from Donbosco High School, Tezpur, Bonjita Bora from St Joseph’s Convent School, Tezpur and Dalbeer Singh from Don Bosco High School, Tezpur won the first, second and third prizes Category B.Attending the programme as invited gust Smt B Gupta, Social Worker, gave away the prizes to the winners.

Biotechnology potential in Assam bright
GUWAHATI, May 19 – With a dedicated pool of scientists and adequate infrastructure, Assam could well be poised in the forefront of the biotechnology revolution in the near future. The vast and diverse biomass available in the state would provide vital thrust for the movement. “Imagine a situation in which novel genes become invaluable for the biotech industry, something that is already beginning to happen…then the region’s bio-wealth would be a big source of revenue,” Martina Newell-McGloughlin, Director, UC Systemwide Biotech Research and Education Programme told The Assam Tribune.With her background as a scientist and an educator, she felt that biotechnology could benefit the State in a number of ways. “It could help develop rice that withstands submergence, or create varieties which could be more disease resistant.”Applying biotechnology could speed up the process of developing new varieties of tea. Research is already going on to make the tea plant more resistant to fungi, which has been a frequent menace so far.Newell-McGloughlin believes that a state like Assam needs to have a comprehensive plan for bio-prospecting, which would lead to identifying new genes. The value of such genes is immense in various industrial applications like medicine and agriculture, and therefore the state could earn substantial revenue.Biotechnology, in her view, would have to be embraced by countries like India and China, which have large populations to feed with limited land resources. “The technology has already proved that it could yield better yield over a longer period, impossible through traditional practices.” And some of the benefits, according to her, go beyond developing better varieties of plants. Disease resistant crops, developed through biotechnology, would mean less pesticide use and a safer environment.Even though Newell-McGloughlin agrees that biotechnology could not be a single solution to the world’s food problem, she believes that it provides a set of tools to farmers to grow better crop in a sustainable way.During her recent trip to Assam and other parts of East India, Newell-McGloughlin interacted with a number of scientists and students of biotechnology. She found most of the discussions “interesting”. Her foray into this part of the country also brought her in contact with the scientists and students of Assam Agricultural University, Regional Research Laboratory, Jorhat, Gauhati University and IIT Guwahati. “There is significant work going on in many of the labs, and that is amazing, because research is constrained by funds and infrastructure.”She revealed a plan was being conceived to allow select researchers of Assam Agricultural University to work closely with some American institutes. “They could do their research here and subsequently do their dissertation in the US.”When asked if advances in biotechnology could push native crop varieties of Assam into oblivion, Newell-McGloughlin annulled such fears by saying, “many native varieties have in fact being made more robust by biotechnology.”On the view that biotechnology was increasingly becoming the exclusive preserve of a few corporate majors, she said that while some companies were carrying out advanced research, public institutions around the world were not exactly lagging behind. She hoped that Assam too would come to possess similar facilities, from which benefits would reach the masses in a cost-effective manner.

Govt bid to streamline education system
GUWAHATI, May 22 – Efforts to advance the declaration of the results of the major examinations like the Higher Secondary Examination and the High School Leaving Certificate Examination will continue and for the first time, the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHEC) managed to declare the results of all the four streams at the same time, said Education Minister, Ripun Bora. Talking to The Assam Tribune here today, Bora said that because of the efforts of the Government to streamline the education system in the State, the date for declaration of the results could be advanced. He congratulated the Council for declaring the results of all the streams together. He pointed out that the students from all over the State fared well in this year’s higher secondary examinations, which is a positive sign.Bora revealed that from next year onwards, the Government is planning to hold the High School Leaving Examinations in the month of January so that the results can be declared by the end of March or in the first week of April. Meanwhile, the Government has started distribution of financial grants to non-deficit colleges for the payment of the salaries of the teachers. The Education Minister said that the non-deficit colleges did not get any financial assistance and the payment of salaries of the teachers was always a problem for the colleges. To provide some kind of help to such colleges, the Government today released a grant of Rs 2.75 lakh each to 133-degree colleges and 65 junior colleges only for the payment of the salaries of the teachers. He said that such grants would continue in the coming years also to give encouragement to the teachers of non-deficit colleges by taking care of their salaries.The Education Minister said that the Government has also decided to pay special grants to the venture schools for the payment of the salaries of the teachers and the process of distribution of the grant has already started in district level. He said that the Government has sanctioned an amount of Rs 26 crore for the purpose.Bora revealed that as per the scheme of the Government to provide financial assistance to the venture schools, each the primary schools would receive Rs 24,000 a year, each of the ME schools would receive Rs 68,400, High Schools would receive Rs 1.27 lakh, Higher Secondary Schools would receive Rs 1.07 lakh, Sanskrit Tols would receive Rs one lakh, pre-higher madrassa schools would receive Rs 55,000, senior madrassa schools would receive Rs 1.38 lakh and the only Arabic college would receive Rs 2.50 lakh. He expressed the hope that the fund being released by the Government would provide encouragement to the teachers, which in turn, would help in overall improvement of the educational atmosphere in the state.

Govt school results causes concern
GUWAHATI, May 24 – The political leadership should be made accountable by the people of Assam for the lamentable state of affairs in majority of the Government educational institutions right from the primary level, said noted educationist and former Vice-Chancellor of the Gauhati University Dr NK Choudhury. Talking to The Assam Tribune here today, Dr Choudhury expressed serious concern at the gradual deterioration of the performance of majority of the Government educational institutions in the High School Leaving Certificate and Higher Secondary Schools over the years and pointed out that in this year’s examinations also, the students of the private educational institutions fared much better than the students of the Government institutions. He expressed the view that immediate steps should be taken for improving the condition of the Government educational institutions, as all guardians cannot afford to enroll their wards in the private institutions. Dr Choudhury is of the view that the political leadership of the state is primarily responsible for the sorry state of affairs of the Government educational institutes and because of political interference in all matters including appointments of teachers, the Government is not in a position to make anyone accountable for the sorry state of affairs. He also pointed out that the teachers of the Government educational institutes get much higher salaries than the teachers of the private institutions, but the Government teachers cannot be made accountable for the poor show of the students. However, he admitted that there are some good teachers and sincere officers in the Education Department.The former GU VC pointed out that because of political interference, the officials of the Education Department, who are sincere, also cannot do anything and political appointment of teachers led to erosion of the authority of the heads of the educational institutions, which is a very dangerous sign. In some schools, the heads of the institutions are also not in a position to take any action against the teachers who even do not turn up for classes regularly, he pointed out.Dr Choudhury said that the society should keep a close watch on the performance of the Government educational institutions and a mechanism should be evolved to ensure regular monitoring of the educational institutions by the guardians and public. He said that prominent educationists including retired teachers should be involved in monitoring of the government educational institutions all over the state. He revealed that some sincere officials of the Education Department sometimes try to involve prominent educationists for inspection of the schools and he himself attended some such programmes in Nagaon district. But this is not a regular feature all over the state, he lamented.Dr Choudhury pointed out that at one point of time, the management committees of the educational institutions played a vital role in the functioning of the institutions and such committees were responsible for even appointment of teachers. The management committees could also take action against any teacher whenever required. But with the provincialization of the schools, the authority of the management committees has been eroded and political appointment of the members of the management committees resulted in further deterioration of the situation. He also said that as the guardians of the students of the private educational institutions have to pay fees, they are more conscious of the functioning of the institutions, while, most of the guardians of the students of government institutions do not keep a close watch on such matters.The Former GU VC also pointed out that because of the deterioration of the standard of education in most Government institutions right from the primary level, academic the base of majority of the students of such schools is not strong enough and they find it hard to perform well at the higher level. While, on the other hand, the students of the private schools fared well in the High School Leaving Examination, as their base is stronger than the primary level.

Call to excel in research activities
GUWAHATI, May 25 – At a time when the needs of Indian science and industry are growing manifold, institutions like the IIT Guwahati have to encourage a multi-disciplinary approach to science and technology. That could help identify and implement solutions of long-term development in the country’s interest.Stating this at the 9th convocation of IIT Guwahati, the new Chairman of the Board of Governor MK Bhan, further revealed that the institution in Guwahati along with other IITs “need to excel not just in education, but in research activities.” The purpose of research in the IITs should not only add to the GDP, but also fulfill the needs of the common people. Work carried out in IITs must act as an engine to solve problems related to agriculture and sustainable development.Comparing the Indian technological scene to that in the West, the Board of Governor asserted that Indian institutions must create more intellectual property instead of imitating Western models. Interdisciplinary approach in the pursuit of technological developments and innovations could make that a reality. Admiring the IIT Guwahati’s pool of faculty and its alumni, and describing it as a young institution that needed to have its own vision, Bhan stressed that it must grow in human resource and infrastructure to attain much-needed “critical mass” in the times ahead. Speaking as the chief guest of the function today, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said Assam had much expectation from IIT Guwahati because of its role as the leading technical institute of the region. Expressing his Government’s commitment to the cause of higher education he mentioned a few steps taken in this regard like setting up of new institutions, and cabinet approval to a Private University Bill.Significantly, he aired concerns over the meagre number of students from the North East being able to enter the IITs. He believed in the need for greater awareness of the “value of IIT education.” In this regard he wanted IIT Guwahati to play the part of spreading information about the IITs in the schools of the region.The Director of IIT Guwahati, Gautam Barua, who is also the chairman of the senate, gave an overview of the institution’s present status and its future plans. “IIT Guwahati has completed twelve years. The campus of 700 acres which has about 2,500 students is growing, and it is expected that in five years time, there will be 5,000 residents,” he stated. Referring to the achievement of IIT Guwahati students, he mentioned names of Dipto Dey, Shiva Rama Krishna Jaini, Abhishek Rawat, Ankur Pariyani, Abhigyan Gupta, Pallab Ghosh, Shamit Shrivastava, who received various awards and recognitions and brought laurels to their institution.

Govt priority on education must’
DIBRUGARH, May 26 – Taking into account the alleged dismal education scenario in the State, the All Assam Students Union (AASU) has said that it would leave no stone unturned in compelling the State government to give priority to the education system. “The Tarun Gogoi-led State government has totally failed in bringing about positive change in the education system”, Dr Samujjal Bhattacharyya, advisor to the students’ body told the media persons here on Friday. Dr Bhattacharyya was addressing the media after the conclusion of its two-day conference at the Ranghar hall in the Dibrugarh University. The students’ body had the central executive body meeting on Thursday and its general body meeting on Friday.Blaming the Education minister Ripun Borah and his department for the poor academic state of affairs, Dr. Bhattacharyya pointed out that several posts in numerous colleges and schools were still vacant. He said that the education system was functioning in the same old system sans new courses or any changes in the syllabus. Dr Bhattacharyya said the present government was only interested in tabling faulty legislations like private institutions regulation bill. “In order that the government schools came at par with the private schools, the AASU leader suggested that competent teachers should be appointed like that of the private schools. “To teach English like that in private schools, teachers of that calibre should be appointed in government schools”, he said. Taking a further dig into the education system, Dr Bhattacharya said teachers in various schools were made to prepare meals as part of the mid-day meal programme. “Teachers are meant to teach and not to do cooking. There should be alternative arrangement for the cooking purpose”, he said. “Going by the lackadaisical attitude of the Tarun Gogoi-led State government, the students have a bleak future and we are not going to allow this to happen”, Dr Bhattacharyya seemed determined. As part of their agitations, the AASU has decided to hold mass demonstrations in the home districts of the Chief Minister and the Education Minister (Jorhat and Sonitpur) on May 28 and 30 respectively. The students’ body will then move to Dispur for its agitation on June 7. Besides, the central leadership of the AASU also asked the district units to hold satyagrahas in their respective districts and to submit representations to the Education Minister through the district administrations. The AASU has also placed a demand of Rs 2 crore each for Dibrugarh University, Gauhati University and the Agricultural University. He said that due to lack of funds, the universities were neither able to upgrade itself nor function properly. The AASU leader appealed to the government to lay emphasis on the education system. The two-day conference, which was also occupied with the Assembly constituency delimitation, sealing of Indo-Bangla border, updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and implementation of the Assam Accord issues, also resolved to launch a mass agitation in Delhi soon.

Gogoi hails NIS Sparta proposal
GUWAHATI, June 2 — Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has welcomed the proposal of NIS Sparta, a Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group Company, to set up an education and training academy at Guwahati in partnership with Abhijit Barooah, a local entrepreneur. A team from NIS Sparta comprising Manoj Chawla, vice president and Rajeev Tandon, associate vice president, called on Gogoi recently at New Delhi and apprised him of various initiatives of NIS Sparta for the State in the field of education, starting with academies at Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and SilcharThe first NIS academy will start functioning at Guwahati from mid-June.

2 Dibrugarh students qualify in IIT-JEE
DIBRUGARH, June 1 – Two students from the city have got through in the All India Joint Entrance Examination conducted by Indian Institute of Technology, results of which were declared on May 30, while at least 22 students of Dibrugarh have qualified in the All India Engineering Entrance Examination, results of which were declared on Thursday.The two students who qualified in the JEE are Dipankar Gogoi and Reecha Bhorali. The successful students in the AIEEE are Abhik Borgohain, Himangshu Hatimuria, Juthika Konwar, Sudipta Pran Bhattacharji, Kritika Agarwal, Jatindra Sharma, Anup Agarwala, Prerna Khandelia, Ankita Agarwal, Jackee Deori, Reecha Bhorali, Ravi Chetia, Sandeep Kr Singh, Kautav Baruah, Arindom Bordoloi, Dipankar Gogoi, Sayed Javed Iftikar Ahmed, Pranjit Borah, Sumon Deori, Sidharth Sankar Sonowal, Joonti Jan Das, Somen Dutta.

24 students from NE pass JEE
GUWAHATI, May 30 – As many as 24 candidates from the North East have cleared this year’s Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), the results of which were declared today. The JEE exam was held on April 8.Out of 2,43,029 candidates who appeared in the examination countryin the 7,200 candidates have been found eligible for admissions to 5537 seats in Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) in Mumbai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Chennai and Roorkee.Achin Bansal from IIT Delhi Zone topped this year’s all-India list of successful candidates, while Ankita Sarmah from IIT Bombay zone with an India rank of 55 topped the list of successful girl candidates.Out of 54,026 girls who appeared for the JEE this year, only 587 managed to make the cut for admissions in IITs.The number of qualified candidates, out of those who appeared in different IIT zones is : Bombay-2235 (out of 45,246 candidates), Delhi-1398 (45,910), Guwahati-137 (15,675), Kanpur-513 (38,849), Kharagpur-733 (32,693), Madras-1688 (38,192) and Roorke-496 (26,464). Meanwhile, a press release issued by the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT-G) informed that counselling for admissions would begin on June 18 and the courses allocated to the successful candidates will be declared on June 29. “Among the 20,892 Scheduled Caste candidates who appeared for the exams, 594 of them have qualified while in the Scheduled Tribe list, 109 qualified out of 5,909 who appeared for the JEE,” stated the press release. Meanwhile, 15 students with certified physical disabilities have passed the entrance and made themselves eligible for admission with relaxed norms.

AASU unveils new syllabus for students
GUWAHATI, June 1 – In what could well be seen as a new precedent in the educational history of the State, the All Assam Students Union, the Asam Unnati Sabha along with a large number of teachers’ associations unveiled a new syllabus for students of class VIII to XII. The course outline in its present format concentrates on nine subjects – general science, general mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics (HS), statistics, computer science and application. In the next phase the syllabus of arts and commerce would be prepared. Tomorrow the representatives from the two organizations will hand over the syllabus to the Board of Secondary Education (SEBA), Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC), the State Education Minister, and the Chief Minister so that the proposed new syllabus could be considered for final acceptance.Formally inaugurating the syllabus, the principal of Cotton College, Dr Indra Kumar Bhattacharya described the publication as the result of one of AASU’s most valued efforts. “We are sure the student community would benefit from the new syllabus that has been developed with a scientific approach by a body of qualified and committed people.”Speaking on the occasion, Prof Basanta Deka, the co-coordinator of the project, touched on some of the salient features of the new syllabus, which he believed would help students acquire better knowledge and a competitive edge vis-à-vis tough entrance tests held at the national level. “It is the product of long discussions and deliberations among quite a large number of teachers from schools, colleges and other educational institutions. Their synergies have contributed to a product that takes into account the most important aspects of education in the high school and higher secondary levels,’’ he noted.Prof Deka, emphasized the “seamless evolution of the new syllabus that has ensured that the students would gain deeper understanding of a subject as they moved to higher classes. This characteristic would put an end to students having to learn same topics in different classes. Addressing media persons, AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya underlined AASU’s commitment to improving the educational atmosphere of the State and its desire to fulfill the needs of the student community. He dispelled doubts that the AASU was only involved in agitational programmes.AASU president Shankar Prasad Ray and general secretary Tapan Kumar Gogoi expressed their gratitude to all the teachers whose contributions moulded the new syllabus. Ray stated that the AASU had already prepared an academic calendar for the benefit of the students and the Government should implement it without further ado. The new syllabus contains several innovative features, including problem solving, use of practicals and laboratory experiments and new concepts. According to it the teaching periods would number 150. As part of the process aiming at improvement of the overall educational scenario the AASU and the Asam Unnati Sabha would next prepare a curriculum and put pressure on the Government to improve the infrastructure in the state’s schools and colleges. Better evaluation and testing methods for students is another area that would witness their involvement in the near future.

Biotechnology can help boost sustainable agriculture in State’
GUWAHATI, May 29 – Biotechnology can help in the development of sustainable agriculture in the State, said Dr Martina N McGloughlin of California University who is a well-known expert on biotechnology at the international level. She was speaking at a meeting organised by Assam Institute of Sustainable Development at B Barooah College here.President, Assam Institute of Sustainable Development Dr Shyam Bhadra Medhi requested Dr Martina to help the State in banana, medicinal plant and silk production with the latest advances made in the biotechnology field so that production can be enhanced with improvement in quality, a press release issued by the institute stated. Sustainable agriculture is needed to protect people’s right to health, food security and other aspects, Dr Medhi impressed upon Dr Martina.Dr Medhi asked suggestions on bio-safety, seri-biotechnology, bio-informatics and other areas of interest through a right government policy with full information to people about field trials of genetically-modified seeds. She was informed that India has 0.05 per cent of total agriculture under organic farming.Excellent indigenous knowledge on agriculture here, which can help SEZs for agriculture, as in Oregon state in USA has been lost. High and growing rate of suicides in China due to high use of pesticides in China recently was also noted.Prof M Das Deka, vice-principal and Dr NR Kalita of the college coordinated the meet and emphasised the need for improving bio-diversity with large-scale organic farming, the release informed.About 350 people including students, professors and public participated and raised many questions before Dr Martina who said she encountered questions all over the world and was happy to find the inquisitiveness of students here, the release added.

DU formulates strategy to curb exodus of students
GUWAHATI, June 3 – In what could give a new lease of life to the education scenario of the State, Dibrugarh University (DU), for the first time in the history of Assam is gearing up to market some of its courses across the State.Setting a new trend, the prestigious university has decided to prove itself equal to the task compared to other institutes of the country by participating in various education fairs in the near futrue, offering some of its comparatively new courses.As a first step in this direction, the Digital Filmmaking and Animation wing of DU was slated to participate in the two-day education fair organised under the aegis of CEC in thecity. However, due to some unavoidable circumstances, the institute could not attend the fair.Talking to The Assam Tribune over phone, Dr Kandapa Kumar Deka, registrar, DU, said that the insitute is definitely in favfour of marketing some of its courses which need to be popularised among the people of the State.Of course, we get enough applicants for couses like Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Computer Application (MCA). But for some other technical courses, we need to initiate steps to make them popular,” Deka said.He further informed that courses like BA in Digital Filmmaking, BA in Animation, BA in Multimedia and BA in Audio Visual Arts are some of the courses which would be marketed across the State.Meanwhile, Pinky Mukerjee, councilor-cum-administrator, Centre for Media Studies, DU, informed that the idea behind opting for such a strategy is also the exodus of students fromthe region to other parts of the country to pursue various courses.“The plan is to make the students aware of these courses as they do not know that they are available in our region too,” she said.CEC head Dipankar Dutta, while acknoweledging it as a positive development, said that the participation of local universities in differnt education fairs would definitely lead to the growth of the education standard in the State as a whole.“Besides, it will also make the students aware of the courses that thelocal institutes have to offer and its prospects,” he added.About the two-day CEC education fair, he informed that the response has been good, both from the point of view of the students and the institutes which participated in the fair.

Illegal appointment of teachers behind destruction of education system: Prof Deven Dutta GUWAHATI, June 7 – Public activist and educationist Prof Deven Dutta has said that all-pervasive political and bureaucratic corruption in appointment of teachers in public (government) schools in Assam during the past 25-30 years was at the root of destruction of the fabric of the public education system of the State.Prof Dutta also said that the “utter weakness and anti-people activities” of the ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats exhibiting undue favour to English medium private schools by educating their children in such schools further compounded the problem, and appealed to the guardians of the students to remain ever vigilant and be pro-active and assertive in the wider academic interest.“Illegal and backdoor appointment of huge numbers of ineligible and dishonest people as teachers in government schools during the rule of both the Congress and the AGP in the past 25-30 years turned such schools to honeycombs of corruption,” Prof Dutta said and questioned the right of the teachers enjoying better pay and facilities than their counterparts in private schools to stage dharnas even as the performance of their schools was a big zero.Prof Dutta, a former Head of the Dept of English, Cotton College, said that there were any number of people in Assam to prove that it was not at all necessary to impart education in every subject even to tiny tots through the medium of English to make them proficient in English. “A society full of people unable to recognize the alphabet of their mother tongue better not exist,” he said. Prof Dutta said that the duties of the guardians did not end just after getting their wards admitted in schools. Recalling his experience as president of the Cotton Collegiate Vidyalay Abhibhavak Upadesta Samiti, he said that constant interactions between the samiti and the school authorities contributed to the healthy academic atmosphere. “The guardians of all public schools should get democratically organized to keep constant vigil on the functioning of schools and for placing legitimate demands before the Government,” he said.

GU to introduce job-oriented courses
GUWAHATI, June 9 – The Gauhait University (GU) authorities have decided to introduce a number of job-oriented courses in both the Post-Graduate (PG) and Undergraduate (degree) levels in view of the present unemployment problem-related situation in the State. Disclosing this, GU sources here said today that the Standing Committee of the GU Academic Council in a recent meeting approved a number of job-oriented courses at both the PG and degree levels to arrest migration of State’s students to other areas and also to help the State tackle its unemployment problem effectively.The courses include—two-year PG Diploma in Radio Therapy or Radiation Oncology (to be introduced at the B Borooah Cancer Institute); three-year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA); one-year PG Diploma in Banking and Financial Services; one-year PG Diploma in Insurance Management; one-year PG Diploma in Financial Management and a two-year Executive MBA Programme.The University has prepared the syllabi for the courses in keeping with the All India standard and the Standing Committee of the Academic Council has approved these considering the urgency of the situation. All these courses are job-oriented and have good job as well as self-employment prospects, said the sources.Faculty members of the University have also proposed several other new courses for both the PG and degree levels. And these are at various stages of implementation.Now, GU is concentrating on introduction of job and self-employment-oriented courses in view of the present employment scenario of the State. Emphasis has also been given to introduce courses relevant to the downstream industries of the proposed Assam Gas Cracker Project, said the sources.Last year also, the University introduced a three-year course in Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), a three-year B Sc course in Information Technology; a three-year B Sc course in Biotechnology and a five-year Law Course (JB Law College) in keeping with the demand of the situation, said the sources. Though the Bishnu Ram Medhi Government Law College applied for permission to introduce the five-year Law Course, the University did not grant it the permission to do so on the ground that the College did not have the required space, sources said.The University also granted permission to a private college of architecture, a private engineering college and a B Sc Nursing College run by the Army last year. The private engineering college has set up its computer science, electronics and telecommunication and information technology departments. Earlier, the University introduced a B Sc course in Electronic Science, said the sources.Sources said that the courses like the BBA are the ones that lead to major exodus of students from the State.

Students asked not to forget their roots
GUWAHATI, June 14 – Noted educationists and other prominent citizens today urged the students who would be pursuing their studies outside Assam not to forget their roots, and to come back and contribute to the development of the State. At a function organised by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) to felicitate the rank holders of the HSLC, High Madrassa and HS examinations, Vice Chancellor of Gauhati University Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury appealed to the meritorious students not to forget their native place once they go outside the State. Expressing concern at the lack of proper facilities to retain the meritorious students in the State, Dr Choudhury said that the need of the hour was to upgrade the educational institutions to prevent a mass exodus of the brilliant students. Referring to the education scenario, Dr Choudhury said that at present most of the educational institutions in the State were faced with the problem of financial crunch, which was affecting the quality of education imparted to the students.On the other hand, Dr Choudhury expressed satisfaction with the results of the HSLC and HS examinations. He said that the results were indicative of a positive development in the education field, as it had proved that the medium of education was not a determining factor of better education. He, however, expressed concern at the performance of the government schools, which had fared badly once again. He said that the government should give a thought to the poor performance of the government schools and appoint teachers on the basis of merit to improve the performance of the schools.Speaking on the occasion, B Das, Managing Director of Numaligarh Refinery Limited said that education was the key to success in life as it builds character. Das observed that a change in the syllabus was necessary as the students who performed very well in the HSLC examinations performed very badly in the HS examinations. He called upon the students to imbibe knowledge and build up self-confidence. He also appealed to them to give a thought to the development of the State and said that without local youngsters in the administration, the State would not see proper development.The AASU functionaries, adviser Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya, president Sankar Prasad Rai and general secretary Tapan Kumar Gogoi emphasised on the need to bring a change in the education scenario in keeping with the changing world and asserted that the student body would continue to give topmost priority to education in its scheme of things. They, however, criticised the State Government for not showing any keenness to implement the academic calendar in the true spirit.

NGO’s bid to promote education in Barak Valley
SILCHAR, June 13 – Barak Education Society (BES), is a non-government organisation that came into existence on February 21, 1997 with the motto ‘Knowledge, Excellence and Morality’. It is basically to provide education to the poor people in the Barak Valley. This is perhaps the only NGO dedicated to education in the valley.BES is a non political, non-communal, socio-educational, welfare organisation. In course of time, the society spread its activities over three districts of Barak Valley. More than 400 people from different walks of life and irrespective of religion, caste, sex and language have accepted the membership of the society.The objective of the society is to work for the promotion of quality education and encourage students and youths towards achieving excellence in their respective disciplines. It also works to create environmental and health awareness among the mass people.Since inception, the society has been organising different programmes to achieve its objectives. Merit test is an important activity which is encouraging meritorious students at school level. The society conducted Barak Valley Level Merit Test Examination in 1999, 2000 and 2003. The first 20 position holders in these examinations were awarded one-time scholarship and prize along with merit certificates at the annual conferences held at Asigganj in Karimganj district.The central executive committee has started a scholarship scheme for extending financial aid to needy, meritorious students at school level. The scholarship is known as Mayeennul Haque Choudhury Memorial Talents Scholarship. The scheme has been operational since 2005.BES has started career guidance and information centre for students, guardians and educated unemployed youth desiring to get guidance and information on career development and job prospects. The society has also started the unique programme of recognition of ideal teachers on the occasion of Teachers’ Day every year. This year, two teachers were selected for such recognition.Abdul Hassan Choudhury, secretary said “We are dreaming high and trying to benefit poor people in terms of education, health and social studies. BES has always believed in collaborative works through sharing of knowledge and experience and welcomes any thought provoking suggestions, from other co-workers of the society which are an asset for us. We believe that together we are strong and can really make an exception.”

Education key to empowerment: CM
GUWAHATI, June 12 – Terming education as a key to empowerment, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said that proper education could act as a panacea to do away with all the ills afflicting the society.“It is through education that people can be truly empowered and made aware of their rights and responsibilities to render federalism vibrant and resilient,” Gogoi said while speaking at a two-day Regional Round Table on ‘Federalism and the North East’ organized by the Forum of Federation, Ottawa and the Inter-State Council Secretariat, New Delhi in collaboration with the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research in the city here today.Gogoi said that despite the challenges thrown up from time to time, Indian democracy has proved doomsayers wrong by emerging triumphant.“The North East part of the country with its peculiar problems and geographical location has been a learning process for the country as a whole vis-à-vis the functioning and democracy in proper perspectives,’ he added.Emphasising the need for social justice and equity, the Chief Minister said that true functioning of democracy could be ensured only if discrimination is done away with.“ Democracy has to be participatory in nature and has to accommodate the hopes and aspiration of the people, especially the weaker section,” the Chief Minister pointed out.Speaking on the occasion, A Pandey, secretary, Inter-State Council Secretariat lamented that NE is viewed as a problem rather than an opportunity by other parts of the country.“The NE part of the country has thrown up challenges that need to be evaluated in proper perspective and analysed to make the functioning of federalism vis-à-vis meaningful,” Pandey said.“North East is the most happening region interspersed with both highs and lows. While there has been a manifold increase in the number of flights in recent times, there has also been an increase in infant mortality rate and school drop outs,” said Sanjoy Hazarika, managing trustee, Centre For North East Studies and Policy ResearchGeorge Anderson, president, Forum of Federation, Ottawa and noted educationist Udoyon Mishra were amongst the other noted personalities present on the occasion.

Status of biotechnology in NE discussed
GUWAHATI, June 11 – The research scholars, students and former students of the Biotechnology Department of Gauhati University held a meeting on June 10 at the biotech auditorium under the presidentship of Dr Manoranjan Sarma.The meet discussed various important issues concerning the present status of Biotechnology in North East and dwelled at length on the problems faced by research scholars, students and ex-students.Some of the participants while sharing their views and experiences said that there was a lot of scope of the subject in industrial sectors in the region, but there was a need of better co-ordination amongst industrialists, policy makers, educationists and biotechnology experts. The meeting also took cognisance of the fact that participation of industries, government and student fraternity was very important for the right and purposeful development of Biotechnology in the entire region.On the other hand, the meet discussed threadbare issues like exploring employment avenues, research and development in the region, creation of awareness amongst the industries, government and academic fraternity about the scope of biotechnology.The meeting resolved to approach the authorities concerned for giving a fillip to the study of biotechnology. A forum named Gauhati University Biotechnology Alumni Association was formed at the meeting with Dr M Sarma as president and Pranabjyoti Kalita as general secretary.

TERI campus in State likely
NEW DELHI, June 11 – In an encouraging development, renowned TERI University is likely to set up a campus in Assam. This was disclosed by Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi here today. The Chief Minister said he received a positive indication from TERI at a meeting with Vice Chancellor of TERI University, Dr Vibha Dhawan. Gogoi said he had been pursuing this with TERI authorities including Chancellor Dr R.K.Pauchuri for long. “Dr Dhawan was my advisor, so I succeeded in persuading them to set up a campus in Assam,” he added.TERI University was established to provide for institution and training in Energy Studies, biosciences, environmental studies, public policy and other such branches of learning.Gogoi said a TERI campus in the State would prove to be highly beneficial for students of Assam.TERI University focuses in comprehensive research, consultancy, and outreach activities of TERI. A non-profit independent research institute, it is recognised globally for its contribution to scientific and policy research in the realms of energy, environment, and sustainable development.

Govt making efforts to check money, brain drain: Ripun
SIVASAGAR, June 10 – Addressing a big gathering of heads of schools of Sivasagar district on Saturday at Sivasagar Natya Mandir, Education Minister Ripun Bora said that the State government is trying hard to build state-of-the-art educational infrastructure in the State to check the massive money and brain drain of the State.Concerned at a staggering 50,000 students going outside every year at an average, the Minister said that the government has invested in a big way to upgrade large number of colleges and the five universities with new disciplines and improved methods of teaching and technologies.Regarding appointments, the Minister said that 13,000 posts in elementary and 3500 posts in higher secondary schools will be filled up in phases. Bora also said that a three member committee is reviewing the overall performance of provincialised schools and is expected to submit its report soon.Vice-chairman of State Planning Board, Sarat Borkatoky, attending the function organised by Sivasagar District Academic Council, said that the Council should involve itself more on academic activities to enhance the standard of education. He said that the present government’s effort to develop the educational scenario is by far the biggest and most comprehensive. He urged the teaching community to acknowledge the good work done by the government.Abdul Zelil, Inspector of Schools and Chairman, Academic Council presided over the meeting.

Focus on merits and demerits of education
GORESWAR, June 15 – A joint freshers’ social and prize distribution meet of both Patidarrang Balika ME and High School was held on recently in the school hall with Phanidhar Nath, retired headmaster, Patidarrang Balika Vidyapith (High) in the chair.The school flag was unfurled by Renu Talukdar, headmistress of the high school at 7-30 while Nareswar Deka, headmaster, ME section performed swahid tarpan.Basudhar Deka, former secretary of the school management committee and Khargeswar Kalita, retired headmaster Gerua-Goreswar LP School, planted saptings in the school campus.An open meet was held chaired by P Nath. Munindra Nath Goswami, Pradhan Aacharyya, Adarsha Jatiya Vidyalaya, Bihdia as appointed speaker at well at length on the present system of education undertaken by the state government. He pointed out the merits and demerits of the ongoing methods of imparting education among the students at school and HSLC level.Prof Ajit Talukdar, Gore-swar College addressing the students as chief guest appealed to the students to follow the daily routine of their study regularly keeping discipline in respect of study and other extra curricular activities for achieving better progress and result in the final examination. This would be possible only if the parents and guardians and teachers and students unitedly focus in order to reach the goal of their students.Among others, Basudhar Deka, Khargeswar Kalita and chairperson Phanidhar Nath also stress the need of education. Earlier, Renu Talukdar, headmistress read out the school proceedings at the meet while Jitumoni Deka secretary, Students’ Union explained the purpose of the function and also read out her editorial reports.School buildings: Local MLA of Kamalpur Uttra Kalita inaugurated the newly constructed high school buildings (at cost of Rs 4 lakh for each high school building) respectively at Brindaban High School, Gashbari High School, Patidarrang Balika Vidyapith High School and Patidarrang Vidyapith High School recently. Kalita also inaugurated the village sanitation scheme sponsored by UNICEF and undertaken by Samaj Bikash, NGO, Goreswar in the Pub-Jatiyabhangara Naamghar on the same date.On the occasion, an open meet was held among the public with Bhabani Deka, ex-president, Jatiyabhangara Gaon Panchayat in the chair. The local MLA apprised of the benefits of the scheme. She appreciated Samaj Bikash for its initiative in this regard.

Assamese youth have potential for reaching great heights’
GUWAHATI, June 17 – A negotiated two-state solution could be the only way to end the protracted Israel-Arab conflict in West Asia. Till now, that has not been a feasible proposition due to the intransigency of some groups who were not even willing to accept the existence of the State of Israel. This was the view expressed by the Israeli Ambassador to India David Danieli, while delivering a lecture on Political and Security Challenges before Israel in West Asia. The lecture was the third annual lecture organized by the Yuva Vikas Kendra, Amingaon. Providing what he called an Israeli narrative of the recent history of West Asia, Danieli pointed out that even at the time of Israel’s emergence as a nation in 1948, the two-nation solution seemed like a viable option. But it was not a choice that Israel’s Arab neighbours were eager to embrace. It would need a few more wars before the first of the Arab states, Egypt, came to recognize Israel’s right to exist and signed a peace treaty in 1978. Another peace agreement was signed with Jordan in 1994.Daneili was especially critical of Hamas and its rule in Gaza, and believed that Hamas was adopting an approach that undermined peace moves in the region. He was unequivocal about good governance in the Gaza and mentioned that Israel had no desire to rule over Palestinians.Referring to similarities between Israel and India, the Ambassador noted the democratic character of both the young nations as well as their ancient civilizations. In the 15 years of full diplomatic relations, the ties between both the countries have become much stronger. In a whole range of activities like science, commerce, arts and culture both the countries have forged mutually beneficial ties. Addressing the gathering Upen Chandra Boro, a recently retired Ambassador and a native of Assam alluded to the importance of Israel in the global arena. He also mentioned that careers in the Foreign Service were not unachievable dreams for the students of the State. With determination, self-confidence and focused goals the youth of Assam could reach great heights. Earlier the Chairman of the Yuva Vikas Kendra, Dipok Kumar Barthakur, in his welcome address mentioned the inspiring saga of Israel and its status as a modern and dynamic nation known for its advances in the field of education, science and technology no less than its civilisation. He referred to the progress made by Israel even amid the threat of terrorism and said it showed the character of a great people, who went to great lengths motivated by patriotism and sheer will to excel.

15 medical students under CID scanner
GUWAHATI, June 22 – Combing for more clues in the medical entrance anomalies, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is likely to arrest at least 15 students of the three medical colleges in the State – Gauhati Medical College (GMC) and the Assam Medical Colleges at Dibrugarh and the Silchar Medical College. CID sleuths have reportedly collected various important inputs regarding the scam in the last one week and very soon they would crack down on the culprits almost simultaneously in all the three medical colleges. These students are the ones who have allegedly obtained admission into the medical colleges by using unfair means or their accomplices in the crime.CID sources here informed that these students are from second and fourth semesters of the said medical colleges.Most of these students are admitted into the Gauhati Medical College (GMC) and very soon they would be taken into custody,” said the CID sources while adding that all the suspected students are likely to be booked soon.The CID has started investigating the matter since the last two years following reprots indicating that students were adopting unfair means to obtain admission into the medical colleges of the State.It may be mentioned here that against three cases registered with the CID in connection with the scam, a total of 17 persons including students of Veterinary College, Khanapara have been arrested so far by the CID sleuths.“We have managed to gather some vital clues based on which the further arrests would be made. As per the investigation, the anomalies started in the year 2005 or even before that,” informed a CID official.“The clues recovered so far indicate it to be a well oiled racket, who engage brilliant students to sit in the entrance examination instead of other students over transaction of huge amounts,” he added.“Our sleuths are advancing very carefully as it is a very sensitive case and a slight mistake would put at risk many promising careers. We are trying our best and the arrest of 17 persons testifies the fact,” said the sources.“It would, however, take some more time to go to the root of the case as the racket is spread over several districts and there are people from outside the State, who are also engaged in the racket,” said the sources.The official, however, refused to divulge the names of the students on the ground that it might hamper the ongoing investigation but said that the CID would make important breakthroughs in the case soon.

No takers for traditional trades at Jorhat ITI
JORHAT, June 22 – The times surely have changed. Some traditional professions no longer fascinate the young generation seeking to break new frontiers in the new millennium. The Jorhat Industrial Training Institute, the oldest and the largest in the North-east, has not enrolled a single student in certain ‘trades’ (industrial jargon for particular courses of training) since the last seven or eight years. These trades, which have been declared unpopular on account of their rejection by the students, include masonry, carpentry, black smithy, watch repair, letter press minding, composition and proof reading. In keeping with the times, the Jorhat ITI has introduced a whole spectrum of non-engineering courses lasting six months to one year to attract learners. They are: stenography, hair and skin care, embroidery, cutting and sewing and Assamese typewriting. In addition to this, four short-term courses – travel and tour operations, battery making, motor rewinding and car servicing – have been launched under the Prime Minister’s package.Official sources claimed that the trainee aspirants have been showing an overwhelming response towards the one-year Plastic Processing course introduced last year. They attributed this to the prospects of employment thrown up by the Gas Cracker project coming up in the State. As many as 96 seats are available for this course which is being conducted in six modules, the sources pointed out. Besides the non-engineering disciplines and short-term courses, the Jorhat ITI imparts training in 20 conventional trades. The institute, spread on a sprawling campus of 26 bighas, has on its rolls about 900 trainees for both first and second years. Admissions are going on, the official sources said, adding that the new training session is slated to commence from mid-August. Meanwhile, the virtual abolishment of the unpopular trades has also caused some amount of concern. “If the present trend hits all the ITIs, we shall be short of trained masons, carpenters and blacksmiths sooner than later,” an instructor, requesting anonymity, said. Citing the reasons behind this, he pointed out the unwillingness on the part of HSLC-passed candidates to opt for such professions “which do not look appealing both in terms of social status and profits.” It may be mentioned here that Jorhat ITI was set up in 1946. It was then known as War Technical Centre owing to its war-related training. The centre was first established in Shillong in 1943 during the Second World War and later shifted to Jorhat. It was christened an industrial training institute in 1956 when several other similar institutes came up in the State. There are 28 ITIs, including four exclusively for women, in Assam at present.

Barak Valley students facing trouble
BADARPUR, June 19 – Students of various places of Barak Valley, studying in various courses of Post-Graduate Correspondence School (PGCS) of Gauhati University, are facing trouble as they are not getting any study materials on time for the last few years. This was alleged by some students of PGCS, Gauhati University and their guardians, while talking to this correspondent here recently.They also alleged that rules and regulations of PGCS, Gauhati University, as mentioned in the prospectus are not being maintained at all. It is to be noted here that in the prospectus – it has been mentioned that “the study materials are supplied to the students immediately after the admission either in person or by post. Normally, the materials are supplied in two instalments: at the time of admission, and after payment third instalment of the course fee.” But the students are being deprived of the study materials in due time, even though they have already deposited the fees during admission, and in second, third and fourth and final instalments, as per PGCS – rules and regulations. As an instance, Bengali department of MA Course (final year) have no yet received any study materials of Bengali, even-though they have deposited all the payments. They are now facing much trouble in preparing for the ensuing MA final examination. The co-ordinators of different PGCS – Contact and study centres of Barak valley have also failed to give correct information to the students.So, under these circumstances, the students and their guardians have earnestly requested the honorary director of PGCS, the vice chancellor and Controller of Examinations of Gauhati University to take immediate necessary arrangements for sending all study materials (MA Final year) of the subject Bengali and other subjects, immediately.They also earnestly requested the officials of Gauhati University, to issue stern orders, to all heads of the departments of various subjects, including Bengali, for sending all the study materials to the PGCS office immediately.

Concern over poor results of Govt schools
GUWAHATI, June 19 – The State Government is concerned at the deterioration of the performance of the students of the Government High and Higher Secondary Schools over the years and is examining the feasibility of fixing responsibility for the trend. However, the final decision in this regard will be taken only after receiving the report of the expert committee formed to study the problem.Talking to The Assam Tribune, Education Minister Ripun Bora admitted that the deterioration of the results of the students of Government schools is a matter of serious concern as of late, the students of the private schools are faring much better. He said that the Government has already formed an expert committee headed by former Vice Chancellor of the Gauhati University, Dr NK Choudhury to study the problem and to suggest measures need to be taken.Replying to a question on the allegation that lack of regular inspection led to the deterioration of the standard of education in the Government schools, Bora admitted that the allegation was “partially correct”. He said that the inspection of schools has improved considerably and fixed targets for inspectors. However, he revealed that the Education Department has shortage of inspectors to carry out regular inspection of schools and the Department also has not been able to provide necessary infrastructure like vehicles to the inspectors to visit the schools regularly. He said that the Government is ready to accept the suggestions and views of prominent citizens and educationists to improve the situation.The Education Minister also admitted that irregular attendance of some teachers in schools is also a major problem. He said that though from time to time, he personally visited the schools and took action against the teachers found to be absent from duty, it is not possible to keep a close watch on all the teachers regularly. “We have nearly 50,000 schools and more than 2.50 lakh employees and it is very difficult to keep close watch on each of them,” he admitted. He also admitted that some schools, particularly in the urban areas, have more teachers than students, while, the situation is quite different in the rural areas. He said that the Government is carrying out a district wise survey in this regard to prepare a database and the posts of teachers would be rationalized on the basis of that after receiving the necessary clearance from the Finance Department.Bora said that shortage of teachers is turning out to be a major problem for the schools as “we have nearly 16,000 vacancies in elementary and secondary level”. He said that the process of filling up of the posts would start immediately after the Court cases on this issue are disposed off. He accepted that allegations of irregularities in selection of candidates for posts of teachers became a common feature in the State in the past and asserted that from now on steps would be taken to ensure that “merit” is the only criteria for selection. He also said that the process of selection of teachers to fill up the vacant posts in the higher secondary schools have started.Bora admitted that because of the difference in the marking system of the CBSE and the State boards, majority of the students of Assam find themselves in a disadvantageous position when seeking admissions in the educational institutions outside the state. He said that the expert committee would also examine the matter and offer its recommendations to solve the problem.

Free education for poor students
GUWAHATI, June 18 – He has won many awards, both national and international, for excellence in the field of education. But even though he is contended with his achievements, his real dream is to work for the benefit of the weaker sections in the State. With this noble concept in mind, A K Raha, principal of city-based Trinity Junior College, has decided to give free education (Higher Secondary) to five students with poor family background in his College, who cannot afford to pursue higher studies owing to financial crunch. Talking to mediapersons on Monday, Raha said that the priority would be given to children who are tagged Below Poverty Line (BPL). “There are many meritorious students in our State, who opt out of schools and colleges owing to monetary problems. I, through my college, would like to help these children pursue their studies,” he said while adding that the idea is to enable the children of downtrodden population reap the benefits of education.Out of the five berths (Arts, Science and Commerce), one is reserved for the student of Harijan community. Already four students have been offered free education in the Trinity Junior College, which is situated in Maligaon area. The junior college was established in the year 2005.“If everything goes in the planned manner, then we would increase the number of students, who can enjoy the benefits under our institution,” informed the veteran educationist, who has completed fifty years in the teaching profession.

Youth should adapt to latest technologies: CM
GUWAHATI, June 18 – In what has been called a first of its kind development in India, Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) has come forward to renovate and augment ITI Guwahati and launch a training programme for the students of the institute.Today, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Executive Director of HMIL WS Min formally inaugurated the newly modernised facility with advanced mechanical processes, which will train students in maintenance and repair of new generation vehicles.Speaking on the occasion the Chief Minister focused on the changing nature of technology and the need for the youth to be able to adapt to such a scenario. The youth should have the opportunity to have the most advanced technical know how and the new project launched by Hyundai was a step in that direction, he remarked.Gogoi said that as in the case of the new endeavour, there should be more attempts to impart technical training to the youths of the State so that they could secure gainful employment in today’s competitive world. The process of training should also be modernized for technical education to become more industry relevant.Gogoi was of the view that more such private -public partnership ought to take place in Assam for the benefit of the youth. While thanking HMIL for its co-operation he mentioned that similar collaborative efforts would be replicated in other ITIs of the State. The Executive Director of HMIL, WS Min, in a brief speech highlighted facets of his company’s corporate social responsibility in India. The modernisation of ITI Guwahati was a part of that programme. He revealed that HMIL would like to support more causes for the socio economic development of Assam in the near future. More economically relevant projects could be set up in other major cities of the State, he added.Elaborating the Government’s plan to impart vocational training to a large number of students, Prithivi Majhi, State Minister of labour and employment, said that upgradation of all the ITIs was a top priority. The 28 ITIs at present and new ones on the anvil would soon be geared up to cater to nearly 6,000 students.Thanking HMIL for their initiative to modernise the ITI Guwahati, Majhi said that more such collaborative efforts with industry majors would benefit the State’s youth. In this connection he mentioned modular courses for students of ITI’s who would be immediately absorbed after they complete their training. Later in a press conference attended by Majhi and Min among others, it was revealed that the total investment in modernizing the ITI and imparting training over a 5-year period was around Rs 4 crore. HMIL would like to carry out similar projects in different parts of the State in the near future, and was also open to idea of extending help to other institutes of higher learning in the future.

Chemical Science course in pipeline at IIT Guwahati
NORTH GUWAHATI, June 24 – A four-year B Tech course on Chemical Science and Technology has been proposed to be introduced in the IIT Guwahati and after its introduction, IIT(G) would be the only IIT in the country to do so.It is stated that the programme to be offered by the institute’s department of Chemistry, will equip students in frontline interdisciplinary areas like environmental science and molecular biology.However, the course is currently offered by Jadavpur University in Kolkata and Mumbai University. The course known as Chemical Technology in Mumbai University is highly popular. Students passing out lapped up by pharmaceutical companies. They also get ample job opportunities in chemical industries, biotech companies, environmental-related businesses and research and development sectors.Further, the B Tech students in Chemical sciences would study more of subjects pertaining to industries like pharmaceuticals.It is stated that the course content is designed to provide students practical training in basic science and engineering. The technical course components include applied catalysis, drug design, medicinal chemistry, manometricals and manoscience, fine and bulk chemicals, green chemical and technological practices.

NIIT launches first APTC in NE
GUWAHATI, June 24 – Asia’s number one IT training organisation NIIT which claims to have trained one out of every three IT professionals in India, launched its first authorised prometric testing centre in the North-east, here on June 22 in association with Thomson Prometric, the world’s largest testing organisation, according to a press release.At a ceremony to mark the occasion Surojit Biswas, the regional manager of NIIT India-East said that with the demand for IT professionals going up, it is extremely important for the IT aspirants to be equipped with vendor certification to enhance their placeability quotient.The chief guest of the occasion Prof Arup Kr Mishra, faculty and training & placement officer of Assam Engineering College (AEC) in his address welcomed such an initiative on NIIT’s part and said that more and more companies are now making North-east their favourite hunting ground for manpower and hoped that Guwahati would soon become the IT hub of the North-east.The APTC is located in the premises of NIIT’s Panbazar Centre.

Workshop for honing school students’ skills planned
GUWAHATI, June 24 – The Indian Society for Training and Development (ISTD), which is a national level professional and non-profit society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, recently established its North East chapter in Guwahati, a press note said.The society is affiliated to the International Federation of Training and Development Organisations, USA and Asian Regional Training and Development Organisation, Manila. Its diploma training programme is recognised by the Government of India for recruitment to superior posts.As students of this region are extremely intelligent but invariably shy, and introvert, they often get overshadowed.In order to touch upon issues such as these, ISTD is for the first time organising a series of training workshops aimed towards the school children (belonging to standard VIII, IX & X) of this region. This summer non-residential camp shall be organised in Guwahati and would draw participation from students of various schools across the city.Children should get to interact with their counterparts in other schools and would be encouraged to break loose their self-prisons. Various behavioral issues would be dealt with, including issues related to gender interaction, sexually transmi-tted diseases and social responsibilities as citizens. Students would also be counseled on the various career options available in today’s modern world. The workshop has been christened ‘Equipoise’ aimed to promote equal growth balance of academic and social skills.

CM inaugurates IIPM centre in Jorhat
JORHAT, June 24 – Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today inaugurated a centre of the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Plantation Management at the Tocklai Experimental Station premises here. Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh was also present on the occasion. In his speech, the Chief Minister expressed the hope that the IIPM centre would make a substantial contribution towards developing the tea industry in the State in the days to come. Gogoi voiced his satisfaction over the facilities for management training made available at the Jorhat-based institute. Stressing the need for modern techniques of management, the Union Minister of State for Commerce made a case for coordination among the Tea Research Association, the Assam Agricultural University and the Regional Research Laboratory (now christened North-East Institute of Science and Technology) for evolving new technologies. Assam Industry Minister Pradyut Bordoloi stated that the IIPM centre would give a new direction to the tea industry in the North-east. Director of IIPM VG Dhankumar was also present at the ceremony today. TRA director Dr Mridul Hazarika offered the vote of thanks.

Higher Education Dept faces action
GUWAHATI, June 24 — For a department which is supposed to look after the education scenario in the State, it’s time to practise what they preach to others. At a time when ardent steps are being initiated to make the Right to Information (RTI) Act popular in the State, the State Information Commission caught the State Higher Education department on the wrong foot for indulging in activities, which are detrimental to the implementation of RTI Act.The State Information Commission, in a breakthrough move, has decided to slap a fine on the Higher Education department, which can go to the extent of Rs 25,000. The Commission further decided to award compensation to the complainant under Section 19(8)(b) of RTI Act, 2005 for the harassment caused to him by the office of the Director, Higher Education. Talking to The Assam Tribune, one of the senior officials of the Higher Education department has confirmed the occurrence and termed it as a shameful incident.The Information Commission sprang into action after a written petition was submitted by Ajoy Kumar Sarma, president, All Assam Disabled Development Union, complaining of the apathy of the department. “ I was made to run from pillar to post for many days by the officials of the Higher Education department and it is very surprising to know that to many of my queries, the department had no answers,” rued Sarma.After careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, the Commission decided to impose penalty on the Public Information Officers (PIOs) of the Higher Education department and the Director of Higher Education under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act, on May 10. The Education (Higher) department has been found guilty of not furnishing information relating to the matter of reservation of government jobs for disabled persons in Grade III and IV categories, as sought by the complainant, even after around 10 months’ time since he sought for the same as per RTI Act. The Commission found that neither the Commissioner and Secretary nor his PIO and also the Director, Higher Education acted promptly on the petition of Ajoy Kumar Sarma.“ The department officials were also found guilty of giving contradictory statements,” the Commission observed. The reported refusal of the Director of Higher Education to receive the application fees in cash from a petitioner, who is a disabled person, has been looked upon as an insensitive attitude by the commission.Chief Information Commissioner RS Mooshahary announced the verdict on May 10 in the presence of Dr BK Gohain, State Information Commissioner. Dr. Rafique Zaman, additional secretary, Government of Assam, Education (Higher) department, was present on behalf of Commissioner and Secretary, Education Department along with Bijoy Lakshmi Baruah Gogoi, deputy secretary, Education (Higher) department, who is also the PIO of the department during the hearing, besides the complainant.The Education department has been issued notice to show cause as to why the proposed penalty should not be confirmed for wilful delay in furnishing the information. The next hearing is slated for July 10 next.

Centre approves 440 more seats for State
GUWAHATI, July 9 – The Central Government has approved 440 more seats for technical education in Assam. With this, the number of seats in the State’s engineering colleges and institutes has gone up to 2,225 from 1,785. Quoting Education Minister Ripun Bora, official sources here said this evening that following the stress laid by the present Government in the State, a demand for raising the number of seats in both degree and diploma levels to about 20,000 in the State’s engineering colleges and institutes was placed before the Union Human Resources Development Minister at a meeting of the state education ministers at New Delhi on April 10 and 11 last.The need for such a step was felt to enhance the capacity of the engineering colleges and institutes of the State to match the capacity of such institutions located in the rest of the country. The State has also adopted a legislation recently to facilitate setting up of private universities in the State with this aim in view, said the sources.The Central Government has as the first step to grant the prayer of the State, approved the above 440 seats and of these, 60 will be created in the Assam Engineering College (chemical engineering-30, electronics and telecommunication-30).Following this decision of the Central Government, Jorhat Engineering College will have 20 more seats (all in electrical engineering department) now and Azara-based private sector Girijananda Choudhury Institute of Management and Technology will have 120 seats (mechanical engineering- 60 and MBA-60). In the diploma level, there will be 240 more seats due to this decision of the Central Government, said the sources.

KK Handique Open varsity to function soon
GUWAHATI, June 30 – The process to finalize the curriculum of the KK Handique Open University has started and the enrolment should start in the middle of next month. Meanwhile, the State Government of the view that the Open University should give stress on providing job oriented courses through distant education to reduce the problem of unemployment.A two-day workshop to prepare the roadmap for the KK Handique Open University started at the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship here today and the meet is attended by prominent educationists from different parts of the country. The curriculum of the University will also be finalized after the conclusion of the meet. The meet is attended among others by Director of the Distant Education Council, Prof VNR Pillay, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Indira Gandhi Open University and the Vice Chancellor of the Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkata.Meanwhile, talking to The Assam Tribune, Education Minister Ripun Bora, who also attended the inaugural session of the two-day meet, said that the Open University should try to include job oriented courses in its curriculum, which in turn, would help in easing the problem of unemployment and prevent the militant groups from luring the frustrated and unemployed youths to their folds. He said that the Open University would go a long way in improving the standard of education as a good number of youths of Assam and other parts of the region were forced to give up their studies because of poverty or other reasons and such students would be able to pursue their careers.Bora said that the State Government is of the view that the Open University should give stress on imparting agro-based courses and other special courses to provide employment opportunities to the youths of the State. He admitted that it might be difficult to impart courses like Information Technology through distant education, but the University would be able to provide other job oriented courses.The Education Minister said that the Vice Chancellor of the University joined only in December and after the preparation of the road map and curriculum, the enrolment in the Open University should start in the middle of July. The other issues like the number of students to be enrolled and other issues are also yet to be finalized. “However, we want to proceed slowly and increase the capacity in a phased manner,” he added.On the funding pattern to the Open University, Bora said that the State Government provided an initial grant for the initial costs of the establishment of the University, while, the National Distant Education Council also provided a grant. However, ultimately the Open University should be a self-sustaining one, Bora added.

DU introduces job-oriented courses
DERGAON, July 3 – The Dibrugarh University has introduced several new job-oriented courses. Among the new courses are postgraduate diploma in tourism management, postgraduate diploma in rural development, postgraduate diploma in NGO management, BSc in information technology, postgraduate in tea technology, master of library and information science, rural development as a core subject in BA course, five years integrated law etc. The BCom courses have been redesigned in which papers like E-commerce, human resources management etc have been included.Education should be related to the present needs of the people. Though the sense of ‘devotion’ is necessary in education but this should be assimilated with the knowledge. Without present knowledge studies do not have any relevance.And hence Dibrugarh University has introduced several new courses which are job-oriented. This was stated by Dr Kulendu Pathak, the Vice-Chancellor of Dibrugarh University while releasing the latest edition of Satramanjari the megazine of Asom Satra Mahasabha, in a public meeting on Saturday at DKD College, Dergaon. Regarding the education policy, the VC opined that schools and colleges should do something for their existence. Otherwise the private institutions will replace the government institutions.The latest edition of the megazine was dedicated to late Harakanta Mahanta, founder principal of DKD College. Noted educationists Dimbeswar Dayal Sarmah, Jogen Chetia etc took part. Pradyut Mahanta, president of Dergaon-Missamara Satra Sanmelan, highlighted the life and activities of Late Harakanta Mahanta. The family members of late Mahanta were also present.

Job avenues of corporate sector highlighted
GUWAHATI, July 1 – The Darwin School of Business here in association with Intellectual Resource Training Pvt Ltd of Bangalore recently organised a day-long workshop on, ‘Certified recruitment professional programme, a press release stated.The workshop was conducted by Pankaj Gupta, alumni of IIM-Bangalore and a renowned corporate human resource trainer. The workshop dealt in details, about the recruitment policies across industry verticals and product on services lines.This was the first-ever workshop of its kind in Guwahati. In fact, IRTPL is the only organisation in the country which deals extensively and exclusively on this subject. The workshop was attended by human resource professionals from various organisations, including HDFC Bank, IIE, ICICI Bank and Standard Chartered, besides 50 other participants.The participants asked the organisers to conduct more such sessions in specific fields in future so that they could learn more about the prevalent practices nationwide. It may be mentioned that Gupta may visit the city again next month.

US govt keen to help improve higher education in Assam’
TEZPUR, June 30 – Public affairs officer of American Consulate General of Kolkata and director of the American Centre, Douglas G Kelly, along with Karuna Singh, Programme Manager and Rai Barua information assistant were felicitated during their recent visit at the office of Sonitpur Journalists Union by Pranab Sinha, Sanjiv Hazarika, and NM Tibrewala president, working president and vice president respectively.Kelly in his speech thanked all the members of SJU and said that the deterioration of the environment has caused ecological imbalance. He said that unabated deforestation is one of the causes of man-elephant conflict due to which elephants are causing harm to life and property of the villagers. He also said that killing of wildlife is a heinous crime.Kelly said he will meet representatives of WWF and discuss with them the local problems regarding wildlife protection. Regarding upgradation of educational system in the north-eastern state, Kelly said that government of America is very much keen to provide its helping hand for improvement of higher education in this region. He said that he will meet the representatives of Tezpur University and Arunachal University at Tezpur and Itanagar, to know about their requirements. The American government is ready to send their educational experts to these universities to teach them higher courses of modern education system.When asked about the ULFA problem prevail in the State, Kelly strongly said that, “We oppose any kind of terrorism and violence. Government of America has already kept ULFA in their terrorist list. Since it is the internal problem of the State, Government of India should discuss with different bodies to solve this problem.” When asked regarding violence of human rights in Manipur, he replied that it is up to the government of India to look into the matter.Kelly said, ‘this is my first visit to this region and I am very much impressed to see the greenary and the natural beauty everywhere here. Appreciating the beauty of Tezpur town specially ‘Chitralekha Uddyan’, he said, he will love to come here again.

Ashadeep – a ray of hope for school dropouts
BARPETA, July 17 – With a view to make education accessible to all children in the age group of 6-14 Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) has adopted and implemented several effective schemes under its ‘Certain education to all’ programmes. It has established ‘Amar Parhasali, in the areas where there is no school, residential bridge schools etc. If a child in the age group of 10-14 desists from or is deprived from going to school whatever the reason he is bound to do something.“We must return them their due adolescence for which purpose Ashadeep is exactly designed for. Ashadeep the residential bridge schools are regarded as the best shelter for the school drop-outs by all sections of people”. This was disclosed by Pratik Hajela, Director, SSA Assam while addressing the open meeting to commemorate the fourth anniversary of Ashadeep Chenga in Barpeta district recently. Hajela informed the gathering including press persons that Ashadeep Chenga has been adjudged the best among ten such centres in the state. He congratulated all those associated with this centre on this tremendous feat. He was also very candid in expressing his thanks and gratitude and sanctioned an increase of 50 students in this centre effective from this year itself. Further he announced an enhancement of the value of food given to the inmates daily to Rs 15 from the existing Rs 12 with effect from July 1.It may be mentioned that Sarba Siksa had established ten Ashadeep centres in nine districts of the State from 2003-04. The director informed in course of his deliberation that till now 3030 school dropouts has been admitted in these centres out of which 1959 have successfully completed the course and undergoing study in formal education system.Addressing the meeting presided over by Akshay Kumar Mishra, ex-president of Barpeta District Sahitya Sabha and editor of Electronics news channel ‘Asom Barta’, MLA Dr Tata Prasad Das urged the SSA to establish such education centres exclusively for female dropouts. Rajib Lochan Duwarah deputy commissioner, Barpeta was amazed by the performance of Ashadeep, Chenga and assured all further possible help.In his presidential address, Akshay Kr Mishra stated that providing proper education to the child is the most difficult of all jobs and the positive role of SSA in this regard cannot be ignored. He exhorted the journalists to become like honey bees and spread the message of SSA to every nook and corner. He also donated a packet of books to the library of Ashadeep Chenga.Ex-president of Barpeta Zila Parishad Jayanti Das and SSA State Co-ordinator Kandarpa Kalita also spoke on the occasion. Ashadeep students performed vocal and instrumental songs like lyrics by Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad and Bishnu Rabha and folk-song like ‘Mohoho’. State Director Hajela District Co-ordinator Nibaran Das and asstt co-ordinator Sadullah Khan distributed the prizes to students who showed excellence in various sports and cultural events this year.

Minister stresses asset creation through job-generating schemes
BARPETA, July 18 – “There is no end to development. Our government led by Tarun Gogoi has done a lot for the well-being of the people– but still a lot has to be done. For this, we need people’s co-operation. Gap between the public and government is detrimental to development.” This was stated by Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Chandan Brahma while addressing a public meeting on the occasion of inaugur-ation of the new building of Sarukshetri Development Block in Barpeta district on Saturday. He said that present government has decentralised power in the true sense of the term and with this aim in view, transferred the powers of as many as 26 departments to Panchayat with functionary and funds.Brahma asked the people to utilise the provisions of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) to improve their standard of living. “There is no dearth of funds for rural development. We want specific plans for implementation. He stressed on the need for asset creation through there employment generating schemes.Addressing the gathering, Dr Bhumidhar Barman described the development activities of the present government especially in road connecting. He paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the freedom movement who scarified their lives to fight against the misrule of British government. He assured the public that a permanent statue would be built at the venue of Raijmel– the popular movement to protest the hike in land revenue in the Barpeta subdivision of erstwhile Kamrup district.Presided over by Tara Prasad Das, who in his welcome address, highlighted the problems of East Barpeta and urged the government to take all possible steps to mitigate the suffering of the people. He thanked Chandam Brahma for extending all help in transferring the office to the own Building which was functioning from a rented house since March 23, 1990, after its formal inauguration by Ganesh Kutum the then Minister of Panchayat and Rural Development.The meeting was also addressed by Dildar Rezza, parliamentary secretary, Home Affairs, and Deputy Commissioner, Barpeta, Rajib Lochan Duwarah, Maneswar Brahma, MLA, Barama constituency, was also present in the meeting.

Bid to boost education in char, tea garden areas
GUWAHATI, July 19 — The State Government will be implementing a special project with support from the UNICEF to give a boost to the poor educational scenario in tea gardens and char areas. The scheme, to be implemented under the Sarbashiksha Abhijan Mission, will seek to address related problems such as school dropout, health and nutrition of children, etc., plaguing primary education in tea tribe- and minority-dominated areas. At the moment, there are 2,122 schools, 945 centres under Education Guarantee Scheme, 1,748 Sanjogi Shiksha Kendra in areas inhabited by tea tribes and former tea tribes. The figures for char and minority-dominated areas are 3,930 schools, 3,484 centres under Education Guarantee Scheme, 4,413 Sanjogi Shiksha Kendra and two residential ‘Ashadeep’ schools. The decision was taken at the first State-level review meeting of Sarbashiksha Abhijan chaired by Education Minister Ripun Bora on Wednesday.Official sources said that the meeting took several important decisions, including a directive to the district mission officers to submit utilization certificates on construction of additional classrooms by July 31, failing which they are to refund the non-utilized funds to the State Government. An amount of Rs 3.2 crore has been utilized in the construction of 15,999 additional classrooms in the State in the current financial year. The meeting also decided institute inquiries into complaints of poor construction of school buildings in Tinsukia and other districts. The stress on effective implementation of Sarbashiksha Abhijan in tea tribe and minority-dominated areas comes after the realization that it was crucial to the success of the mission, the sources said.Meanwhile, the State Government has announced a grant of Rs 2.20 crore to 156 provincialized Sanskrit and Madrassa educational institutions, which will be made available to the institutions within this month. In the current year, 326 non-provincialized madrassas and Sanskrit tols have already received a grant of Rs. 2.66 crore.

Present job market affecting research works in State’
NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Aug 13 – “Our present age has seen talented students going for salaried jobs offered by the MNCs for which no talents are required. This way, the creamy layer of our future generation is spoiled by the job market initiated for the protection of the WTO regime.” This was the view on the present trend of education by Prasanta Rajguru, executive editor of Amar Asom while addressing the students of Lakhimpur Commerce College as chief guest on the occasion of its freshers’ social on August 4.He said that the present generation is completely entangled by the neo-imperialistic market regime of the World Trade Organisation and regretted that our students have fallen in the traps set up by them. He said that the talented students were now joining the MNCs and engaged mostly in call centres and other BPOs where there was no place for academic talents. As a result, higher studies, research works, which need talents, have been badly affected by the new system. Therefore he appealed to the students to utilise their talents to survive in this competitive world with an enterprising attitude.Earlier, the main function of the fresher’s social was inaugurated by Brajen Sharma Baruah, ex-principal of Lakhimpur Commerce College. The opening session of the function was chaired by Dr MC Baruah, Principal, Lakhimpur Commerce College.The chief editor of cultural monthly magazine, Asomiya Sa-Re-Ga-Ma, Janardan Goswami, attended the function as the appointed speaker.A research scholar from Kyoto University, Y Hashada, also attended the meeting as an invited guest. The local MLA, Ghana Borgohain, who also attended the function, announced that cash rewards would be given to the meritorious students from the college from his area development fund who would hold positions in the Higher Secondary and Three Year Degree course under the Dibrugarh University. The meeting was also attended by Dr HK Baurah, the ex-principal of Lakhimpur Commerce College.On the same day, freshers’ social was held in North Lakhimpur College. Noted social worker Hem Bhai attended the function as chief guest. The local MLA, Ghana Buragohain presented awards to the meritorious students of the college, Bidyut Bora, third position holder in HS final in Arts 2007 and Prasurya Gogoi, best graduate, Dibrugarh University.Meanwhile, the academically concerned citizens of North Lakhimpur have expressed their contentment at the brilliant results shown by various colleges of this town. In the recently announced results of TDC Part-III Examinations of the Dibrugarh University, Prasurya Gogoi of North Lakhimpur College passed as the best graduate in the Arts stream of the university by securing first class first in Geography with distinction. Similarly, Dipankar Roy, Navaroon Sharma, Madhumaya Aggarwal, Kavita Harlalka, Joy Prakash Rathi and Priyanka Mundra of Lakhimpur Commerce College passed the examination by securing first classes in Accountancy with distinction. The college also showed excellent results with pass percentage of over 95.Demanded: A North Lakhimpur-based youth organisation of the religious minority, Asom Sankhyalaghu Yuva Chatra Parishad, has demanded the removal of the Dorjee Khandu Government in Arunachal Pradesh for recent expulsion of the religious minority community from the State as foreigners.In a press release, the secretary and president of the organisation, Abu Sayed Abdul Qadir and Zia-ur-Rahman alleged that atrocities mounting to severe human rights violation were made against the community by the police and the members of the Arunachal Pradesh Students Union while expelling them as Bangladeshis. They said that the community of the religious minority had been picked up by the Arunachali people from various parts of Assam to be engaged as agricultural workers, domestic help and other labours since a long time. In the course of time the community expanded in Arunachal Pradesh and began doing small trades and business as well as agricultural works by obtaining valid Inner Line Permits.The release also said that the community which hails from the various parts of Assam where their ancestors have been living before the Partition, have obtained voting rights on Arunachal Pradesh by enlisting their names there and supported the Congress party which is now at the office of the government at Itanagar. But the communally motivated agenda of the Dorjee Khandu government has expelled them as Bangladeshis. To protest this the AJYCP staged a demonstration at the Assam-Arunachal entry point of Banderdewa on August 4 and sent a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

IIT-G to receive $75,000 worth technology grant
GUWAHATI, Aug 2 – Though higher education is growing along with the economic boom in the country, shortage of faculty has hit the higher education scenario necessitating the use of technology to fill the void of teachers. This observation was made by Prof Gautam Barua, director, IIT, Guwahati on Thursday while interacting with media persons. Prof Barua also said that use of technology would greatly improve the teaching process. It may be mentioned here that IIT, Guwahati has been selected by Hewlett-Packard for its technology for teaching grants to transform the method of teaching. The institute will receive approximately US$75,000 worth of technology such as HP tablet PCs, external storage and optical drives, wireless networking cards and printers etc.Prof Barua said that the selection for the technology grant would do away with the barriers between the learners and the teachers, and open up new possibilities for teaching and learning.On the other hand, Prof Barua while dwelling at length on the initiatives taken by IIT, Guwahati for its students said that the institute was keen to have interaction with various industries so that the students get the exposure to the things happening in the sector lately. P.Ravindranath, director, Government and public affairs, HP, India Sales, announced that the company would help IIT, Guwahati establish a mobile learning (m-learning) centre where students taking computer science and IT courses can access content using hand held computers. The centre will maintain a portal and a digital library and assist with content management and development using an m-learning authoring tool. Through an online portal, students will have centralized access to lecture notes, discussion forum and online quizzes.“IIT, Guwahati has successfully demonstrated how HP mobile technology can be integrated to redesign key courses to enhance teaching and student learning,” said Ravindranath, adding that HP technology for teaching initiatives was aimed at supporting the development of mobile technology environment in higher educational institutions.This year 13 universities in the Asia Pacific and Japan region have been selected for the HP technology for teaching grants, IIT, Guwahati being the only institute selected from India. IIT, Guwahati’s submission was reviewed by a panel comprising of representatives from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and mobile technology experts from HP. The 13 winning universities will get the chance to exchange ideas in the early part of 2008.

Wipro BPO, GU to host mega job fair for students
GUWAHATI, Aug 24 – Wipro BPO, the BPO arm of global IT giant Wipro, and Gauhati University have joined hands to host a mega job fair for students of the University. This is the first ever partnership at this scale in the North Eastern part of the country.The job fair will be held on August 25 from 2 pm to 7 pm and August 26 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Phanidhar Dutta Memorial Hall at the GU campus. Students of any one of the colleges affiliated to the Gauhati University can apply and should be at least 18 years of age and possess basic English communication skills. Interested candidates are requested to be present during the events and take part in the job fair. For those who may need some guidance on the BPO industry and the career opportunity with Wipro BPO, the company is also organizing an orientation session on August 25.Announcing the partnership, V Anand Kumar, Vice President – People Supply Chain & Employee Branding of Wipro BPO said, “It is our privilege to join hands with Gauhati University, one of India’s most reputed universities, and offer career opportunities to the students. We are always on the outlook to partner with quality institutes to meet our rapid growth of talent.”

Entrepreneural skills to help small tea growers
DIBRUGARH, Aug 18 – Amidst raging price fluctuations, escalating costs of production and lower yields of green tea leaves, most of the economic woes of the small tea growers can be erased only if the small growers learn to be better entrepreneurs. A livelihood is sustainable for the tea growers if it can recover from stress and shocks (local, domestic and international) and increases its competency in the global market. The Centre for Education and Communication (CEC), a Delhi-based non-governmental organisation, which has taken the challenge to empower and encourage the tea growers and its workers, has underlined.CEC believes that proper approach and ambitious yet applicable strategies could bring considerable change in the economy of the almost frustrated tea growers. The programmes the CEC harps on are part that will empower tea growers to cope with continued economic and ecological crisis, changes in the market structure due to globalization.The CEC which claims to have made a study on the whole aspect of tea in India feels every contributors of the supply chain should have share equal to their contribution, adding, only that can be a good business. To begin with its empowerment programme, CEC is primarily focusing on getting all the small tea growers in groups- self help groups to encourage community enterprises. The organization is also imparting orientation and training to the self-help groups already formed. The trainings are part of the project "sustainable livelihood for small tea growers and workers in India".The objectives behind the formation of societies of the Tea Board of India (TBI) are extension-technology and information dissemination, leaf collection, storage and transportation, procurement and supply of inputs such as fertilizers, plant protection chemicals, sprayers, pruning machines, irrigation equipments etc to the members of society.To ensure these objectives, according to Utpal Kumar Mishra, field officer, CEC, understanding among members, knowledge on cultivation and market trends, transparency and proper accounting system, records maintenance, learning mind-set from the scientific system of tea maintenance, and avoiding middlemen are must.The CEC with the logistical support from the All Assam Small Tea Growers Association (AASTGA) has been conducting series of trainings among the new and old societies in co-ordination with regional committees under Borboruah, Lahoal, Belbari, Tengakhat, Barekuri in Dibrugarh district as well as neighbouring Tinsukia district. As the central committee representative, Diban Phukan, publicity secretary, AASTGA is attending the programme along with Mishra, the field officer, CEC.During the initial research, the CEC found that many societies were not in the track (interest conflict, poor cultivation practices, lack of basic information and understanding about tea industry). “It was observed that growers even though are society members do not understand the basic objective behind the formation of societies (SHG)”, Mishra shared while interacting with *The Assam Tribune*.The issues like, importance of society, activities of TBI and Tea Research Asociation (TRA), importance of quality, auction system of tea, marketing of tea, supply chain of tea, improvement in bargaining are being covered during the orientation programme.CEC believes that communities are both subjects and objects of change and they have much strength to change into vigorous communities. "They really need the ideas and knowledge to understand about their own role and situation in the tea industry," Mishra said.

IT potential in NE immense
GUWAHATI, Sept 5 – The Information Technology (IT) industry should not be misled by the false portrayal of the North East as a region beset with terrorism and insurgency. Large swathes of the region have impeccable law and order situation and the Department for Development of the North Eastern region (DoNER) and the states of the region should take appropriate measures to dispel such notion from the minds of the potential investors. This was the observation made in a sectoral summit organized by the DoNER recently.The summit observed that the IT industry is growing at an overwhelming pace and India has established its position as one of the world leaders in the offshore market. Availability of skilled manpower is one of the keys to the growth of the industry and the North East, which is rich in English-speaking educated manpower, can form the backbone of the industry in the days to come. The region has the potential to attract IT industries and such industries should also take advantage of the availability of human resources to set up industries in the region.The summit was of the view that the States of the region should make endeavours to develop themselves as the preferred destinations for the IT industry by creating the right environment and taking up appropriate policies. Quality infrastructure must be created to develop the region as a viable and attractive destination and the states must give priority to the use of IT to list the quality of life of the people, particularly of the rural areas. The states should take appropriate measures for promotion of local entrepreneurship in the IT sector and a scholarship based system for identifying, nurturing and promoting IT talents should be introduced.However, as on date, some drawbacks affected the development of adequate IT trained manpower in the North East. The summit observed that the number of individual Internet connections in the region is only about 50,0000, which is woefully inadequate. The bandwidth connectivity in the region is poor and the cost is very high compared to the rest of the country. But the Government is planning to cover all the states of the region with state-wide area network scheme 2Mbps connectivity by March, 2008.The summit observed that the North East region does not have adequate training facilities in IT and related skills. Even the private institutions are not adequate in numbers and they cover only the cities and towns, as a result of which, the youths of the rural areas have very little opportunity to get training in IT. The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) has helped three states in setting up IT parks in Guwahati, Imphal and Gangtok with assistance from the NEC, but the number of such parks is still insufficient and there is urgent need for setting up of more such parks in the region. The total export of IT related products from the region is insignificant so far.There is a link between the IT and hospitality industries, but that has not been utilized properly in the North East and the states should try to develop both IT and tourism infrastructure side by side, the summit observed.
Medical University bill gets House nod GUWAHATI, March 30 – The Assam Assembly today passed the Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences Bill, 2007. The legislation has provided for establishment and incorporation of a health university in the State and for the matters connected with it.Replying to the debate on the Bill, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the relaxation therapy, meditation and Yoga therapy were covered by the Bill. But, biotechnology has been excluded from the purview of the university as there are biotechnology courses in Dibrugarh and Gauhati Universities. However, in course of time, he said, if medical science related developments take place in the subject, that part would be brought under the purview of the university.The vision of the University was such in the Bill that superspeciality subjects would also be covered by it. On the issue of lack of infrastructure for research activities, Sarma said that an amendment would be brought later on to incorporate such provisions.Sarma also moved an amendment to the Bill incorporating in it the provision that the Governor would be the Chancellor of the University in case of emergency and President’s rule are clamped. Originally, it proposed the Chief Minister as the Chancellor of the University.The Minister said that the University would be able to affiliate all forms of colleges whether private , public or private-public participation or charitable in nature. This will be stated more categorically in the regulation being framed under the legislation. He also accepted the suggestion offered by AGP’s Keshab Mahanta that the academic registrar should be the convenor of the academic council of the University.In reply to a suggestion from Pranab Kalita (Ind) that the name of the University should be as Sankara-Madhava university, the Minister said that the name of Madhavadeva was spared for another occasion. He assured that within the next six months, the Government would start the university. Dr Aditya Langthasa (AUDF), Dr Rumi Nath (BJP), Keshab Mahanta (AGP) and Pranab Kalita (Ind) took part in the discussion on the Bill.

Private varsity bill passed in House
GUWAHATI, March 30 – The State Assembly today passed the Assam Private University Bill, 2007 considering a number of amendments moved by Opposition members. The enactment of the Bill has paved the way for establishment and incorporation of private universities in the State for imparting higher education and to regulate their functions.Education Minister Ripun Bora , while replying to the debate on the Bill, said that the Bill was prepared under the provisions of the UGC Act and it had incorporated the provisions for AICTU , MCI, BCI , Pharmacy Council and all other like organizations’ concurrence required for introducing courses and subjects etc by the private universities.It has also provided for good infrastructure facilities and procurement of equipment etc by the sponsors, phased outlays of capital expenditure, nature and type of programmes of study and research proposed by the sponsors etc as mandatory conditions for setting up of private universities. The Bill also calls for adequate enrolment and spacious campus for the proposed universities besides, adequate number of lecturers to suit their size and capacity.Though the Bill has made it clear that state government would not be liable to support the sponsors financially, it has kept the sponsors’ option to secure such support from the UGC and Government of India. The Bill has proposed that the “visitor” who is the Governor of Assam, can call for any paper from the sponsors and issue directives , which would be binding on the universities. The Education Minister accepted the suggestion of independent member Pranab Kalita to insert a provision for settling the disputes of the Government with the sponsors of such universities within the geographical boundary of the state.AGP member Keshab Mahanta and AGP (P) member Prafulla Kumar Mahanta also took part in the debates besides, Pranab Kalita.

New English school for poor meritorious students
ITAKHOLA, Jan 2 – Gyanam, a fully education-oriented NGO of Jamugurihat of Sonitpur district is going to start a new English medium school at Jamugurihat from the beginning of the new year 2007 with the aim to help some of the economically backward but meritorious students of the greater Naduar area.It is to be noted that the newly form NGO of Jamugurihat area ‘Gyanam’ has already helped some meritorious but economically poor students in getting their education freely by providing economic help. But, the members of the organisation later resolved that they would open a new English medium school in Jamugurihat area–with the name ‘Saptarshi’ with limited seats where some of its seats would be reserved for meritorious but economically backward students of the area. Already all the preparations of the new school has been completed, informed Hemanta Bora, the secretary of Gyanam.Bora has also informed that the school would be opened till Class V in the beginning that gradually it would be upgraded to the class X.People of the greater Naduar area of Sonitpur district hailed the decision of ‘Gyanam’ to open a new educational institution in an educationally backward area like Jamugurihat.

Bangalore emerging as centre of Assamese culture
SIPAJHAR, Feb 26 – Bangalore is emerging as a centre of Assamese cultural and literary activities in Karnataka. The large number of Assamese students, software engineers and security employees residing in there. Significantly a large number of students from Assam go their for their studies.In Bangalore, there are three organisations which are involved in propagation of Assamese culture and literature. These are Assam-Bangalore Coordination Forum, Assam Society of Bangalore and Pratidhawni. ABC Forum was formed in February 1, 2004, Assam Society was formed in 1997 and Pratidhawni was formed on December 18. The ABC Forum is registered under the Registrar of Societies, Karnataka having regd. number-1239/ 2004-2005. It was formed with the hope of providing a common platform for the Assamese people around the world to exchange ideas and discuss matters of common interest. It has a mission to organise social and cultural activities for a better under standing of the historical cultural and social aspects of Assam and support activities related to preserving, fostering and protecting the culture, heritage and rights of the Assamese people at home and abroad.Besides organising cultural and get togethers of Assamese people in Bangalore it co-operates with other organisations having similar objectives within Bangalore or anywhere in the world.One of the significant feature of its activities is ‘Kalpataru’ which is open gathering held on the first Sunday morning (10 am to 12 noon) of every month in Cubbon Park to open all channels of communication and bring all the Assamese people in Bangalore much closer to each other in their thought, spirit and as well as in their deed. The name ‘Kalpataru’ was suggested by Dilip Bharatee and started on January 8, 2005.In this programme one can arrange and present songs, poetry recitation, story reading, talks and knowledge sharing sessions etc. It may be noted here that it has objective to learn Kannada language and devote half an hour for such learning. The Forum launched its website on September 9, 2004. BM Gogoi and Arnab Lahar Borkakati are serving the Forum as president and secretary respectively.Talking to this correspondent Borkakati informed that plans are also on to opening a branch of Asam Sahitya Sabha in Bangalore and also publish a half yearly magazine in collaboration with Assam Society of Bangalore wherein Barkakati is the president and Mayur Borgohain is the secretary. This organisation provides guidance to students in admission and appointment related informations and such others and also celebrate Bihu. Since its very inception, the organisation is committed to the cause of Assam.‘Pratidhawni, an organisation formed by a group of individuals residing in Bangalore who have their roots in Assam with has as its main objective propagation of Assamese culture and encourage the new generation to learn those as informed by Sourav Malla Bora, one of the main organiser and treasurer of the organisation. Lakhi Narayan Phukan is the advisor and Bedabrata Sarma is the secretary of cultural wing. The Magh Bihu was recently celebrated in Bangalore with various performance and sports at St Aloysis Junior College playground, Cox Town with a day-long programme. Renowned singer Zubeen Garg enthralled the audience in the cultural function organised on the occasion. The Bihu and Husari was performed by Dikhowparia Bihu troupe of Assam. MP Sangalia was attended the function as chief guest and lauded the efforts of the organisers on cultural integration.Prabhu-Syam Charitable Trust: the Prabhu-Syam Charitable Trust formed in the year 2004 has earned popularity due to its charitable services rendered for the good cause of the society.The trust’s social activities concerning mainly for the needy sections of the society provide timely relief to the people during the times of floods in Darrang district. The trust has distributed woollen garments to poor people in Jonaram Chowka, Ramhari and Duni in Darrang district.Recently, the trust gave away text books to all together 150 students of Duni area of class VIII - X. Under its social obligation scheme it has contributed an ambulance to Mangaldai Lions Club and organised free eye-check-up camp at Mangaldai in collaboration with Y-Mens Club and selected 150 poor patients who were operated upon for cataract removal at Sankardev Nethralaya free of cost. Prabhu Agarwala, reputed businessman who stands as a moving spirit of trust says that sole objective of it is serve the humanity. It is going to organise a yoga camp at Mangaldai on the principles of Guru Ramdev.Indian values stressed: The Satradhikar of Uttar Kamalabari Satra has stressed on the following of noble spiritualistic principles of Indian Civilisation. Janardan Dev Goswami, Satradhikar expressed grave concern over the growing interest towards western customs. He was addressing an informal meeting with the members of Doulguri Jnan Uday Puthibharal while they recently visited the satra. Talking to them, he also spoke about the history and religious and cultural activities of Satra. He donated books to the Puthibharal.The library members in their visit to Majuli also visited Aauniati, Kamalabari and Garmur Satra. Karuna Bora offered guidance in this regard. Altogether 35 members comprising both male, female and children participated in the visit of Majuli.
State zoo turning into major research centre GUWAHATI, March 11 – Slowly the Assam State Zoo is being transformed to embrace a larger range of objectives. The artificial refuge of more than 700 species of wildlife, the facility is now being shaped into a major research arena, which could further help educate the masses on various aspects of biodiversity. Spread over 175 hectare, the State Zoo is now in the midst of a complete overhaul with bigger, scientifically constructed enclosures replicating the natural habitat of the residents, better information dispensing equipment, and more research activities, especially involving wildlife difficult to study in their natural habitat.Narayan Mahanta the zoo DFO told The Assam Tribune that the facility has been expanded to meet the objectives of captive breeding, research and education, apart from conservation of flora and fauna, which has already been there. “The stress is on research on the endemic wildlife of the North East, many of which are rare and endangered. Captive breeding programmes are already going on and among those which have been successful concern the one-horned rhino, tiger, golden langur, jungle cat to name a few. Plans are on to increase the number of species, which could be bred in captivity.Students and researchers from different parts of India have gradually appreciated the changing profile of the zoo. Various colleges from Assam, and university researchers, some from outside the State, have found the zoo conducive for carrying out research activities.There are compelling reasons for the zoo gaining in popularity in academic circles. Not only is it one of the large zoos of the country, but it has a rare assemblage of more than 45 species which are rare and endangered. The zoo has provided ample scope for studying the behavior of certain species, which otherwise would have become a difficult challenge in the natural habitat.Significantly, the zoo has now even given the opportunity for wildlife lovers to ‘adopt’ select individuals. The move has ensured better ties between the zoo and the public while at the same time secure more funds for the welfare of its residents.

Research institute in NE
NEW DELHI, March 9 – Union Minister for Earth Sciences, Kapil Sibal today disclosed that a research institute is proposed to be set up to study seismic activities. Responding to a question by Sarbananda Sonowal in a Lok Sabha discussion, Sibal said that the NER was in Zone V, seismic map of the country. He said his Ministry has sought funds from the Finance Ministry for setting up the Institute to survey the seismic activities in the North-East.Broadly, Zone- V comprises entire North-East, parts of Jammu and Kashimir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, and parts of North Bihar. The Bureau of Indian Standards based on various scientific inputs from a number of agencies has grouped the country into four seismic zones. Of this Zone – V is the most seismically active region, while Zone – II is the least.Earlier Sonowal referring to the devastating earthquake of 1950s, wanted to know about the fate of the proposal submitted by Assam Science Society for setting up Advanced Warning System.Meanwhile, the Minister denied that submergence of the two Islands in Sunderban area on Indo-Bangladesh border had anything to do with rising sea level. The Satellite imageries did not map two Islands namely Suparibhanga and Lohacharra. The submergence of the Islands and coastal areas is a complex process where several factors are involved.Observations show that there is no significant sea level rise in the recent past. Global warming and seal level rise are global phenomenon, which are complex in nature. Coordinated efforts are being undertaken under world bodies to sensitise against consumption of hydrocarbon and looking for alternative energy sources.

NE youths carving niche in corporate world’
GUWAHATI, March 18 – “Breaking the moulds of identity crisis and overcoming the confinement to itself, the working population of Northeast is proving itself to the world like never before,” remarked the renowned journalist Shekhar Gupta addressing the youths in the city on Saturday. “Gradually, the working population from the region is increasing their strength in the corporate and other sectors in the metros and they are not looked as ‘aliens’ among their colleagues in the other parts of the country,” he told while answering the queries of the students and young professionals in the ‘Shaping Young Minds Programme’ of the All India Management Association. Boosting the morale of the future generation from the State and the region, the intellectual icon of the country, gave them lessons into ‘attitude towards success’ in the programme at Rabindra Bhawan.“The ethos of development is not confined to the elite people now like in the past and the middle class population are also coming up to take their share in the apple-pie of progress,” he said. Emphasising on the developmental aspects of the NE region, he said that the region needs necessary infrastructure to support the economic activities. Noted journalist Chandan Mitra conveyed that destiny, self-confidence and ambition are the key to success and one should be highly ambitious in order to attain the desired goal. The students also got the inspirational vibes from Dr Mukundakam Sarma, the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court who had most of his education in Shillong and Guwahati and had worked as an advocate in Assam and Nagaland. In the first session of the programme, Dipak C Jain of Kellog School of Management narrated his life story that how he rose from a small town in Assam to teach in one of the noted institutions in United States. The AIMA and Guwahati Management Association organised the programme, which was moderated by Subir Raha, president of GMA and the welcome speech was delivered by Maj Gen GK Nischol on behalf of AIMA. The interactive session was participated by the students of educational institutions of Northeast and professionals.

Guwahati IIT to do feasibility work
NEW DELHI, March 14 – Faced with the demand to declare Brahmaputra river as an international waterway and Dhubri as an international port, Union Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister TR Baalu said IIT Guwahati has been assigned the job of preparing a feasibility study for development of infrastructure facilities. Amidst serious apprehension over availability of funds to make Brahmaputra waterway fully functional, the Minister said that an Action Plan has been prepared with an additional cost of Rs 203.10 crore. The Action Plan envisages a fairway with 2m/1.5 m depth, 24-hour navigational aids and judicious mix of fixed and floating terminals, Baalu said in the Lok Sabha during a Question Hour discussion.Specified projects have been identified and the Action Plan is targeted to be implemented by March 31, 2009, subject to availability of funds, the Minister said.However, when members expressed their dismay at the inordinate delay in reviving the Brahmaputra waterway project, Baalu sought to clear the doubts by disclosing that during last fiscal Rs 52 crore has been sanctioned. This year Rs 70 crore would be made available. Funds would not be a constraint,” the Minister further assured.The Minister further added that the Government of India has spend Rs 130 crore till last fiscal in developing the waterway, which has been declared as National Waterway No 2 in 1988. A lot of attention is being given to the project. “We have appointed IIT Guwahati to conduct the feasibility study as there was some differences over location of Dubri port,” he added.The feasibility report is to be submitted before March 31 and Government would go ahead after that, he said.The Brahmaputra waterway stretches 800 km from Sadiya to Dhubri and is being developed by Inland Water Authority of India. The project involves development of inland water infrastructure facilities including navigational aids and terminals.Earlier, Basudev Acharya said that during the past 10 years, the waterway has not been developed. It is the demand of the people of Coach Bihar and Assam to make the waterway fully functional. Dhubri used to be an important port during the pre-independence era, he added.He asked the Government of India whether it has received any proposal from Government of Assam to develop Brahmaputra as an international waterway and Dhubri as international port.He also mentioned that a delegation of Brahmaputra Waterway Demand Committee had recently met the Prime Minister in this regard.Meanwhile, in response to a separate reply, the Minister conceded that Bangladeshi vessels have outnumbered Indian vessel in transporting goods. Since Bangladeshi vessels are cheaper, Indian vessels are not able to compete, Baalu concluded.Bangladeshi vessels are more economical in the tidal zone as they have lower cost of construction, less cost of manning, and the bunker used by them is also cheaper.Article 18 of the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade provide for sharing of the carriage of inter-country trade and transit cargo on equal tonnage basis. Cargo transportation on Protocol route has increased substantially in the last three years, he added.Currently as against 95 Bangladeshi vessels, 10 Indian vessel are under operation on Kolkata-Haldia-Narayanganj sector of Inland waterway. However, on Kolkata-Haldia-Pandu and Kolkata-Haldia-Karimganj sectors mostly Indian vessels ply.

Job prospects in IT field highlighted
GUWAHATI, Sept 11 – Multibyte Computers, a pioneer of computer education in NE, celebrated its 19th annual day on September 3 at Vivekananda Kendra’s auditorium here, informs a press release.The celebration was marked by discussions on IT-related topics as well as formulation of career strategies of the students and cultural events and was largely attended by enthusiastic students, guardians and professionals from various fields.The chief guest of the function was Tilottoma Barua former director, Secondary Education and a recipient of various prestigious awards. The guests of honour were PJ Baruah Executive Editor of The Assam Tribune, Atanu Saikia, Programme Executive in Doordarshan Kendra, Guwahati, P Gaggar a renewed Chartered Accountant of Guwahati, Kumar Bhaskarjyoti a popular writer cum journalist and Nishita Goswami, an artiste of Assamese film industry.Tilottoma Barua, in her address advised the students to work hard and prepare themselves to adjust to the change that has overwhelmed the Indian economy.PJ Baruah, in his address, advised the students to inculcate will power and be objective-oriented and hard-working.Atanu Saikia, in his address stated that one should always be enthusiastic enough to acquire knowledge in the IT field.P Gaggar in his address highlighted the importance of computerized accounting.Kumar Bhaskarjyoti also addressed the students and expressed that the computers should be used for good purpose and for increasing productivity.Nishita Goswami in her address encouraged the students and blessed them for a successful career in the IT field.Mamoni Barthakur, director, Multibyte Computers highlighted the role of Multibyte in spreading computer education in the North East during the last 19 years. She also highlighted about the job prospects in the IT field.Multibyte, as a part of the community development scheme will be offering free computer education and books to the economically backward students of North East India from November. Professional camps and workshops in various fields will be conducted for the benefit of the students from October.The ‘Best Student’ award (year 2007) went to Nivedita Sinha while Nobin Deuri won the ‘Best Student’ Runners-up award and Jahib Hassan won the award for the ‘Highest Attendance’ (year 2007). Altogether 110 awards were distributed to the students for different competitions held in the various fields like sports, cultural, quiz, debate etc during the year. ‘Enterprising Individual’ awards were distributed to 30 enterprising persons.

Rs 30 cr earmarked for regional film institute
GUWAHATI, Sept 9 – Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today felicitated 200 artistes from the Assamese film industry for their contributions to society. The Directorate of Cultural Affairs department organized the felicitation programme under the banner of the ongoing State Film Awards Festival 2007. “The artistes of the regional film industry have contributed immensely for the growth of the society as a whole and the felicitation programme has been organized as a mark of respect to them,” Gogoi said. Speaking on the occasion, State Cultural Minister Gautom Borah also announced that the cultural department has received a sum of Rs 10 crore from the Central and State Governments for building up a film city in the city. “Moreover, another Rs 30 crore has been earmarked for the construction of Regional Film Institute in the State,” Borah informed.
CM’s grant for students GUWAHATI, Sept 8 – Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today granted an amount of Rs 50,000 each to the students of Assam, who cleared the preliminary examinations of the Civil Services conducted by the UPSC. This year 25 students of the state managed to clear the preliminary examinations.

Role of IT in commerce education underlined
DIBRUGARH, Sept 13 – A two-day UGC- sponsored national seminar was organized at Sibsagar Commerce College, Sivasagar on September 3 and 4 on ‘Role of information technology in commerce education’. Altogether 18 papers were presented by the participants from different colleges and universities of northeast. Inaugurating the seminar, Vice Chancellor of Dibrugarh University Dr Kulendu Pathak stressed upon the need for developing communicative skills of the students vis-à-vis and business skills. Dr. Gautam Barua, Director IIT, Guwahati, in his keynote address said that the teachers should be taught about information technology first to teach the students. He said that the resource persons from the industries should be invited to train the teachers. Dr Sunila Saikia, Head. CEDM, IIE told the gathering about tourism sector which is about to emerge as the biggest industry in the world. The Deputy Commissioner of Sivasagar N M Hussain mentioned in brief about information technology and how it has changed the commerce education. Kartick Chandra Dutta, Principal, Sibsagar Commerce College in his welcome address informed about the new courses that the college has introduced and about a new course (B Sc. IT) that is to be introduced shortly. The seminar also came up with a resolution as per the suggestion of the Vice Chancellor of Dibrugarh University to submit a proposal to the UGC and concerned authorities to establish an institute of the IIT and IIM level in Upper Assam for providing modern education to the students and preventing their migration to other states.

Webster varsity to promote courses for NE students
GUWAHATI, Sept 14 – Continuing the recent closeness of ties between Thailand and the North East, the field of education is the latest area of growth. The Webster University, a 93-year-old American University with a campus in Thailand will be promoting its courses for the students of North East India in the coming week. This was stated in a press release.The executive director of the Thailand Campus, Sanjeeb Subba, will be visiting Guwahati, Shillong and Dimapur at Global Reach offices for admission interviews. The Guwahati consultations would be held at Global Reach office, Chandmari on September 17, the release added.Established in 1915 with its main campus in St. Louis, USA, Webster has international campuses in London, Leiden in Netherlands, Geneva, Cha-Am and Bangkok, and Vienna. After one year of study in Thailand, students may choose to transfer to any of the other campuses. The degree they receive is awarded from the St. Louis (USA) campus and is a fully recognized accredited American degree.The university is ranked among the top US universities by US News & World Report from 2000 to 2007. Moreover, Webster’s Thailand campus MBA students earned the second place award in the 2003 Bangkok Business Challenge. Webster has several partnerships throughout the world including AT&T, Kodak, Walt Disney World, NBC London, Coca-Cola, and MasterCard International, the release added.

Entrepreneurship awareness at Jagiroad
JAGIROAD, Sept 16 – An awareness programme on entrepreneurship on the occasion of completion of two years of the Morigaon district Science of Technology Entrepreneurship Development (STED) project in Assam (May 2005 to April 2007) sponsored by Department of Science of Technology, Govt of India implemented by NB Institute of Rural Technology, Assam Centre in collaboration with Jagiroad College was held on the college premises recently under the chairmanship of Dr AK Goswami, president, NBIRT.Sri M Borgohain, director, MS MEDI, Guwahati, Sri NT Naidu, deputy director MSMEDI, Sri N Bharali, assistant manager, DIC, Morigaon delivered their speeches on Micro entrepreneurship development the key factors,” setting up of micro-enterprises with particular reference to steel fabrication and servicing and repair of diesel pumps”, and “vegetable and food processing”, respectively.Earlier, Sri PC Sarma, secretary NBIRT, explained the aims, objectives and significance of the programme while Dr A Rahman principal, Jagiroad College wel-comed the guests and Sri Kumud Baruah, chief co-ordinator, Morigaon STED project offered vote of thanks.Dr AK Goswami inaugurated a 8-week “entrepreneurship & skill development training programme on steel fabrication” for benefit of the weaker section further.NB Institute of Rural Technology (NBIRT) is a leading NGO working in different fields of science of technology in the NE region. The institute set-up in the year 1992 in Tripura, is mainly engaged in human resource development, particularly in different areas of practical application of science of technology.The Assam centre of NBIRT was started with year 2003. During the years, 2003 2004, 2005 and 2006 the centre conducted eleven skill development training of duration 10 to 11 weeks in Guwahati.In 2004, the NBIRT submitted a proposal to the Department of Science of Technology, Govt of India for setting up a Science of Technology Entrepreneurship Development (STED) project in Morigaon district of Assam. The project was sanctioned in 2005. The duration of project is 48 months from May, 2005. The target of more enterprises to be set up is 225 for 4 years. 25 being the target for first year (2005-2006) and 50 for the second year (2006-2007).The NBIRT Assam centre is implementing the project in collaboration with the Jagiroad College. The STED project office is situated on the premises of Jagiroad College and the college authority is providing accommodation for this purpose. The college is also providing all necessary support for organising training and other programmes.A resource survey of both human and natural resources of Morigaon district with particular reference to setting up micro enterprises using such resources has been completed and a report prepared by the centre.One entrepreneurship awareness programme was conducted on Sept 9, 2006 at Jagiroad College. The target group was women entrepreneurs/potential entrepreneurs. The number of participants was over one hundred. Small Industries Service Institute (SISI) Guwahati provided technical support in organising the programme. Sri TN Naidu, deputy director, SISI, Sri SP Gonchoudhury, director, West Bengal Renewable Energy Dev Agency, Dr AK Goswami, former director, Assam Science & Technology Council and Dr A Rahman, principal Jagiroad College addressed and interacted with the participants. A special feature of the event was that the three best entrepreneurs under the project were awarded in the function.During the first two years (May 2005 to April 2007) total 11 skill cum entrepreneurship development training programmes were conducted under the project. A total of 246 persons have been trained in the programmes. 78 micro-enterprises have been successfully launched under the project against a target of 75 for the first two years. The number of micro-enterprises successfully set up during the second year was 43. Out of which the number of women entrepreneurs is 21 and among the 43 entrepreneurs 9 are STs, 5 are SCs and 11 are OBC. Details of EDTP conducted and micro-enterprises successfully launched during May 05 to April, 07 by the person trained under the training are furnished in the statement below:During the first two years of the project, linkages have been established with a number of government agencies and other organisations, namely, district administration, Morigaon, district rural development agency, Morigaon, Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Zila Parishad, Morigaon, Lalung Autonomous Council, Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, North Eastern Development Financial Corporation (NEDFi) and Small Industries Service Institute, Guwahati, said the chief co-ordinator, Morigaon district science & Technology entrepreneurship development Project, Sri Kumud Baruah.

State students opting for foreign colleges
GUWAHATI, Sept 17 – Away from the public eye, an increasing number of talented youths of Assam are applying for seats in universities and colleges abroad. Significantly many of them are being accepted, some even getting full scholarships.The reasons for moving to foreign climes could be attributed to better knowledge about courses offered by universities based in USA, UK and Australia, which are the prime attractions for students of India. Many of the universities have provided local centres with information. But the biggest possibilities have opened up with the internet use coming of age in Assam. Students from various parts of the State now surf the net looking out for different courses offered by foreign institutions.Several internet cafes in the city reported that a good number of young people use the net to acquire information about foreign universities. Most of them download and print application forms from cafes. Parikshit, an undergraduate student who is familiar with websites of quite a few foreign universities prefers the internet because personnel from the universities could be accessed very easily. “They are prompt in their response and also very precise.”The availability of flexible bank loans have encouraged a number of students even from middle class families to apply for seats in foreign universities. “They are a confident lot and have no problems of loans knowing that they would be able to repay it after getting a job,” said S Sharma, a senior manager with a nationalised bank.The motivation to seek education abroad stems from the belief that a British or American or Australian degree would enable better job opportunities. Assurances that immediately after completion of education they would be able to work for some time in the country of their study also attract some students. Interestingly, most of the students seeking admissions in institutions abroad have background in information technology or business management. Very few students apply for courses in liberal arts or humanities. Some students speaking to this reporter revealed that they would seek to go abroad not just to earn a degree, but to gain ‘exposure’, which they believe would give them a better footing in their later life.But there have also been occasions when foreign education has boomeranged on some students. There have been cases of exorbitant charges being levied by some foreign universities for courses, which could be pursued at much lesser cost in India.

NE youth a force to reckon with’
GUWAHATI, Sept 21 – Youngsters of the North-east have always been a force to reckon with, especially in the field of innovation. Amongst students coming from across the country, students hailng from this region have a special drive when it comes to creation of new path-breaking ideas. Ravi Mokashi Punekar, Associate Professor and Head, Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) stated this while inaugurating the Guwahati centre of Xplora Design Skool recently.He further said, “With changing times, the rate of change has increased tremendously, thanks to the ever-increasing technological interference. Technological changes are unavoidable and the new Guwahati centre, according to me, is a noble initiative, to say the least.” “The institute will provide a platform to look at things in a new way, which will also give new insights to the innovative age,” Punekar added.Xplora Design Skool, a pioneer name in multimedia career, is offering Postgraduate Diploma in Multimedia, the programme content of which includes drawing, sketching, visualization and animation among other features.Pradeep Talukdar, centre head, informed that as Xplora has a track record of giving cent per cent placement to its students, it would definitely serve the interest of the people of the region.“This is first such institute in the region and if everything goes as per plan, we will open new centres in other places of the region as well,” Talukdar said. TG Baruah, Chairman, Assam Tribune Group of Newspapers, who was present on the occasion as chief guest, said, “Learning and earning are the two necessities of life, especially in a State like Assam where educated unemployment is a serious problem. In this situation, we are in need of ideas that can catapult our traditional assets to a global platform.”“Too much dependence on machines is bad. We must not allow machine to control us. Rather, it should be the brain which should come into play more often than not. It is innovation that can give Muga the much-needed fillip in the bigger milieu,” Baruah said.
AHSEC to replace ‘failed’ with ‘repeat’
GUWAHATI, Sept 20 – The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) has been planning to do away with the word ‘failed’ and to replace it with ‘repeat’ from the 2008 higher secondary examination so as to avoid affecting the morale of the unsuccessful students. Disclosing this, AHSEC chairman Prof DK Kakati told The Assam Tribune here that this approach was designed in keeping with the recent recommendations of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the National Curriculum Framework (NCF)-2005.Besides, in line with the National Curriculum Framework (NCF)-2005, the AHSEC approach is made so liberal that now on, a student is allowed to offer Computer Science without offering Mathematics. Such flexibilities will be introduced in other areas also in course of time, he said.One innovative programme called ‘career on wheels’ or COW in short, has also been planned to be introduced by the Council in line with a similar programme of the Acharyya Nagarjuna University, Guntur (Andhra Pradesh). This programme is expected to benefit the commuters using the Siphung Express and the Kolongpar Express trains. Unemployed postgraduates with proper training will be engaged in implementing the programme. Initially, spoken English is planned to be introduced with provisions to include other need-based courses in the programme. Details of the programme are being worked out and the programme is likely to be introduced in January next, said Prof Kakati.Also, keeping in view the stress of the examinees, the AHSEC has designed its question papers in a manner that helps the examinees get a time of at least half-an-hour to revise their answers, said Prof Kakati.Meanwhile, to curb unfair means in the examination halls, the Council has already designed answerscripts and loose sheets with the name AHSEC perforated on them. The Council has also decided to continue with its programme of rewarding the star mark holders presenting each of them with Rs 1,000 in cash and a certificate, he said. The Council is planning also to hold videoconferences for the benefit of the students and the teachers. The matter has already been taken up with the NIC. The Council has also made necessary arrangements for installation of a studio at its headquarters for the purpose. The videoconference will initially be held on a point-to-point basis with a provision to extend to multi-points covering many districts at a time.This programme is expected to be materialised in early December next. The NIC has agreed to extend necessary technical, etc, helps in implementing the programme, said Prof Kakati.

Free educational institutions from clutches of politicians’
BAIHATA CHARIALI, Sept 19 – The president and secretary of Kamrup district unit of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) Subha Ram Das and Anup Kumar Medhi have demanded freeing educational institutions of the State from politics to ensure a healthy academic environment.Participating at the annual session of the Karara unit of AASU on September 5 held at Nanara Girls’ High School, the student leaders laid stress on development of academic atmosphere in the government institutions, upgradation of infrastructure and on curriculum development for welfare of the students at different levels. They also sought an end to the perennial problems of teachers regarding non-receipt of regular payment, promotion, regularisation of services, regularisation of posts of OBB teachers etc.Though teachers are often termed as architects of the nation, they have all along been treated shabbily by successive State governments, who have not paid due attention to their problems, not taken up necessary steps to reduce their miseries in the pension procedure.The student leaders demanded filling up the vacant posts in the schools.In the same function, the Kamrup district unit of AASU felicitated Sarat Chandra Deka, Dinesh Kalita, Abala Deka, Karuna Kanta Deka and Rajani Saharia, who are retired teachers of Karara locality for their excellent services to the local community.Quiz contest: Under the aegis of the local unit of Bharat Vikas Parishad (BVP), a quiz contest titled. ‘Bharat Ko Jaano’ was held on September 8 at Agdala Chariali High School among students of class V to XII. A total of nine groups from different schools participated.Among them, Sujata Deka and Chayanika Devi from Agdala Chariali High School, Mansmita Chamua and Barnali Baruah from North Guwahati Girls’ High School and Nilabhjyoti Sarma and Hirakjyoti Sarma from Agdala Chariali High School were adjudged first, second and third best groups respectively and were awarded educationist Nakul Chandra Deka; artist-litterateur Danda Dhar Sarma and educationist Ramesh Chandra Bhattacharya memorial trophies.The quiz contest was conducted under the chairmanship of advocate Madan Chandra Deka and Gautam Kumar Deka. Kushal Goswami took part as quiz master. As a part of the programme, the rural branch of BVP felicitated a number of retired teachers.Earlier, the national song ‘Bande ma taram...’ was sung by the participants and the vote of thanks was offered by Nizara Chamua, assistant secretary of BVP Baihata Chariali branch.Felicitated: Under the aegis of Manab Vikas Kendra, a special felicitation meeting was held at Bihdia Jatiya Bidyalaya on September 2.The meeting was held under the presidentship of Mohan Deka, vice principal of Pub-Kamrup College where more than 20 meritorious students of the locality along with Kaushik Talukdar, the 12th position holder in the last HSLC examination were felicitated.In his lecture Kaushik Talukdar claimed that poverty was not a barrier to achieve success in examinations. Hemanta Sarma, principal of Udayan Santi Niketan and Ajit Talukdarn lecturer of Goreswar College spoke on various aspects of student activity in the school and on developing their mental ability and creativity.In the same function, Gagan Chandra Deka, development officer of LICI and social worker of Muktapur donated a computer set to Munindra Goswami, principal of Jatiya Bidyalaya for the welfare of the students. He also presented Rs 1,000 to Kaushik Talukdar for assisting his educational expenses.Earlier, the flag of Manab Vikas Kendra was hoisted by its president and the purpose of the occasion was explained by Munindra Goswami, principal of the Bidyalaya.

Move to make HS curriculum flexible
GUWAHATI, Sept 19 – The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) has adopted a sensible approach to bring about some changes in the curriculum to make it flexible instead of imposing the traditional subjects on the students.AHSEC chairman Prof DK Kakati said that while designing the approach two important facts were considered. These are— the plus two level is the terminal stage in the life of the students and here an approach is needed to equip the students with knowledge in some areas facilitating their gainful employment. Prof Kakati was speaking to The Assam Tribune here today. The subjects that have been considered at present for introduction as part of this approach are—biotechnology, bio-informatics, biometry, industrial chemistry, Information and Communication Technology, event management, entrepreneurship, functional English, sattriya dance, Indian classical music, fine arts, tourism and travel management, applied history, office management etc.A student can offer one of these subjects as the fourth elective subject, with certain limitations stream-wise. “At present, there are 12 elective subjects in science stream, while in arts stream, there are 20 elective subjects and in the commerce stream, there are 11 elective subjects. Students in each of these streams are opting for any one of these subjects in their respective stream, as the fourth elective subject”, said Prof Kakati.However, on the new subjects considered for introduction from the next academic session (2008-09), he said that the introduction of these subjects would be made phase-wise. Besides, in line with the National Curriculum Framework (NCF)-2005, the AHSEC approach is made so liberal that now on, a student is allowed to offer computer science without offering mathematics. Such flexibilities will be introduced in other areas also in course of time, he said.Moreover, the Council is also planning to do away with the word ‘failed’ and to replace it with the word ‘repeat’ to avoid affecting the morale of the unsuccessful students from the 2008 Higher Secondary examination. This approach is designed in keeping with the recent recommendations of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the NCF-2005, said Prof Kakati.The Council is planning also to hold videoconferences for the benefit of the students and the teachers. The matter has already been taken up with the NIC. The Council has also made necessary arrangements for installation of a studio at its headquarters for the purpose. The videoconference will initially be held on a point-to-point basis with a provision to extend to multi-points covering many districts at a time.This programme is expected to be materialised in early December next. The NIC has agreed to extend necessary technical etc help in implementing the programme, said Prof Kakati.One innovative programme called ‘career on wheels’ or COW in short, has also been planned to be introduced by the Council in line with a similar programme of the Acharyya Nagarjuna University, Guntur (Andhra Pradesh). This programme is expected to benefit the commuters using the Siphung Express and the Kolongpar Express trains. Unemployed post-graduates with proper training will be engaged in implementing the programme. Initially, spoken English is planned to be introduced with provisions to include other need-based courses in the programme. Details of the programme are being worked out and the programme is likely to be introduced in January next, said Prof Kakati.Also, keeping in view the stress of the examinees, the AHSEC has designed its question papers in a manner that helps the examinees get a time of at least half-an-hour to revise their answers, said Prof Kakati.Meanwhile, to curb unfair means in the examination halls, the Council has already designed answer scripts and loose sheets with the name AHSEC perforated on them. The Council has also decided to continue with its programme of rewarding the star mark holders presenting each of them with Rs 1,000 in cash and a certificate, he said.

Australian varsity to woo NE students
GUWAHATI, Sept 25 – A representative of the Curtin University of Technology of Australia, one of the top universities in the world as listed by Times London, will be visiting Guwahati to extend interaction and spot admission opportunities to the NE students, said a press release.The representative of the university will be visiting the Global Reach office at Chandmari, on September 27 where students can apply for spot admissions and interactions. This will be an opportunity for students of North East to interact and find out more about a world-ranked institution.The university is Western Australia’s largest university with over 40,000 students, over 17,000 of which are foreign students and nearly 2000 research students.Curtin has been ranked among the Top 200 universities of the world by the Times London in 2005 and 2006 consecutively.Curtin’s Graduate School of Business has been rated number one in Australia for improving the skill levels of students, the release added.Curtin also has a lot of Assamese students studying new age courses like Nanotechnology, Technology Management, the release said.

US institute launches awareness programme
GUWAHATI, Sept 24 – With an aim to expose students of the North East India to job-oriented education system of America, reputed America based institute Webster University has launched its maiden awareness programme throughout select schools of the region. The institute, which also has its campus in Thailand, is coming up with plans to help meritorious students from the region, preferably those under below poverty line (BPL) with financial aid to enable them to study in the Thailand-based campus of Webster University.In an exclusive interview with The Assam tribune, Sanjib Subba, executive director, Webster University informed that the institute has made an appeal to all the students to avail this opportunity by means of which they can fulfil their dream of studying abroad, that too in a prestigious institute like Webster University.“I don’t think any foreign institute has ever come up with any offer which talks about giving financial aid to meritorious students, especially in the North East India,” Subba said.“Any student from any part of the NE region can apply for this financial aid through the city wing of Global Reach, which is India’s largest overseas education consultant company is associated with over than 200 institutes across the globe,” he informed.“I have found that most of the prestigious names in the world education system including the likes of Howard University looks for student from metros only and region like NE India do not fall under their scheme of things. That is why we have chosen NE because we know that talent is abundant here and the only hindrance is money,” reiterated Subba.“Webster University is not a profit-making institute. Instead, we look for reinvesting the money we generate from the institute in infrastructure building,” he said. “Of course, there would be some criteria which one would have to fulfil before getting the nod from the university. But, what is most impressive about the offer is that we have not restricted the number of students who can avail this offer. It can be one or even 10,” Subba added. Subba, who was here in the city for over a week now, visited a good number of schools across the region and deliberated upon the nuances of studying under American education system.“We want students from the NE to get acquainted with the American education system and explore the world from a different perspective,” Subba added.“ Unlike the English education system, American education system believes in grading the students at different phases and not merely by annual examination system. We believe in all round development of students. Besides, we give flexibility to the students as far as their choice of subject is concerned,” Subba asserted.

Become employed through self-help groups’
NALBARI, Sept 28 – The regional office of Asom Gramin Vikash Bank (AGVB) in association with NABARD and District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) Nalbari organised (Gramyashree-2007) an exhibition-cum-sale fair at Nalbari Harimandir premises from September 15 with a three-day-long programme.A total of 30 self-help groups (SHGs) of the district took part in the fair and exhibited their products. The Gramyashree-2007 was inaugurated by Nalbari Deputy Commissioner Mahtab Uddin Ahmed. In his speech Ahmed called upon the unemployed youths to come forward for self-employment through the SHG.Addressing the inaugural function general manager of NABARD GC Panigrahi said that a total of 1.33 lakh SHGs have been operating in the state and 83,000 have been maintaining links with banks. He also informed that NABARD has been providing market facilities for products of SHGs.The officer-in-charge of the regional office of Asom Gramin Vikash Bank Babul Bora in his speech said the regional office which has 63 branches in five revenue districts last year provided 1475 Kishan Credit Cards (KCCs) and loan to 1748 SHGs. The regional office this year decided to provide 5000 KCC and loan to 2,500 SHGs.The meeting was addressed, among others, by Ibrahim Patabidri of NABARD, Chandra Kalita, chairman of Nalbari Municipality Board, Narayan Ch Kalita, Manoranjan Goswami and Jiten Barman.The bank provided loans to 213 SHGs on the spot.

Development of educational institutions stressed
GOLAGHAT, Sept 27 – Great stress has been laid on the infrastructural development and reforms of the educational institutions of the state by the present government, the Education Minister Ripun Bora told the officers of the Education department in a meeting held at the office of the conference hall of the deputy commissioner, Golaghat recently.During the period of discussion the minister reviewed the implementations of the Sarba Siksha Mission, free distribution of text books and other relevant topics. The meeting was attended by Deepak Kumar Goswami, DC Golaghat, MLAs of Sarupathar and Khumtai and MLA of Dergaon constituency, director, primary education, and other education officer of the district. The minister told the officers that 300 additional rooms would be constructed at the ME schools and primary schools of the district within the month of October 31, 07.Interaction meet: An interaction meeting was held on September 5 last at the conference hall of the office of the DC, Golaghat where the people of the district interacted on various problems faced by the people. The deputy commissioner, had assured to the people to solve the various problem and allegations through discussions and on priority basis. In the discussion a good many numbers of people attended and participated.Literary Day: The international Literary Day was observed on September 8 last at Dakshinhengera Tea garden ME School premises with a day-long programme. The programme included were flag hoisting, tree plantation arrangement of painting competition and poetry recitation, holding open meeting etc. The flag was hoisted by Md M Rahman, headmaster DHME School. The tree plantation was inaugurated by Jayanta Saikia, assistant manager DTG. The competitions on painting and poetry recitation was inaugurated by Dulumoni Hazarika, ex-panchayat president. The open meeting was presided over by Azit Bordoloi, working president GDSS and addl DC, Golaghat. The meeting was inaugurated by Upen Dutta, a journalist and ex-principal. The meeting was addressed by Dr Dilip Sarma, Dinanath Choura, social worker, Md Mukibur Rahman, headmaster DHME School. Dilip Bordoloi project officer, adult education, Sarupather, spoke as an appointed speaker.Earlier, Prabin Sarma member secretary of the Golaghat Zila Saksharata Samittee, explained the object of the meeting in details. Robin Duara, coordinator GDSS offered vote of thanks to all. Karim Ali, secretary Mazdur Sangha conducted a Jumur dance and a brief speech.Herbal medicines training: A training on herbal medicines was held on September 9 last at Morongi. Sarar gaon under the aegis of the Morongi Anchalik Moinaparijat with the co-operation of Udoiyuk Moina Parijat within Golaghat district.The training programme was inaugurated by Someswar Kalita, president, Alok Moina Parijat and was participated by Upen Dutta ex-principal DHSS, a journalist and specialist in herbal medicines. Dutta imparted training on health care with herbal medicines to 20 parichalak and parichalika and he demonstrated, identified some herbal plants from where medicines can be prepared. The participants on the training were involved in preparing herbal medicines with herbal plants.Earlier Madhab Bora secretary, MAMP explained the object of the programme.The training programme was attended by Mohon Hazarika, Golap Saikia Md Aman Ali and Dr B Gogoi.Awareness programme: On the occasion of the eye donation fort night from August 25 to September 8 a public awareness programme on eye donation was held recently at community hall VK-NRL which was conducted by the District Blindness control Society (DBCS), Golaghat, in collaboration with VK-NRL Hospital and NRL Ltd. The programme was conducted by Deepak Kumar Goswami, deputy commissioner, Golaghat and chairman, DBCS. The welcome address was delivered by Dr SK Chakravarti, medical director, VK NRL hospital. In the programme Dr Narayan Bordoloi, medical director, Jeuti Eye Bank, Jorhat, Chandra Prabha Eye Hospital spoke as a guest speaker. In his demonstration cum lecture on the topic corneal blindness and corneal transplantation, Dr Bordoloi underlined that around 25,000 people are corneally blind in India, 60 per cent of there are below the age of 12 years. The cornea is the clear layer covering the front black portion of the eye. Corneal transplantation is possible only when someone donates eyes. Dr Bordoloi demonstrated extensively the affect of corneal blindness. He urged the people attending the programme to come forward and to vacate an awareness among the people so that they can help the corneally blind people in their recovery. Prakhyat Duara, member secretary, district Blindness Control society, Golaghat also spoke on the occasion and the donated a cheque of rupees ten thousand to the managing director of Jeuti eye bank, Dr Narayan Bordoloi. In his presidential speech, DK Goswami appreciated the benevolent welfare activities of Jeuti and DBCS of Golaghat.The vote of thanks was offered by Dr Barnali Deuri, associate consultant (pathology) VK-NRL hospital.

Madras varsity study centre opened
GUWAHATI, Sept 27 – ‘University of Madras’ one of the three oldest Universities in India incorporated on September 5, 1857 have launched their only exclusive authorised study centre in Assam at Ambari, here recently under National Academy of Professional Studies (NAPS), a premier research and teaching institute in the field of Mass Communication, IT, Management etc, informs a press release.“The basic idea of the study centre is to give the North Eastern students a chance to enrich the benefits of a dynamic, easy to understand and job oriented syllabus of the university therein teaching them exactly what industry professionals considers to useful skills,” Joyeeta Banerjee, centre head, Madras University, Study Centre NAPS.In North-East the university aims to provide an equitable access to quality higher education to the students at subsidised fee structure. To cater to the needs of the students as well as the working professionals the university offers professional courses like MBA, MCA, MSC, IT, M.Lib, Accounting and Auditing, Taxation and certain unique courses like School Management, Police Administration, Labour Law in addition to the varied range of diploma, bachelor and post graduate degrees.To fulfil its motto’ ‘Doctrina Vim Tromovet Insitam’ meaning learning promotes one’s natural innate talent, the faculty panel herein include a large pool of high quality professionals besides experienced full time faculties.” “Our sole aim is to give students a holistic perspective on the concern subject and instill a sense of self belief within them,” stated Dr PK Mazumder, vice president Guwahati Management Association and consultant and HoD, Department of Management, Madras University Study Centre ‘NAPS’

FIR lodged against school teachers
GUWAHATI, Sept 27 – An FIR has been lodged against two lady-teachers of the Sonaram Higher Secondary School of the city, at Bharalumukh police Station charging them of using fake writing pads of the principal of the school to extract money in his name. One subject teacher and one assistant teacher of the school were allegedly engaged in fake deals of giving the permission of using the Sonaram Field on behalf of the Principal. A case has been registered and investigation on.

VC’s resignation sends shockwaves
GUWAHATI, Sept 27 — The entire University today went into a spasm on hearing the news of resignation of Vice-Chancellor Prof Amarjyoti Choudhury. Meanwhile, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has announced a series of agitation in protest against the Government apathy towards the state’s universities.As soon as the news spread this morning, students abstained from their classes and the agitated members of the Post-Graduate Students’ Union (PGSU) held a general meeting. Together with the members of the University Law College Students’ Union, they blocked the NH-37 for about 15 minutes. They shouted slogans protesting against the Government’s indifference towards this premier seat of higher learning and pleading for the continuance of Prof Choudhury as the VC of the University. Later, members of both the students’ organisations met Prof Choudhury and requested him to withdraw his resignation letter assuring whole-hearted support to him in his mission to develop the University into an institution of global repute.But Prof Choudhury expressed his inability to take back his resignation letter, saying, the matter was in the court of the Government and it was up to the Government now to take a decision on accepting or rejecting his resignation.However, Prof Choudhury maintained that it was certainly not his desire to make an untimely exit. But under a compelling situation he had decided to depart with a heavy heart, he said in a bid explain his position. Now, he said, he was ready to stay only on the condition that the money allocated to GU should be released on time and with a specific time frame for utilising them for purposes specified by the University.The GU Officers’ Association, GU Workmen’s Union and the GU Teachers’ Association also requested Prof Choudhury to reconsider his decision and assured him all sorts of help. They went also to the extent of assuring him a united agitation for the development of the University. But to all of them the reply of Prof Choudhury was the same.PGSU general secretary Moon Kumar Bora told newsmen later that the PGSU would send a delegation to the Chancellor requesting him not to accept the resignation letter of Prof Choudhury. The PGSU will continue to agitate unless Prof Choudhury is retained as the GU VC, he said.He also demanded immediate release of Rs 181 crore as sought for by the GU authorities and warned that if the PGSU demands on the financial assistance to GU and retention of Prof Choudhury were not met, the PGSU would go for an agitational programme for an indefinite period. EC: The GU executive council (EC) in an emergent meeting today requested Prof Choudhury to review his decision. It also requested the Chancellor not to accept Prof Choudhury’s resignation.The EC entreated the Chancellor also to use his good office to expedite release of financial assistance for development of the university. Of the 22 EC members, 14 attended the meting, said GU sources.AASU: The AASU described the comment of the Education Minister on the resignation of Prof Choudhury as a shameless one and demanded a public apology from him. It also described the Education Minister as an escapist for his shying away from his responsibility to improve the condition of the state universities.The city unit of the AASU also took recourse to road blockade programme on the Tayabullah Road this afternoon for an hour protesting against the Government’s failure to assist the state universities.Addressing a Press conference here this afternoon, AASU president Sankar Prasad Roy, general secretary Tapan Kumar Gogoi and adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya announced that in support of their demand of releasing financial grants to the state universities as per the demand placed by the university authorities and in protest against failure of the State Government to release money to Gauhati University, AASU members would take out torch light processions in the district headquarters of the state on September 27. On October 1, the local units of the AASU will hang the effigies of the Chief Minister and Education Minister with the inscription that they are cheats, they said.They have also made an appeal to Prof Choudhury not to stick to his stand and also to the Chancellor not to accept Prof Choudhury’s resignation. They also demanded release of Rs 100 crore to each of the state universities in the first phase and the rest of the amounts they asked for subsequently.AGSU: The All Guwahati Students’ Union (AGSU) today resorted to a road blockade near Dighalipukhuripar in protest against what it said was the ‘deceit’ of the State Government in making false assurances of financial grants that also compelled the Vice Chancellor to resign.In a statement, the AGSU said that the developments exposed the insincerity and lack of foresightedness of both the Chief Minister and the Education Minister, and demanded immediate release of funds assured for the university.Our Dibrugarh Bureau adds: The news of the reported resignation by the vice chancellor of Gauhati University, Prof Amarjyoti Choudhury has been received with shock by several circles here. Several college principals here and in Tinsukia, Jorhat and Sivasagar said they can hardly believe that a VC of a premier university could be forced to the wall to take such a drastic decision. They have urged the State Government to reject the resignation and also ensure that the Gauhati University does not come across any financial hurdle. Dibrugarh MP Sarbananda Sonowal has also expressed shock and disbelief at the development and lambasted the Congress Government for being unmindful of the difficulties faced by the Gauhati University. “A government that spends crores of rupees on useless foreign jaunts, misleading newspaper advertisements and ill conceived schemes would do better to take care of the needs of educational institutions of the state,” he said

Project on improving quality of education bearing fruit
GUWAHATI, Sept 27 – Regarded as people’s enterprise, these schools located in the nook and corner of the State have been covering 25 percent of the children in the age group between 6 to 14 years. But these schools known as venture schools are in a pathetic State today as they are still to get the attention of the authorities concerned.Realizing the importance of the venture schools, the Gyan Vigyan Samiti, Assam, established in the year 1990 as an organ of Assam Science Society floated in 1953, undertook a mission to improve the quality of education in the venture schools by imparting training to the teachers.Christened Raizor Vidyalaya, the result of this effort initiated a couple of years back has today surprised even the samiti itself. With enrolment percentage increasing in the schools, which were covered under the endeavour, the samiti has decided to continue training the teachers of the venture schools.“We are expecting 20,000 students to benefit from the training,” said Chabin Das, basic education coordinator of the samiti.The project at present covers 16 districts.It needs to be mentioned here that as per official records, the number of venture schools stands at 14,800 at present. The number of Government schools including the primary and upper primary totals to 38,053.“Considering the sizeable presence of the venture schools and the service rendered by these schools to the future of the country, the need of the hour is to train the teachers of the venture schools so that the dropout is prevented,” said Das.So far the samiti has trained teachers of 210 venture schools stretching across 74 panchayats and 47 blocks in the State.The enrolment in the schools covered under the training has considerably improved much to the delight of the samiti. Before the teachers underwent the training, the number of students in Amgaon LP School, Chandrapur block was 160. The enrolment increased to 212 after the training of the teachers. In another school in Nagaon, Niz Bagariguri LP School, 55 students attended classes prior to the training of the teachers. The number of students rose above 200 after the training of the teachers.“The Government wants to achieve 100 percent literacy. But if the venture schools are ignored that objective would not be realised,” said members of the samiti, pointing out that the system, nowhere to be found except in Assam, should get attention of the Government as it was helping a large number of children to become literate.

Resignation unfortunate, says Minister
GUWAHATI, Sept 27 – Education Minister Ripun Bora today described the resignation of Prof Amarjyoti Choudhury from the post of Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Gauhati University (GU) as very unfortunate. He was addressing media persons at a press conference here this morning.However, the Minister while maintaining that the job of the VC was very challenging, viewed Prof Choudhury’s act as a bid to escape from his responsibilities.He also said that the State Government could not intervene in the resignation episode. For, he said, as per the GU Act, the GU is an autonomous institution. Commenting on the vision document submitted by the GU authorities to the State Government, the Minister said that the State Government was not the authority to approve the vision document. The Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry is the authority to approve it, he said. He claimed that the annual grant to GU had been enhanced to Rs 20 crore from Rs 10 crore.The 12 th Finance Commission has allocated an amount of Rs 10 crore to the University in addition to the annual grant it is receiving from the State Government. This year also, the 12 th Finance Commission has earmarked an amount of Rs 3 crore for GU, said the Minister. The Education Minister met the Chancellor this evening and apprised him of the steps taken by the State Government for the development of the University. He was told by the Governor that a GU Executive Council meeting would soon be convened by him to discuss the issues concerning the University and to hammer out solutions, said official sources here.According to the sources , the State Government sent a proposal of Rs 70 crore to the Union HRD Ministry on April 18 last and a copy of the proposal was also sent to the UGC on August 30. The proposal calls for steps to declare GU as “Centre of Excellence” and creation of 180 posts in it for the purpose. The GU vision document, which proposed an investment of Rs 180 crore, has been sent to the HRD Ministry for consideration on priority basis. The State Government has also been considering the need of assisting the University from time to time despite having its own financial constrains, said the sources.It has also taken care to augment the plan allocations to GU and because of this, it has been enhanced from Rs 1.50 crore in 2001-02 to Es 4 crore this fiscal. However, the amount is yet to be released. In view of the Chief Minister’s announcement to pay the University an amount of Rs 25 crore , a proposal has been submitted to the Finance Department. Once the Finance Department accepts this, the amount will be regularised by supplementary demand for making it available in the plan budget, said sources.For the payment of salaries, the State Government is releasing fund to the University in an unhindered manner. In 2001-02, the Government released an amount of Rs 13.60 crore to the University for the purpose and this year, sanction has already been issued for release of an amount of Rs 26 crore for the purpose, sources added.

GU VC Prof Choudhury resigns
GUWAHATI, Sept 27 – The beleaguered Vice Chancellor (VC) of Gauhati University (GU) Prof Amarjyoti Choudhury tendered his resignation before the Chancellor of the University Ajai Singh yesterday refusing to remain a ‘Dhritarashtra’ in the face of appalling apathy shown by the Government to the University. However, the Chancellor has asked Prof Choudhury to continue till a decision on his resignation letter is arrived at. Prof Choudhury told newsmen today, “From the day one, I have been facing pricking of my conscience. It was growing every passing day. The last ten months of my tenure as the GU VC have been a torture for me. Though GU has all the potential to emerge as a leading university, yet several years of neglect has made its infrastructure extremely poor.“During the past about ten months, a sense of academic discipline has returned to the University. Its classes are held on time, examinations too are held on time and the results too have come out on time.“Placement efforts have paid very rich dividends and about 170 of the University students have so far received jobs through campus interviews in important companies. This has bolstered the morale of the students. The firms like the Tata Consultancy, Infosys and the WIPRO, which are engaged in these exercises, have been of the opinion that the performance of our students is far better than those of many other universities.“But, its classrooms, hostels and library buildings and the laboratories are in depressing condition. In the hostels inmates cannot live with dignity. In the library, rainwater seeps through the leaks in the roof and valuable library collections are now on the verge of being spoilt. In the laboratories, there is no space to house the equipment, which have been brought by the teachers through their projects. The water supplied to the University by the PHE also smells of kerosene. “ I am not in a position to provide minimum facilities. If I fail to provide even one per cent of the Central University facilities to the students, I don’t feel that I have any right to remain the VC of the University. But I have nothing against the Government,” said Prof Choudhury.He also said that in the vision document submitted by the University in March last to the State Government the basic infrastructural requirement and plans of the University were detailed out. The document has estimated an investment of around Rs 181 crore.The response of the Chief Minister to the vision document was very positive. The Government has also announced a grant of Rs 25 crore to the University. However, the date of release of the fund and the works to be done with it have not been spelt out by the Government. Moreover, possibly due to the mechanism in the Government that the release of the fund is delayed, he said.“But the situation here is critical. The University cannot afford to wait further,” said Prof Choudhury.He apprised the newsmen that the University used to receive an amount of Rs 26 crore from the State Government annually for salary and overhead expenditure. The University is to add an amount of Rs 80 lakh from its own fund to meet these expenditures. On top of these, the 12 th Finance Commission has awarded an amount of Rs 9 crore to the University for specific purposes, said Prof Choudhury.In reply to a question, he said that his resignation was not too early. “If you cannot perform you should not stay,” he reasoned. He also objected to the often-repeated allegation that GU had failed to furnish the utilisation certificates of the amounts it had received from the Government. In this area, the abrupt nature of the Government’s releasing the funds and directions issued by it for their utilisation at odds with the University plans have been creating problems for the University, he explained.However, he was seemed agreeable to the idea of staying if the Government pays phase wise the amount sought by the University and as per its plans.

‘Students backbone of society’
ITAKHOLA, Sept 26 – The freshers social of THB College, one of the premier higher educational institutions of Sonitpur district, was observed recently with a day long programme.To mark the beginning of the programme, Dr Sadananda Hazarika, principal of the College, hoisted the flag of the union body at 8 am in the morning. In the programme, all the incharge of the student union, students took part. Golap Kalita, ex-HoD of English, THB College, inaugurated a multi gym at the college.Inaugurating the gym, Kalita advised the students to make use of the gym. He also broadly explained the benefits of a gym in the present day Another important programme of the day was the ‘Mukoli chara’ conducted jointly by Jayanta Baruah and Mukut Sonowal, lecturers of the college.The open session of the social was started at around 2 pm in the afternoon which was chaired by Dr Sadananda Hazarika, principal of the college. Dharmeswar Hazarika, former principal of JN College of Pachighat and presently principal of Naduar Jatiya Vidyalaya of Jamugurihat, attended the session as chief guest.Pradip Bhuyan, chief secretary of Assam Sahitya Sabha also attended the function as guest of honour.Dharmeswar Hazarika, in his speech as chief guest advised the students to carry on their duties sincerely. He said that education determines the future of a country. Hence, students of the society can be regarded as the backbone of a society. The chief guest also advised the students to make use of the latest development of science and technology for their benefits.Dr Pradip Bhuyan in his speech advised the students of the college to do their duty sincerely to make college and the society proud through their achievements.Dr Sadananda Hazarika also uged the students to follow the advice given to them by the speakers of the function.

Government-VC standoff ends
GUWAHATI, Oct 1 – The five-day-long impasse over the resignation of Gauhati University (GU) Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Amarjyoti Choudhury ended today with both the State Government and the Vice Chancellor assuring each other of their ‘utmost cooperation’ and also committing themselves ‘mutually to work together to translate the vision document’ of the University at an emergent meeting of the University’s Executive Council (EC) held at the Raj Bhawan here. Prof Choudhury also withdrew his resignation letter, which he submitted to the Chancellor on September 26, in the meeting. The emergent meeting of the EC was convened and chaired by GU Chancellor and Governor of the State Ajai Singh.In the meeting, the State Government also agreed to pay its assured sum of Rs 25 crore to the University latest by December 31 next. The meeting also decided that Prof Choudhury to continue as the VC.The meeting also decided that the University authorities under the stewardship of Prof Choudhury should submit a detailed project report under the vision document incorporating the physical infrastructure content, the academic content and the implementation time frame and modalities for the amount of Rs 25 crore.It further decided that a committee should be constituted and notified duly by the State Government, comprising DN Saikia, retired IAS and a representative of the GU EC, R Zaman, IAS, Additional Secretary, State Education Department as the State Government representative and S Jagannathan, IAS, Additional Secretary to the Governor to thoroughly examine the vision document for upgrading the University into a centre of excellence. The terms of reference of the committee, which will be notified within October 15, as directed by the Governor and GU Chancellor, will also include suggesting a proper time–bound charter for implementation of the vision document, besides, providing an estimate on the financial commitments involved in the exercise.On submission of the report, immediate steps shall be initiated both by the University authorities and the State Government for translation of the vision document, the meeting decided.In the meeting, Prof Choudhury assured that he would exercise all efforts to ensure that the students community and the academic and non-academic staff of the University did not take ‘any such step by way of agitation or protest that shall demean the prestige of the University and become deleterious to the efforts initiated in the meeting.’The Chancellor conveyed his gratitude to the State Government for its pro-active and commendably supportive stance and also requested the University authorities to rededicate themselves, given the cooperation of the State Government, to work towards translation of the vision document for converting the university into a centre of excellence. Later speaking to the newsmen at his office, Prof Choudhury said that the University would submit a plan before the Government prior to Puja, detailing out the scheme for spending the amount of Rs 25 crore.He also said that this was not the last war by the University community. “Complaints are there that some people are not punctual and some others are indulging in corruption in the University. It is high time that we start fighting these drawbacks,” said Prof Choudhury announcing his next priority to improve the atmosphere within the University.He also held meetings with the members of the Post-Graduate Students’ Union (PGSU), teachers’ association, officers’ association and workmen’s union of the University to apprise them of the outcome of the EC meeting and to request their cooperation to the efforts to develop it into a centre of excellence.

Political influence bane of educational institutions’
BAIHATA CHARIALI, Oct 1 – “Political influence in the educational institutes has affected the educational environment in the State. Narrow and cheap politics has been hurting the educational institutions as well as some other socio-cultural organisations. This has hindered the development process. To eradicate this undesirable influence, people, guardians and educationists should come forward to constitute a joint platform against it,” said Sankar Prasad Rai president of All Assam Students Union (AASU) in the special felicitation meeting held on Monday at Baihata Chariali public auditorium organised by Pub-Kamrup unit of AASU.Participating in the meeting, the AASU leader said there are no shortage of meritorious students in the State but due to lack of proper facilities and modern modified curriculum in the educational institutions of the State, majority of meritorious students from high and higher secondary section have a tendency to go for higher education to institutions outside the State, he said.In order to offset this tendency among meritorious students, education department in the State should introduced some new curriculum to meet the demand of modern modified syllabi as deserved Rai said.In the special felicitation meeting held under the presidentship of Nurul Haque, president of Pub-Kamrup unit of AASU, Subha Ram Das and Anup Medhi, president and secretary of Kamrup district unit of AASU respectively, Dhani Ram Kalita, branch manager of Indian Overseas Bank, Singerpara, Dwijen Nath, secretary, Asom Unnati Sabha, Rangiya district committee and Prince Faizul Haque, ex-assistant secretary of AASU spoke on the occasion.Participating in the meet, Nayan Nirban Barua, cine artiste encouraged the students to be good students, citizens and a real human being. For the student to be an expert in any subject, hard study is the prime necessity.In the same meeting, a number of students of Pub-Kamrup area who performed well in the last HSLC examination with flying colours were felicitated with phoolam gamocha, japi and a citation. The student body also felicitated five teachers and Kaushik Talukdar, 12th position holder in the HSLC examination of Sailendra Kumar Dutta High School.The special felicitation programme was anchored by Kushal Goswami ex-literary secretary of AASU, Kamrup district unit. The programme came to an end with the banti prajalan by Pradip Deka, advisor of Pub-Kamrup unit of AASU.

US-based professor on India visit
JORHAT, Oct 1 – Dr Bijoy Bordoloi, Professor of Business Management (MIS), Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, USA, is currently on a visit to India as a senior scholar under the prestigious US Fulbright Programme for six months. The Pilani-based Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Rajasthan is hosting Dr Bordoloi who is scheduled to deliver talks in various universities and institutions like IITs in India as a cultural ambassador under the programme. Dr Bordoloi, who earned his Ph.D. from Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, in 1987, is reputedly the first Assamese to have a doctorate in Business Management with a major in Management Information Systems from a US university.

Rural students need to inculcate English-speaking skills’
DHING, Oct 1 – With a view to deliberating on various issues and challenges regarding English language teaching in the age of Internet network, Department of English, Dhing College organised a UGC sponsored national seminar on English Language Teaching in the age of Information and Communication Technology : Issues & Challenges recently. The organising secretary of the seminar Mamun A Barbhuiya initiated the proceedings of the inaugural session. The principal and chairperson Dr SK Dutta welcomed the guests and participants who came from different corners of Assam and also from other States such as Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.Inaugurating the seminar Dr Madan M Sarma, Prof & Head of the Department of English, Tezpur University said, “In view of the opening up of newer areas of employment and career opportunities even the students from rural areas, whether they intend to specialise in the study of literature in English or study English as a core subject, need to develop their communication skills in English.” He also mentioned that apart from traditional teacher-initiated activities for developing communication skills, computer can be used as an aid, as a resource even in those areas, which are located in the ‘periphery’.Delivering the keynote address, Dr KM Baharul Islam, chairman & CEO, South Asia Regional Gateway Foundation dealt with an overview of the use of ICT in Education in general and in language teaching and learning in particular. He also referred to the success stories of using ICT in teaching and learning in Uthopia, Thailand and Singapore, to name a few.Prof KC Baral, director, The English & Foreign Languages University, NEHU campus, Shillong; Prof PS Misra, director, ELTI, Guwahati, Dabasish Mohapatra, Sr Lecturer, Department of EFL, Tezpur University; Dr IG Singh, Sr Lecturer, Dept of English, Assam University, Silchar and Padmini Boruah, Sr Lecturer, Department of ELT, Gauhati University were the resource persons in the seminar.The seminar came out with a number of recommendations such as access to ICT to the whole student community and a resource for teacher development programme, use of computer for developing the composition skills, phonetics and vocabulary, modification of traditional English syllabus etc.The seminar came to an end with a valedictory session which was presided over by Dr SK Dutta, Principal of the college. The chief guest of the valedictory function, Prof Robindra Ch Bora, in his speech urged the teachers to the innovative in using ICT in teaching and learning English which is the language of Science & Technology, Trade & Commerce, Internet, etc Prof S Neogi, HoD, Political Science of Dhing College delivered vote of thanks.
USEFI Help Desk set up in Dibrugarh varsity DIBRUGARH, Sept 30 – For disseminating knowledge about the opportunities for higher studies in the United States and to assist the intending scholars from the north-eastern region, the United States Education Foundation in India (USEFI) has set up a “Help Desk” in Dibrugarh University. Presiding over the inaugural function, held in the Department of Anthropology, Dibrugarh University last Tuesday, Prof. Kulendu Pathak, Vice Chancellor of Dibrugarh University, thanked USEFI for initiating this step and urged upon the students and faculty members to take full advantage of the “Help Desk.”Dr Sunrit Mullick, Regional Director and Educational Advisor of USEFI’s Regional Office for Eastern India, Kolkata, while congratulating the University authorities for their initiative, stated that this University has earned the distinction of being the first University in the country to set up a “Help Desk”. Praising the University authorities for initiating this innovative measure to encourage and promote higher studies abroad, he said that Dibrugarh University’s initiative has even been appreciated by the American embassy. The “Help Desk” located in the office of the Centre for Tourism Management, Dibrugarh University, will be stocked with guidebooks on courses offered in educational institutions in the US, catalogues, brochures and application forms. It will also provide information about and bulletins on TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT and other standardized tests, newsletters.Fulbright alumni, Dr. Sheila Bora, Professor, Department of History and Coordinator of Post Graduate Diploma in Tourism Management, will be available at the Help Desk assist those interested on matters relating to higher education in the US at timings to be advertised shortly. The “Help Desk” will circulate information about the facilities offered by it to the affiliated colleges and amongst the public. Dr. Rajib Handique, Deputy Registrar (Academic), assured full cooperation in circulating information about the “Help Desk.”

IT-savvy teachers must to boost education’
Sivasagar, Sept 29 – A UGC-sposored National Seminar on ‘Role of Information Technology in Commerce Education was held recently in Sivasagar Commerce College which was inaugurated by Dr Kulendu Pathak, VC, Dibrugarh University. Dr Pathak in his speech stressed the need for developing business skill through proper use of information technology and good business acumen.Delivering the key-note address, Dr Gautam Baruah, Director, IIT Guwahati said teachers should first be IT savvy before teaching students and for that teachers must make use of all available resourcs to enalysis their competence. Dr Sunil Saikia, Head, CEDH, IIE Guwahati, in his speech said tourism sector is all set to emerge as the biggest industry in the world and hence commerce students should equip themselves with the requisite IT knowhow to avail opportunities in tourism sector laying untrapped. Sivasagar Deputy Commissioner NM Hussain, spoke about the new vistas and challanges unfolded by IT sector. Kartick C Dutta, Principal, Sivasagar Commerce College, delivered the welcome address while Sonaram Boruah, former Principal, Sivasagar Girls’ College, presiding over the inaugural session thanked the guests, participants and resouce persons.Altogether 18 papers were presented in the two-day seminar. The seminar as suggested by the VC, Dibrugarh University resolved to send project proposal to the UGC and the Govt of Assam to establish on IT institute of the level of IIT or IIM in Sivasagar.Teachers feted: Altogether thirty three teachers of Primary, High and Higher secondary level were felicitated by the Education department in association with Sivasagar district administration on Teacher’s Day in Sivasagar Natya Mandir in a fuction presided over by DC Sivsagar NM Hussain. The teachers receiving the awards were Hema Tanti (Sukan Pukhuri), Ramesh Dutta (Thekeratal), Naren Kalita (Khatkhati), Punya Borgohain (Amkatia), Anu Gogoi (Panibeel), Guleswari Changmai (Naphuk), Lily Devi (Sapekhati) Anima Phukan (Borduba) Haren Duwara (Amguri) Rupam Choladhora (Bokata Borpatra), Khagen Mohan (Boribam), Hiranya Kakoti (Silakuti) Rojani Bora (Samaguri), Gopal Gogoi (Chantak), Jagannath Konwar (Domor Dolong), Hiren Phukan (Kakatibari), HemalataHazarika (Kownrpur), Jatin Borkakoti (Tengapukhuri), Dipali Mahanta (Nazira), Bhupen Deogharia (Mahmora), Padmeswar Arandhara (Rajapukhuri), Prabin Boruah (Banmukh), Bijoy Bora (Khonamukh), Pulin Khanikar (Namtipul) Lalit Sensuwa (Demow), Manoj Borthakur (Sivsagar), Snigdha Rani Gogoi (Simaluguri), Abanti Pamegam Chetia (Dhitaipukhuri), Samsul Hussain (Samuguri), Ramdev Goswami (Bortal) and Padma Bahadur Bonia (Sapekhati).Abdul Zelil, IS Sivsagar, Deva Phukan, Dr Nirupama Mahanta, NM Hussain, Abdul Kuddus, Haren Dutta and Pushpa Gogoi gave away the felicitation letters and the mementos.

Chancellor’s stand hailed by GU fraternity
GUWAHATI, Sept 29 – The decision of the Gauhati University (GU) Chancellor Ajai Singh, who is also the Governor of the State, not to accept the resignation of GU Vice Chancellor Prof Amarjyoti Choudhury, has been hailed by the GU community. Earlier, the entire GU community had requested the Chancellor not to accept the resignation of Prof Choudhury.The Post –Graduate Students’ Union (PGSU) of the University today said that it had welcomed the decision of the Chancellor. The Teachers’ Association, Officers’ Union and Workmen’s Union of the University have also welcomed the decision, said University sources.Meanwhile, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee today made an appeal to all political parties, students’ organisations, ‘people interested in education’ and the State Government to resolve the GU tangle through sincere and impassionate discussion.GU PGSU general secretary Moon Kr Bora said this evening that the PGSU would extend cent per cent cooperation to the VC and would play a pro-active role to help him. Now on, the PGSU will also keep a close watch on the general and financial administration of the University, he said.He also said that the PGSU was dissatisfied over the functioning of the Executive Council (EC) of the University. The PGSU has demanded that the meetings of the EC should be video graphed and the video records of the meetings should be made public for the knowledge of the GU community, Bora said.The Assam College Teachers’ Association (ACTA) today called upon the people to unite to bolster the efforts of Prof Choudhury to make GU a leading institution of higher education. It also made an appeal to Prof Choudhury to withdraw his resignation letter.The GU unit of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) today described the call of the State unit of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) to resist the AASU bid to register protest against the Government apathy with public hanging of the effigies of the Chief Minister and the Education Minister on October as an anti-social one. It also reiterated the resolve to execute the programme on the GU campus.Torch light procession: Members of the AASU today took out torch light processions all over the State in protest against the apathy of the State Government towards meeting the financial requirements of the three State Universities. In a statement, the AASU reiterated its demand for release of the required amounts of money to the three universities.

State must involve youths in business:
GUWAHATI, Oct 3 – Noted economist and economic adviser to Government of Assam, Dr Jayanta Madhab, on Monday, said that the State need to involve more and more people, especially the youths, in business activities in order to solve its unemployed problem.He further said, “ It is virtually impossible for the State Government to employ all the 25 lakh unemployed youths as they are not qualified enough to meet the job requirements. Therefore, the people in the State would have to create a ‘business friendly’ environment themselves to bail the State out of this age-old problem.Dr Madhab was speaking during the inaugural function of a training programme under the Employment Generation Programme, Government of Assam, being organized by ASOMI, a non-government organisation (NGO) working in this field at the ITI, Guwahati. More than 20 members of SHGs from across the State took part in the programme. Under the programme, members of self help groups and other educated unemployed youths would be given training on various entrepreneurship skills by ASOMI.We need to imbibe in us the mentality to start our own business, no matter how small it is, for the advancement of the society. I am sure that the programme would inspire the trainees to work for the overall development of the society,” Madhab said.“We will first train them on various fields like readymade garment making to setting up a piggery and only after that we would facilitate them with funds to carry out their work,” Subhra Jyoti Bharali of ASOMI, said.“We have been facilitating the SHGs and other educated unemployed with loans (with the help of financial institutions) for quite some time but most of them have failed miserably in cashing in on the opportunity owing to sheer lack of entrepreneur skills,” Bharali pointed out.“The new training under the State Government’s Employment Generation Programme would acquaint the youths with the entrepreneur skills so that they can make full use of it,” he said. ASOMI, a leading NGO in the State is currently working in as many as 16 districts in the State. The training programme, which commenced today with training on agro service and readymade garments, would be carried out in a phased manner henceforth.

Govt approves regulatory Act
GUWAHATI, Oct 3 – The State Cabinet today approved the rule prepared under the Assam Non-Government Educational Institute (Regulation and Management) Act, 2006. The Act seeks to regulate the establishment and functions of the private educational institutions in the State. The issues being covered by the piece of legislation are — permission to set up these institutions, administrative recognition along with fixation of fee structure, registration and recognition of existing institutes, constitution of a State administrative recognition committee, academic permission and fixation of the basic requirement for establishing such institutions.It has also sought to keep a watch on the facilities to be provided by these institutions, composition and powers and functions of their managing committees, appointment criteria for teaching and non-teaching staff and curriculum and syllabi of these institutions and prohibition of donation etc by these institutions, said official sources here this evening.The Cabinet also approved a proposal of the Education Department to appoint retired teachers on contractual basis against the vacancies occurring against the posts of teachers in the LP, Middle English and High Schools of the State till new appointments are made to fill up these vacancies. The Department has been asked to submit a detailed proposal for the purpose immediately, said the sources.During his informal discussion with the Education Minister the Chief Minister also approved steps to resolve the dispute arising in Sivasagar district on salaries of the teachers of the elementary sector on the basis of the High Court order.

Necessity of quality education underlined
SILAPATHAR, Sept 7 — The 8th biennial conference of Dhemaji District Academic Council (DDAC) was held at Silapathar RHS School with a two-day long programme on September 29 and 30.Attending the seminar-cum-open session in the conference on the second day, Loke Nath Sarmah, deputy director of Elementary Education, emphasised the necessity of quality education in the school, curriculum for development of children. He also outlined the responsibility of teachers in teaching profession.Local MLA, Bhuban Pegu urged teachers to be punctual in their duties, because teachers are the main social reformers of society.Khargeswar Pegu, secretary of Mising Sahitya Sabha spoke about the national education policy 1986 & 1968. He also requested the teachers to follow the rule and ethics of these education policy for better teaching of the school curriculum.Retired principal of Bordoloni HS School, Bipin Chutia dwelt on effective teaching. The seminar-cum-open session was attended by Ambika Kachari, deputy chief of Bogibeel railway project and Bhovisha Dihingia, chairman of Dhemaji town, which was presided over by Bhoven Deori, assistant inspector of schools, Dhemaji.On the occasion, the souvenir of the conference Pragyajyoti edited by Bolin Borgohain was released by eminent litterateur of Tai language Dr Puspa Gogoi. The programme of the day started with flag hoisting by Pholik Doley, inspector of schools, Dhemaji, which was followed by smriti tarpan by Binita Garudia, headmistress of Dhemaji Girls HSS.On the first day, the delegates camp was opened by Debabala Borgohain, principal of Silapathar RHS School. After inaugurating the delegates camp, the first delegates session was held.Non-deficit colleges: The Dhemaji district Non-deficit College Forum (government financial aided) was formed with Siva Nath Pegu, principal of Silapathar Women’s College as president and Rose Kr Kutum, principal of Silapathar Commerce College on September 29.The meeting has also decided to hold a zonal conference on October 10 at Dhemaji Girls College, Dhemaji and the president and secretary have requested presence of two members from each non-deficit college

GU irked at CM’s remark
GUWAHATI, Oct 6 – The ongoing tussle between the Gauhati University and the Assam Government continues with the University Community today reacting sharply to the statement of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi regarding financial assistance to the University. The University community today expressed the view that the Chief Minister and the Vice-Chancellor of the University must work together on good faith and mutual respect in the greater academic interests.In a joint statement today, the Gauhati University Teachers’ Association (GUTA), Post Graduate Students’ Union (PGSU), Gauhati University Workmen’s Union, Gauhati University Officers’ Association and three Executive Council members of the University expressed serious concern at the statement of the Chief Minister regarding the functioning of the University. The University community called upon the Chief Minister to adopt a holistic view regarding the Gauhati University and not to treat it as an in-campus and non-affiliating institution, while commenting on it and considering financial grants to the premier educational institution.The statement pointed out that the Chief Minister, while speaking on the teacher-student ratio of the University, had only taken into consideration only the intake capacity of the Post Graduate (PG) classes. He did not look into the total strength of the students in the PG departments and the University Law College. The total strength of students in the University is around 3,000. Besides, all academic departments of the University run PhD programme, while, some departments also run M Phil Courses and diploma courses. Higher Education is meant for specialized training and all academic departments are having a number of specialized courses, for which, the strength of teachers in various departments will obviously go up, the release said.The University community pointed out that the student-teacher ratio in all leading Universities in India and abroad is not very much different from that of the Gauhati University.The university community pointed out that the Gauhati University is an affiliating University and at this moment, it has 229 affiliated colleges, 39 permitted degree colleges, 31 affiliated B Ed colleges, 11 permitted B Ed colleges, 12 affiliated Law colleges, three permitted Law colleges and ten private colleges under it. Moreover, the Engineering, Medical and Ayurvedic colleges in Guwahati are also affiliated to the Gauhati University. The students enrolled in these colleges are registered with the Gauhati University. The University conducts the final examinations of its degree courses and awards degrees to the students and formulate courses and syllabi apart from teaching the post graduate students and holding the examinations. The Gauhati University, with its existing strength of teachers and employees, has to perform such a volume of work, which is overlooked by the Chief Minister, the statement added.The joint statement was signed by University Executive Council Members- Prof TK Dutta, Prof A Mazumdar and Prof AD Patgiri, GUTA general secretary Akhil Ranjan Dutta, PGSU general secretary Moon Kumar Borah, GUWU president B Das and GUOA president B Goswami.

Govt moots education panel to suggest steps
GUWAHATI, Oct 5 – The State Government is contemplating setting up of an education commission comprising some experts in the field, to suggest ways and means for improving the quality of education. Disclosing this at a press conference here today, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also described the attempt at resignation of Gauhati University (GU) Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Amarjyoti Choudhury as unjustified. “Among all the VCs, he has received the highest allocation. I don’t find any justification in his resignation,” said Gogoi.Explaining, he said that the announcement of the allocation of Rs 25 crore was included in the Budget proposals and as per the procedure, budgeted amounts were to be released by March next. No money could be released as soon as it is assured, he said.He also claimed that the State Government was ready to pay for introduction of good subjects. “We will pay more money, but the quality of education should also be guaranteed,” he said.On the GU vision document, he said that the document had laid stress on building, etc., infrastructure. There is no mention of quality of education being imparted by the university, he said. When reminded that good infrastructure is closely related to quality of education, he said that only infrastructure development would not serve the purpose, quality of education should also be taken care of. He further said that the State Government would link up allocations with the performance of the university.The State Government under his stewardship had released a sum of Rs 2,837 lakh in 2005-06 and an amount of Rs 2,990.75 lakh in 2006-07 to GU against the highest amount of Rs 2,395 lakh released during the AGP regime in 2000-2001. It has proposed an amount of Rs 6,017.009 lakh for the university in 2007-08 and of this amount, Rs 35.17 crore was proposed in the Budget for the fiscal, while Rs 25 crore was announced by him as an additional fund, said Gogoi. The Chief Minister was also critical of the functioning of GU. He also maintained that the teacher-student ratio in Anthropology department is 1:2, while the ratio in Biotechnology is 1:1.6, in Folklore Research—it is 1:1.8, in Zoology—1:2.6, in Instrumentation and USIC—1:2.3, in Chemistry—1:2.3, in Computer Science—1:5 and in Electronic Science—1:5, he said referring to a report prepared by Dr R Zaman, Secretary, Higher Education. Dr Zaman had written that running the departments with under-capacity enrolment of students would not do justice and shortage of students in some demanding subjects was a matter of concern. While framing the document of centre of excellence, these aspects should be given due weightage before introducing new courses, Dr Zaman observed. The Chief Minister wondered as to what prevented Prof Choudhury from taking up the GU vision document with the University Grants Commission (UGC). The State Government cannot pay the sum of Rs 181 crore to the university, it has to send the proposal to the Union Government, he said.He claimed that the Government is keen on developing GU, Dibrugarh University (DU) and the engineering colleges of the State, maintaining, however, that he was not for confrontation, but for improvement of the institutions. Vocational education: The Government is now laying more stress on vocational and technical education. During the next five years, it has proposed to set up 24 polytechnics, he said, adding that he was interested also in setting up SMDT-like women’s university.The Government is improving the condition of the ITIs and some more technical educational institutions under public-private partnership are also being set up with employment-oriented courses, he said, observing that the State was lagging far behind others in matters of technical education.

Education backbone of a society’
DIPHU, Oct 15 – “Education is the backbone of a society and decides the fate of a society. Unless we are educated, our economic condition will continue to deteriorate,” Bidya Sing Rongpi, executive member (EM) of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) said as a chief guest in a fresher’s meet at Rangsina College at Dongkamokam recently.Rongpi in his speech further said that Lt Dr Phookan Chandra Phangcho, the founder of the college was conferred the first Samson Sing Engti award posthumously. Government is going to set up four colleges of the district for which the procedure has started and in no time the work will be completed,” Rongpi added.He also announced that infrastructure facility like, boundary wall of the college, a double storey classroom, cycle stand, drinking water facility and retaining wall, etc. will be given to college by KAAC of the education department.Rongpi appealed to the teachers and students in the freshers meet to strive for glory of the college.Mongol Sing Timung, executive member (EM), KAAC, said that “To build a well-developed society we need education and it also plays pivotal role in our economic development.”He also appealed to the teachers and students to co-operate for better results.He further informed that the KAAC has already announced Rs 50 thousand to those who pass the preliminary examination of Union Public Service Commission and a scholarship to the Medical and Engineering aspirants. Hence, they must avail it, Timung said.Dr Mansing Rongpi, MLA, Baithalangso in his speech said that under-privileged students fail to deliver the results up to the expectation of their parents and he appealed to the teachers to discharge their duty diligently so as to the students can fare better.Diganta Bora, SDPO, Hamren, speaking in the freshers meet, said that “Determination and dedication can bring success in the field of education and once you determine and dedicate yourself for the purpose, nothing can stop you from crowning yourself with success.”On the occasion, six students who secured first division in HSLC exam were awarded by Bina Ronghangpi, MAC, KAAC.Deben Saikia and Azijur Rahman, principal of Senior and Junior Rangsina College respectively, also spoke on the occasion.

Nalbari school teachers issue suicide threat
NALBARI, Oct 14 – The Education Department has decided to terminate the jobs of 96 teachers serving in different high schools in Nalbari district since 1988 and 1991 and in fact, eight of them had already been terminated by the Inspector of Schools on Friday. The departmental sources said that the process of appointment of these teachers was allegedly ‘illegal’.The Education Department’s decision to terminate the jobs of these teachers, who have completed 16 to 18 years’ service term and during appointment have followed all departmental procedures, has caused strong resentment among a cross-section of the people. The teachers already terminated and those facing termination on Friday gheraoed the office of the Inspector of Schools and threatened to commit suicide in front of the office if the department failed to review the order soon. The Inspector of Schools, Anowar Hussain, terminated the services of these teachers without giving any show-cause notice.Meanwhile, the Nalbari district units of AJYCP, AASU and Assam High School Teachers’ Association have strongly criticised the Education Department’s move to terminate the teachers. The AJYCP unit also moved the Deputy Commissioner and requested him understand the situation of the teachers already terminated and those facing termination. The organisation also threatened a strong agitational programme upon failure by the Education Department, to withdraw the illegal move. According to the AASU Education Minister Ripun Bora himself is polluting the academic environment in nalbari district by one action after another. Earlier, the minister decided to terminate 2273 teachers of ME, MV and LP Schools terming them as ‘illegal’. However, the decision was withdrawn after strong resentment from all corners, the AASU said.

USEFI Helpdesk inaugurated at Dibrugarh varsity
The United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI) has set up a Helpdesk at Dibrugarh University (DU) for the benefit of the students, research scholars and teachers of DU and the other educational institutions of the region. The Helpdesk was inaugurated on September 25 by Dr. K. Pathak, VC, DU and Dr. Sunrit Mullick, the Regional Officer and Educational Adviser of USEFI, Kolkata. In his speech the VC expressed that the Helpdesk is an important step in the direction of bringing the easternmost University of India to the global stage and hoped that the students and research scholars would make the best use of the facility. Dr Mullick in his speech highlighted the facilities to be provided by the Helpdesk towards providing information on educational opportunities in the USA. He informed the teachers, scholars and students that hand-outs, bulletins and application forms on various Fulbright Programs, and exams like the ToEFL, GRE, GMAT, SAT would be provided by the Helpdesk. Prof. Shiela Bora made a presentation on her Fulbright experience on the occasion. The programme was coordinated by Dr. Rajib Handique, the Deputy Registrar (Academic) of DU.Seminar on Tai-Buddhist: A seminar on ‘The Tai-Buddhist Communities of North-East India – Continuity and Change’ was organized by the Shri Shri Aniruddhadeva Chair, Dept. of History, DU on September 19. Eminent scholar and reputed historian of medieval Assam, Prof. J.N. Phukan presided over the seminar. Several research papers were presented by a host of teachers and scholars of the region. Dr. D. Nath, the Chair Professor delivered the welcome address and the VC inaugurated the Seminar. The seminar was well attended by the teachers and scholars of DU and some colleges.DU Foundation Day: The DU Foundation Day Celebrations took place on September 21. As part of the celebrations, Dr. Amarjyoti Choudhury the VC, Gauhati University delivered the Third Late L.P. Dutt Memorial Lecture on ‘Nano Science’. In his lecture Dr. Choudhury highlighted the capability of Nano Science to change the course of human civilization. At the very outset of his lecture Dr. Choudhury stressed upon the need of developing a consortium of the universities of Assam which can take care of some high-end common research facilities. Dr. K.K. Deka, Registrar, DU delivered the welcome addressed in which he gave an account of the development made by DU during the last year. The meeting was followed by campus illumination in the evening and a cultural programme by teachers and students.San Milan: The meeting of the minds – The 2007 edition of SanMilan, the intellectual convergence of leading personalities from the academia, the industry and the civil society was held on 6th October at Rangghar, the DU auditorium. The theme of the convergence was “Unlocking the North East’s Potential: Challenges Ahead”. The one-day convergence was inaugurated by Dr. K. Pathak, the VC, DU. Prof. A.R.M. Rehman, Director i/c, Centre for Management Studies, DU delivered the welcome address. Harendra Nath Das, former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Assam was the Key Speaker and the Chief Guest. In his key-note address Mr. Das laid down the expectations of the ‘Look East Policy’ in its historical perspective. “NE has to be an integral part of the Look East Policy. In order to achieve that the states of the region must develop their agriculture and industry to such an extent that their agricultural and industrial products can compete in the international market”. He stressed upon the need to develop skilled technical manpower as in Taiwan by making knowledge the most important input for economic development. A number of eminent personalities like, Dr. Sunil Kr. Saikia, Head, Enterprise Management Division, Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, Anil Kr. Bora, Chief General Manager, North Eastern Coalfields, Wasbir Hussain, Director, Centre for Development and Peace Studies, Manoj Jalan, Director, Jalan Industries Ltd. and B.P. Bakshi, Chairman, All India Manufacturer’s Association took part in the panel-discussion entitled ‘Manthan’ and gave valuable speeches. The panel was moderated by Prof. Shiela Bora.The panel discussion was followed by ‘Agni’, the paper presentation competition for students on sub-themes related to the Central theme of the convergence and ‘Biz-Mantra’ an open business quiz.DUDRET Rescheduled: The date for holding the Dibrugarh University Doctoral Registration Eligibility Test (DUDRET), 2007 has been postponed to November 25.

Education leads to empowerment’
GUWAHATI, Oct 19 – “Education leads to empowerment sans which no community or nation can forge ahead,” said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at a function organised by the Aligarh Muslim University’s Old Boys’ Association, NE region commemorating the 190th birth anniversary of eminent educationist Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in the city here on Wednesday. This day is also observed throughout the country as Sir Syed Day. This was stated in a press release.Paying tribute to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Gogoi described him as a ‘visionary, legendary figure whose contribution to the field of education is immense”. He said that the eminent personality realized ‘education as a means of empowerment and worked tirelessly for the uplift of all segments of society more particularly the minority community’. In the same breath, he regretted citing Justice Sachar Committee report that the key factor for which the minority community is lagging behind is because of lack of education.Terming education as one of the main factors for human development indices, the Chief Minister said that his government has all along been according top priority to education for ushering in economic uplift and overall development of the State. “Considering the fact that some communities are lagging behind in education for which they are backward in all respects, our government has given added thrust on education by declaring this year as “Year of Education” so that all communities can equally march ahead and reap the fruits of development.”Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Tourism & Forest Rockybul Hussain described Sir Syed Ahmed Khan as a dozen of education. “He combined in himself the best of all the thought-processes and imbibed good things from the West and introduced English as a language despite stiff opposition from the fundamentalists and conservatives,” he added.He further said that it was due to the legendary figure’s vision and foresightedness that brought Aligarh Muslim University to the realm of international standards in education.Others who spoke on the occasion included Abdul Hafiz Rashid Choudhury, Atuar Rahman, former MP, Abdul Mahib Mazumdar, former advocate general and a host of eminent personalities. The function was presided over by Mashihuz Zaman, former commissioner, PWD, Government of Assam.Shahnaz Yasmin Haque, general secretary, AMU Old Boys’ Association, NE region, delivered the welcome address while Farida Sultana Haque, executive member of the association offered the vote of thanks.Earlier, the Chief Minister released a souvenir brought out on the occasion.

Institute of Farm Management craving Govt attention
RANI, Oct 24 – The days are seemingly numbered for the Rani-based Institute of Farm Management, 30 km from Guwahati, with the regular functions of the uncared-for Institute believed to be a recipe for the burgeoning unemployment problem- coming to a virtual halt owing to the lackadaisical attitude on the part of the government. Set up in 1980 with the aim of imparting modern technology-based practical training on composite farming to rural unemployed youth, the Institute was reportedly on the right track for the first 15 years.But no sooner did the Institute successfully complete the training of 24 batches, each of which reportedly consisted of 32 to 35 trainees from various parts of the state than the downfall began following the reportedly acute fund crisis. Here it merits mention that reportedly first of its kind in the country, the Institute encompassing 184 bigha land, has the making of becoming a full-fledged Institute with the already existing units like dairy, piggery, poultry, duckery, goatery, fishery, horticulture including fodder farm. But far from using the huge potential to the desired level, the authorities stopped paying heed, inflicting a mortal blow on the unemployed section.What is disheartening to note is that due to the sheer apathy of the authorities concerned, all the units have remained unused. Worse still, the handing over of a plot of 50 bighas to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research Centre had dealt a big blow to the Institute. “The ideal Institute could play a great role in uplifting the rural economy if state-of-the-art infrastructure is provided,” Dr Atul Senapati, former Director, In-charge, Institute of Farm Management, Rani revealed to The Assam Tribune. Dr Senapati was emphatic on the participatory role of the locale populace for the realization of symbiotic benefit. Meanwhile, Dr Senapati informed that a project was submitted for the all-round development of the Institute.The rot sets in following the non-existence of a well-defined fencing and the ramshackle state of the staff quarters. The hostels need to be renovated to give a shot in the arm to the Institute. The yet-to-be- handed over auditorium has turned into a white elephant.The World Bank-funded 3 month-long training – Gopal Mitra – on artificial insemination was reportedly going on from 2006 and four batches, comprising 25 to 30 educated unemployed youth from the interior areas of the state have already completed the training, but the Government was apparently oblivious to its pledge to work for the economic well-being of rural areas as regular training activities have come to a standstill. A new lease of life to the dying Institute is a matter to be reckoned with, considering the appalling rise of unemployment problem.

12th foundation day of Assam Valley School
TEZPUR, Oct 29 – Assam Valley School, considered one of country’s largest secondary-level educational institutions situated at Harchura Tea Estate of Balipara area, about 22 km away from Tezpur, designed after the style of Doon School of Dehra Dun, has stepped into its 12th year of academic existence with brilliant results shown by its students.The one and only academic institution established for quality education to the students of North East region is going to celebrate its 12th foundation anniversary from November 2 with a three-day-long programme. Headmaster of the school, DNA Mountford, addressing a press meet at the office of the school on Monday, highlighted achievements of the school and the scheduled programme of 12th foundation day in detail. Headmaster said the institution aims at providing quality education to the pupils coming from different States as well as neighbouring countries of India. He further said the school is trying to provide quality education to students along with the cultural assimilation irrespective of caste, creed or religion. Outlining foundation programme, Mountford said that on November 2 at 10 a m, a founder’s day special assembly will be held among members of the governing board, staff and pupils at Williamson Magor Hall. This will be followed by the major events of the day such as Careers Fair at 10.30 a m, PT gymnastics and torchlight tattoo. The next day’s highlight is inauguration of exhibitions, re-opening of careers fair, music and dance presentation by senior dramatics society and special performance by the AVS choir and other events. On November 4 at 10 a m, re-opening of exhibition and parent-teacher meeting are scheduled. Jairam Ramesh Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Govt of India will attend the function. It will also be attended by DONER Minister Mani Sankar Iyer and GoC, 4 Corps, Tezpur, S Jamwal. The Headmaster further asserted before mediapersons that the school spread over an area of 99 hectare has been providing quality education to 491 students at present. He further stated that the school is stressing upon every area of education including handicraft of various tribes of the region.

Number of out-of-school children declining
GUWAHATI, Oct 29 – The number of out-of-school children, which stood at 13.40 lakh (24.39 per cent) in 2002 before the launching of the Sarbashiksha Abhijan Mission, has come down to 3.95 lakh (7.27 per cent) in 2007. Terming this as the biggest achievement of the Sarbashiksha Mission in Assam, Education Minister Ripun Bora said that several constraints notwithstanding, the Mission had been able to make a mark in the State.Bora, who made a presentation of the Mission’s performance at the ‘First regional workshop on flagship programmes of UPA Government’ organized by Doordarshan Kendra, Guwahati on Saturday, said that the Mid-day Meal Scheme, too, was making good progress in the State. “Most importantly, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme has resulted in considerable increase in the enrolment of poor students, especially in char and tea garden areas,” the Minister said, adding that the Mid-Day Meal Scheme during 2007-08 covered 49,420 educational institutions. Bora said that the Government of India had approved the proposal of the State to cover students of upper primary classes (V to VIII) this year but the fund was yet to be released. While the Centre had released Rs 11,739.80 lakh as cooking cost during 2006-07, this year (2007-08) the amount approved is 13,770.52 lakh. However, the first instalment has not yet been released due to the carryover of last year amounting to Rs 7,438 lakh, which was drawn at the end of the last financial year. On the problem areas of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Bora stressed the need to hand over implementation of the project to a separate independent agency and for simplification of the present system of releasing transportation cost. On the constraints of the Sarbashiksha Mission, Bora said that engagement of teachers in jobs of the Mission led to shortage of regular teachers in schools. “The delay in filling up the vacant posts of 13,000-odd teachers due to pending litigations is also having an adverse impact,” he added. Bora said that two major problem areas of schools, i.e., drinking water and toilet facilities, were likely to be addressed by the Total Sanitation Programme, another Centrally-sponsored project.

Assam varsity lacks basic amenities
GUWAHATI, Nov 4 – Despite being a Central university that is supposed to get certain facilities provided by the State Government, the Assam University, Silchar seems to be no body’s child. The university, which has been grappling with basic problems of water, road and electricity over the years, has failed to attract the attention of both the governments.For the last 14 years since when this university was established, the roads leading to it have not been repaired, and in the words of the students of this university, the roads resemble those of a village. “The huge campus of the Assam University is suffering from acute water supply problem mainly because of leakage in the GI pipelines, lack of proper reservoir capacity and lack of appropriate care-taker of PHE centre of the university,” said Suman Das, general secretary of Assam University Students’ Council. “Even the girls’ hostels of the university have to manage without water for many days sometimes. The university has to buy water from Silchar town, which is 22 kilometres away, to meet its demand,” he revealed. “The electricity supply is also going through the same phase as the students get only two to three hours electricity during the day, not to mention about the nights,” he said adding that, “this is the condition when the university has a dedicated power supply station.” “We have given memorandums to the ministers concerned in the State as according to the MoU signed during the establishment of the university in 1994, road, water and electricity facilities are to be provided by the State Government,” said a member of the council. Charging all the ministers and the MLAs of the region, the council members complained that they have failed to fulfil the hopes of the university and the people of the region. “We got assurances from all the MLAs and the MP, but no action was taken on these issues, causing trouble to more than 2,500 students of the university,” he added.

Institute in memory of Dr Berry White soon
DIBRUGARH, Nov 3 – Rs 20 crore would be spent to set up an institute in the name of Dr John Berry White at the Assam Medical College, said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi here today. Dr White, the British military surgeon’s initiative led to the establishment of the present Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH), which celebrated its sixtieth anniversary today. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi inaugurated the basic science building of the medical college, which has also been named after Dr Berry White. The Chief Minister and an entourage of state ministers were in the city today on the occasion of the concluding day’s celebration of the diamond jubilee functions of the medical college.The present day AMCH that germinated from Berry White Medical School started functioning as a full-fledged medical college and hospital from November 3, 1947. Calling to mind the noble initiative of Dr Berry, the chief minister who showed reverence for the great social thinker and leader said the exemplary social responsibility shown by Dr Berry ought to be emulated by all. Recalling the condition of the medical institute ten years back, Gogoi said the AMCH was totally sick. “All departmental units of the medical college and hospital, its administration and infrastructure, a decade ago were in a sorry state,” Gogoi described. But today, the chief minister declared, AMCH was healed of all its illness. “The medical college and hospital is glowing today,” he said in obvious reference to the constructions of new medical units and installing of sophisticated infrastructures in the AMCH under the project ‘Hope’. The state health department has poured more than Rs 100 crores for the upgradation and renovation of the institute. Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated the advanced MRI machine and OIL-donated lecture hall-cum-conference complex today where he said that the state needed to update itself with latest technologies in all sectors for progress and prosperity. “We have to keep pace with the fast changing science and technology”, Gogoi underlined. However, he clarified that state-of-the-art services should not be a costly affair for the common people. “It is my government’s aim to provide all services at an affordable cost,” the chief minister said. Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma who was frequently referred to as ‘dynamic and energetic’ while addressing the gathering reiterated that the state government would make all effort to bring back the past glory of the medical institute and would never allow the medical institute to fall into the hands of a few individuals and business parties running private nursing homes. “AMCH is an institute of the people and no individual or party can hijack the institute to meet their selfish ends,” the health minister cautioned. Sarma called upon the people to contribute towards the development of the institute and assured that the state health department would give adequate care and attention to the premiere medical institute. The Planning and Development Minister Prithbi Majhi, who also happens to be the chairman of the governing body of AMCH, addressed today’s open session. Parliamentary Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Jibontara Ghatowar, Power and Industries Minister Pradyut Bordoloi, Principal, AMCH Dr Taufique Rahman Borborah, were amongst others who also spoke on the occasion. The jubilee celebration committee also announced today the construction of a Diamond Jubilee Hall for patients’ attendants coming from far off places, particularly those who cannot afford to seek accommodation in city hotels. A souvenir, medical directory (in CD format) and AMC annual journal were also released on the occasion. In the penultimate session of the celebrations today, past pupils of the medical college took turns to go down memory lane and regale the audience. They were all optimistic that the glory of the AMC “never faded, never will.” Speaking to The Assam Tribune, health minister Dr Sarmah said he has sanctioned a second CT Scan machine for the medical college, and that this would be the hi-tech “spiral” type. He also said the government has decided to set up two nursing colleges, at the Assam Medical College here and at the Silchar Medical College. “Nurses graduating from these two colleges would be qualified for global assignments,” he boasted

Aussie help to solve unemployment sought
GUWAHATI, Nov 2 – The Australian Government, regarded as one of the paramount players in the field of vocational training, is likely to tie up with Assam Government for improving the quality of vocational education and training in the State.The proposed tie-up is expected to go a long way to materialise the dream of the State Government to cash in on the benefits of vocational training in the State. In fact, if the deal materialises, then Assam would be the first Indian State to have struck a tie-up with Australia at the State level. According to official sources, the Australian Government is eager to start the procedure with a vocational training programme in the Petroleum industry. On the other hand, the State has also placed its requirements before the Australian delegation during an interaction. The State government expects Australia to help build the infrastructure required in the State for courses transfer of technology, imparting need-based training with special stress on IT and e-education in the remote areas. The high-profile mission, according to experts, would inject fresh life to the acceptance level of the vocational training, especially among the educated unemployed in the State, apart from providing a solution to the growing unemployment menace. Talking to The Assam Tribune, Moloy Bora, director, Employment and Craftsmen Training, confirmed the development and said that even though the Australian Government is yet to affirm its decision, the probability of Assam making the cut is very high.“I am in constant touch with the Australian counterpart and they seem to have liked the feasibility of the mission in Assam,” Bora said while adding, “The biggest challenge for the State will be to ensure that the private players, including the industries are involved in this project in a big way. The Australian delegation, which participated in the Indo-Australia Forum of Vocational Education and Training, was led by Jim Davidson, deputy secretary, Australian Government’s Department of Education, Science and Training. The Australian group, under the Australian Vocational (VET) mission would share their experience of providing skills for its economy and will also aim at building a stronger bond between the two, for various exchange programmes to enhance the quality of the vocational education in the State.The Industrial Technical Institute (ITI) is likely to be the implementing agency of the entire project in the State. “Though things are also progressing at the national level between the two countries, Assam, in a way, is moving a step ahead for it was the only State to be invited for the Indo-Australia Forum on vocational education and training, which was held in New Delhi few days back, where a brief presentation about the prospects and requirements of the tie-up between the two countries were deliberated upon,” said Bora, who was the State’s representative in the forum. “Of course, there were representatives from Union Ministry of Human Resources Development, Directorate General of Labour and Employment and the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment among other stake holders like AICTE, IGNOU and others but on the State level Assam was the only invitee,” Bora added. He further informed that the final decision by the Australian Government is likely by year-end. “If every thing goes right, a team of Australian experts under Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training, will make a visit to the State very soon to formally put the stamp on the deal,” Bora added.

2 State engineering colleges to get Rs 10 cr each
GUWAHATI, Nov 2 – The Education Department has decided to release an amount of Rs 10 crore to each of the two engineering colleges and Rs 50 lakh to each of the nine Polytehniques of the State. Disclosing this here these evening, official sources said that Education Minister Ripun Bora would visit all these institutions in the coming days.Tomorrow, he will visit the Jorhat Engineering College and Secretary Higher Education, Secretary Technical Education and Director, Technical Education will accompany him.

AMC: new lease of life at 60
DIBRUGARH, Nov 2 – Sixty today, the Assam Medical College is recuperating, to use a word the medical fraternity is familiar with. Upgraded to a full fledged medical college this day in 1947, the institution was in existence since 1900 in its earlier avatar as the Berry White Medical School, churning out medical practitioners but without the MBBS degree. If one takes the legacy of the medical school, the college today is 107 years old. But as a few think otherwise, the official birthday of the Assam Medical College (AMC) is November 3, 1947. As has been repeated millions of times, the golden days of the AMC concluded months after the signing of the Assam Accord. This grand institution which had stalwarts like Dr Bhubaneswar Baruah as the founders, saw the rapid decline of prestige between 1985 and 1995. After a decade of sheer neglect, the institution once again attracted attention of the state government, and today it seems that the AMC is well on its way to regain its lost glory. However, one has to bear this in mind that government grants alone cannot do not make a great institution; it is the people who are running it would have to be fully devoted. AMC today is well on its feet to recovery from a period of step motherly treatment by the Assam Government. However, there are still major flaws in the recuperative process which would have to be taken care of if the medical college really has to become a centre of medical excellence. Ad-hoc planning would not do, and neither will ad-hoc financing. It is good to see new buildings coming up at the vast AMC campus, replacing the erstwhile barracks of the Allied Forces, built to house military personnel during the Second World War. But a casual glance at the insides of these buildings would tell even a lay man that the building design has been flawed. A case in point would be the lack of ventilation at the Medical and Cardiology Block. The reduced height of the rooms and the flawed ventilation makes both medical personnel and patients struggling for breath. Two other buildings, supposed to house the new institutes of infectious and chest diseases remain uncompleted for over five years. Worse, the AMC authorities are yet to finalise a plan to recruit the personnel for these two units and their remuneration. The cost of the buildings were borne by the North Eastern Council, but it is gathered that the money was diverted by the government. Similarly, the matter of setting up a full fledged Neurosciences Department got lost in a quagmire of babudom, and the private tea company that wanted to finance the project has since lost interest. For any institution to remain strong, it must have a strong bank of human resource. Students and junior doctors have even gone on an agitation, demanding adequate teaching staff. Shortage of teachers continue to plague the AMC. Manipulation of faculty related data to hoodwink the Medical Council of India does not help the real cause of the AMC. This is one important area the government will have to tackle, and soon. On the brighter side, new equipment and infrastructure is being set up at the AMC. One just hopes the government would be a little more sincere for the North East’s oldest medical college and arrange for the right men to man the equipment and infrastructure. Then, we would not want the AMC to be of AIIMS standard: it could be the other way around! Possible, did one hear?

Loopholes in higher education must be plugged’
JORHAT, Nov 8 – It was a job well executed. Jorhat-based voluntary organization Assam Academic Centre, which organized a State-level education summit on the sidelines of the ninth edition of Jorhat book fair here last week, plans to follow up on the inputs registered at the brainstorming session. The purpose for holding the education seminar was to prepare a roadmap for developing the skills and qualifications of the students of Assam in order to brighten up their employment prospects in industry and other job sectors.At the conclusion of the book carnival on Tuesday, general secretary of the steering committee of ninth Jorhat book fair Biman Sarmah said that the meet had explored the need for effecting necessary changes in various fields of the higher education sector. “We are grateful to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who showed a great deal of interest in the seminar and attended it along with State Education minister Ripun Bora,” he added.Chief Minister had inaugurated the summit at the auditorium of North East Institute of Science and Technology (formerly RRL) here. The conclave was attended by Education minister, vice chancellor of Dibrugarh University professor Kulendu Pathak, vice chancellor of Assam Agricultural University Dr SS Baghel, NEIST director Dr PG Rao, professor MP Bezbaruah of Gauhati University and professor Prabin Bora of IIT, Guwahati. Other dignitaries included director of Tea Research Association Dr Mridul Hazarika, registrar of Dibrugarh University Kandarpa Deka and secretary of Higher Education Dr R Zaman.The Chief Minister had stressed the need for the introduction of relevant and job-oriented courses of study to keep pace with the advanced States in the country at the meet. Gogoi made a case for launching cash courses in agricultural and allied fields. There is immense potential of employment in fishery, dairy, floriculture, piggery, media and entertainment, the Chief Minister said, adding that the need is to provide “the right type of education to promote career opportunities.”Representatives of three leading IT companies – Wipro, IBM and Infosys – also attended the education summit and gave an overview of their functioning in the north-eastern States through powerpoint presentations. College teachers and representatives of student unions were also present on the occasion. Waxing eloquent on the outcome of the seminar, Sarmah maintained that focus was on working out coordination among Government, universities and the job sector. “After finishing our report, we will submit it to the Government within a month for a future course of action,” he said, adding the Education Minister has even invited Assam Academic Centre to host a similar summit at Guwahati.NEIST director Dr Rao addressed the valediction ceremony held on Tuesday evening at the venue – Jorhat District Sports Association ground – of ninth Jorhat book fair

Govt initiating measures to reform education scenario’
GUWAHATI, Nov 8 – Education is the key to positive changes and has a significant role in the transformation of the society. This observation was made by Education Minister Ripun Bora on the occasion of the 24th foundation day of KC Das Commerce College here recently.Bora further said that the Government realising the importance in the age of globalisation has already launched several schemes and projects for the development of education from primary to higher level. “Different measures for bringing reformation in the educational scenario has been undertaken by the Government. The Government has provided special financial packages for those colleges which have got B+ grade from NAAC,” said Bora.Bora further said that the Government had placed the demand to the HRD ministry to establish one IIM in Assam as well as other technical and professional educational institutions in the State and called upon the students present on the occasion to work hard and bring laurels to their institute as well as the State.Delivering the foundation day lecture, Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury, VC, Gauhati University highlighted on the advances in Nanotechnology. He said that the technology had emerged as one of the most important subject of the modern world. “With the help of this technology, it would be possible to build a ladder from earth to the Moon in the future, on which the impact of gravitational pull will be very minimal,” said Dr Choudhury, adding that Nanotechnology could be helpful in saving old precious paintings and in the matter of drug delivery too it could play a crucial role.Dr Choudhury said that though India was in an advantageous position in the field of Nanotechnology, there was no sufficient investment in this field.On the occasion, the Dr Prafulla Chandra Choudhury Award and the Sarat Chandra Das Award were presented to the best graduate and to the best higher secondary scholar of the institution. Cash prizes of Rs ten thousand, seven thousand and five thousand were distributed to the winners of the inter college music competition. The research journal Genesis and literary journal Drasta of the college were released on the occasion. Earlier, principal of the college Dr Hitesh Deka welcomed the gathering.

GU Chemistry dept gets Rs 1.80 cr grant
GUWAHATI, Nov 6 – At a time when some of the quarters have become very much vocal against Gauhati University (GU) raising questions on its commitments towards the society, the Chemistry Department of the University has secured a grant worth Rs 1.80 crore from the Union Department of Science and Technology (DST) to strengthen its research and post-graduate teaching. According to Prof Bhabesh Goswami, Head of the Department of Chemistry, GU, the grant is released under the Fund for Infrastructure in Science and Technology (FIST) scheme based on the project proposal that was submitted by the Department. The Department sought the grant in 2006 to procure about 20 sophisticated instruments like the 400 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer (NIR), Powder X-Ray Diffractometer, UV-visible-NIR Spectrophotometer and TG/DTA/DSC System, among others and also for improvement of the infrastructure. The total amount sought for by the Department was Rs 4.36 crore, Goswami said.The funds released by the DST would allow the Department to procure a few sophisticated instruments like the NMR and in networking and upgrading its computer laboratory in addition to the renovation of some of the age-old laboratories. The first year’s allotment of Rs 1.25 crore has already been released by the DST, Prof Goswami said.The thrust areas identified by the Department for its future research activities include—inorganic and organic synthesis, natural products chemistry, environmental chemistry, biological inorganic and organic chemistry, catalysis, materials chemistry, theoretical chemistry and polymer chemistry, Prof Goswami said.He also apprised that the Department had received grants for extra-mural research from various sources during the past five years. The funds came in the form of Departmental Grants and Research Grants for individual faculty members, he said.

Govt mum on education concern of Bodos’
TEZPUR, Nov 18 – To spread the message of ‘Mission Quality Education’ among the people, particularly among the Bodos, a cycle rally was launched on October 22 from Kokrajhar headquarter of ABSU which was led by ABSU president Rwngwra Narzary and secretary Goutam Mochary. The team is currently touring regional committees and villages under Sonitpur district as a part of the mission. ABSU president of West Tezpur regional committee Sunil Kr Boro and cultural secretary Jiten Basumatary received the team of the rally here at Bandarmari, some 22 km away from Tezpur recently. The team was given a hearty welcome in presence of the local people along with various organisations. The team initially started its journey on October 22 for the collective purpose and by now has completed almost 2025 km through various Boro-dominated remote areas.While visiting different districts, youths and workers hailed the team members for spreading the message of quality education at a time when the State is facing various aggressive movements by different organisations as well as insurgency problem.Speaking at the brief function organised by the SDC, ABSU supported by WTAC, ABSU, ABSU president Rwngwra Narzary said there is no difference between the education system of BTAD and Assam. “We feel that the system run by Assam Government machinery has been followed by BTAD also. The BTAD, as well as State government, have been a silent spectator nowadays regarding the educational concerns of the Bodos. They are not interested in solving the problems of the Boro medium schools,” Narzary said. The leader also said that while the madrasas can avail a separate directorate, why not Bodo medium schools.He further expressed serious concern that right now ABSU is feeling that Bodos needed to be taught by themselves reflecting the overall development of the nation.The team also spoke on its plan to visit other districts of the State. Accordingly the rally will come to an end by end of the year. The team members were delighted to see the people’s interest in the tour and expect a helping hand from all sections of society in making the programme a success.

Need to make children morally steadfast stressed
SUALKUCHI, Nov 18 – The silver jubilee of Pragati Bidyapith here, which is the lone pre-primary school in Assamese medium in the silk village, which was established in 1982, was celebrated with a two-day programme from November 10.Dr Rajani Kanta Das, president of the silver jubilee celebration committee hoisted the insigne on November 10, which was followed by the illumination programme by Bhagnaswar Satradhikar of Iswar Hati Satra. The alumni meet witnessed old and new students interacting with each other. Songs, dance and recitation of poems formed a part of the itinerary.In the afternoon, a seminar on ‘Child health and health care’ was held. Dr Banikanta Baishya, retired Additional Director of Health Service, directed the seminar while Dr Nivedita Goswami of Guwahati, who is a child specialist and Dr Gouranga Das, Health Officer of Sualkuchi Mahatma Gandhi 30-bed hospital, participated as appointed speakers.A cultural procession was participated in by the alumni, guardians and well-wishers. It was taken out through out the main streets of the village. The open meeting was held with Dr Rajani Kanta Das, principal of SB Deorah College in the chair. Addressing the open meeting, Dr Anima Guha, literary pensioner a crusader against social labours and an activist of women’s movement of Assam said, “The ideal family can check the present trend of demoralisation in society. For this purpose training for the parents is essential. Only the ideal family can inculcate in their children the moral teachings.” Kamal Kumari Baruah, former Education Minister and the chairperson, (State Women’s Committee) Pradeshik Mahila Committee, Assam stressed on the need for introducing moral teaching in schools for permanent peace in Assam. Dr Arachana Sarmah, professor and Head of the Department of Economics, Guwahati University, released the souvenir Purbarag.Earlier, Deben Chandra Das, retired principal of Sualkuchi HSS, inaugurated the meeting.In the beginning of the meeting, Jogendra Bharali, working president of the silver jubilee celebration committee read out the welcome address while Kanaklata Das, secretary read out the secretarial report. The president of the meeting Dr Rajani Kanta Das in his presidential address highlighted the different aspects of the present education system and stressed on the need of implementing Montessori method of education in school

Course for English teachers
GUWAHATI, Nov 18 – English Language Teaching Institute, Assam an autonomous institute set up by the Govt of Assam for improving the quality of English language teaching in the vernacular medium schools of the State, will conduct a one-month certificate course in English teaching for the teachers English in the secondary as well as the upper primary schools of the State from December 1.The course will include phonetics and spoken English, modern English grammar and usage and the theory and practice of computer assisted language learning in ELT.

Vernacular primary school launches website
GUWAHATI, Nov 16 – Education Minister Ripun Bora launched on Thursday the website of the Kumarpara Haripirya Vidaypeeth primary school in the city at a function on the school premises. The website—— is the first of its kind launched by a vernacular medium primary school in the State. The website was prepared by the Alumni Association of the school.Launching the website, Bora announced a special grant of Rs 4 lakh to the school for infrastructure development during the current fiscal under the Sarba Siksha Mission. The school has already received an amount of Rs 4 lakh under the mission and infrastructure development work using this money is going on in the school. Bora said that using his discretionary power he had announced this special grant to the school. State Bank of India Board of Directors member Ananta Kalita also inaugurated the computer centre of the school, set up with the help of his bank, in the same function. Addressing the function, Kalita said that he was very much impressed with the performance of the school and assured all possible help to it.A veteran popular science movement leader of the State, Dr Anil Goswami and noted educationist Suren Ram Phookun were felicitated in the function, which was presided over by president of the alumni association Dr Bhabesh Das. General secretary of the association advocate Satyen Sarma welcomed the guests.It needs mention here that the school observed Thursday as science day as part of its ongoing golden jubilee celebration, under the aegis of its alumni association. The science and technology division of the Assam Science, Technology and Environment Council, Assam Energy Development Agency, State wing of the Bharat Jana Vigyan Jatha and the Pragjyotish Amateur Astronomer Association took part in the exhibition and in screening of a documentary on Kalpana Chawla and her colleagues as part of the day’s programme. Prof Dilip Sarma of the Cotton College Physics Department inaugurated the programme at 10-30 am. Prof Sarma is an ex-student of the school.Dr Ranjit Barman, head (in-charge) of the science and technology division of the ASTEC and Mrinal Choudhury, additional director (in-charge) of the Assam Energy Development Agency and U Deka, president of Pragjyotish Amateur Astronomers’ Association interacted with the students on various topics. Schoolteacher Altaf Hussain Khandakar also interacted with the students and made demonstrations on science and magic.The present and ex-students, teachers and guardians turned up in all the programmes of the day in quite a large number.

NE yet to promote education for visually-challenged’
GUWAHATI, Nov 22 – Compared to the rest of the country, the Northeast is yet to promote education for the visually-challenged in the light of modern and practicable concepts. The education for the visually impaired in this part of the country still centred on the traditional Braille system and so the students have been finding it difficult to go for higher studies. These observations were made by the National Federation of the Blind recently.The vice-president (East Zone) of the federation Md Imran Ali informed media persons that the visually-challenged students of the State are facing many problems, as there were not sufficient textbooks and other Braille equipment available for them.“Assam is still following the traditional system for the visually-challenged students which has hampered the growth of the students,” said Ali stressing on the need for application of state-of-the-art education methods for the visually-challenged.Ali said that the only Braille press in the State run by the Ministry of Social Welfare was not meeting the demand and not in sync with the changes sweeping the world of the visually-challenged. “There is need for Braille libraries in the State as well as talking book libraries to meet the challenges of time,” said Ali informing that proposals would be placed with the executive of the federation for establishment of Braille libraries in Guwahati, Nagaon and in an Upper Assam district and for a talking book library in Guwahati.On the other hand, Ali said that apart from the shortage of textbooks and Braille equipment, the students also faced financial hardships. The federation has a scholarship scheme for students interested to pursue higher studies and the quota for the Northeast has been increased from 50 to 75, informed Ali. “The federation has major programmes, schemes and projects to help the blind either in the education or employment sector, but the people of the Northeast are not aware about these welfare schemes,” said Ali.The federation has the provision for a monthly scholarship of Rs 1000 per month for students at the graduation level and Rs 1500 for students at the post graduate level.Under its rural development project, the federation has been identifying the visually-challenged and providing vocational training to them. “In Assam, we have identified around 500 visually-challenged unemployed people,” said Ali. Ali further said that the visually-challenged in the State who are interested to pursue professional courses could avail of loan from the federation to the tune of Rs 50,000 free of interest. “We also give housing loan up to Rs 10 lakh to the blind employees,” Ali informed.

Training in English for ‘Ka’, Class-I by SSA
guwahati, Nov 20 – A three-day English teachers’ training for ‘Ka’ and Class-I under the programme of introduction of English language in LP schools as well as primary section of the middle schools of Assam from the session 2008 year was held recently and was organised by Sarbha Siksha Abhijan Mission, Guwahati urban block. In the training all LP/MV schools under Guwahati urban block was covered by taking one teacher from each school.DD Kakati, ABRCC, Guwahati and K Tamuli, DPO (TT), SSA, Kamrup highlighted the aims and objects of the training programme. A Choudhury, sr consultant, TT, SMO, Kahilipara also attended in the training programme and expressed his confidence that after getting the training teachers will be able to teach English language in primary level without any hesitation and explained the importance of English language in the present situation. This was stated in a press release.

UGC seminar on vocational education
NALBARI, Dec 2 – A two-day University Grants Commission (UGC)-sponsored national seminar on the ‘Trend and Tradition of Vocational Education and Its Implementation’ was recently held at Barama College in Baska district. The seminar, organised by the Department of Education of the college, was attended by 90 participants from various colleges.The seminar, inaugurated by Dilip Kumar Baruah, former principal of Cotton College, was addressed by Pranab Sarma, head of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education (CEE), Pranab Chandra Gohain, Deputy Commissioner, Baska, Dr Debadhar Sarma, former principal of Barama College.Former principal of Nalbari College Pramod Ch Chakravarty, Sushanta Dutta, head of the Department of Management, BH College and Lutfur Rasul Saikia chaired the three technical sessions respectively.The valedictory function was conducted by Dr Jagadish Kalita, principal of Barama College.

Convention to promote library automation, networking in NE
GUWAHATI, Dec 3 – The Chah Janagosthi Adivasi Aikya Mancha on Monday stated that the people of the State had a right to know the findings of the party investigating into the incident of violence on November 24 in the capital city so as to identify the forces bent on dividing the communities living in harmony for ages.Addressing media persons, spokesperson of the Mancha, Israel Nanda and adviser Bhadreswar Tanti said that the people of the State were not provided any information in connection to the reports of the inquiry committees constituted so far by the Government to probe into matters of public importance.“We demand of the Government to make the findings of the party probing into the Beltola incident public,” said Nanda declaring that the Government would not be allowed to hush up the findings this time.The Mancha, which held its convention yesterday in the capital city, has decided to conduct a survey on the number of tribes and sub-tribes of the tea community in the State. Very soon, the process will start in all the districts. Nanda explained that the objective of the survey was to find out how many tribes and sub-tribes of the tea community in the State were enjoying the Scheduled Tribe status in other States.“The issue of granting ST status to the tea tribes has turned into a complex problem and we hold the representatives of the tea community in the Congress Government responsible for it,” said Nanda.The mancha agreed that the tea community leaders in the successive Congress Governments were not giving able leadership to the tea community and neither contributing in mitigating the grievances of the tea community.The Mancha also appealed to Anjali Daimary, leading the Bodo Women Justice Forum, to desist from making remarks hurting the sentiments of the tea community.On the other hand, condemning the killing of Shyamanta Gohain of Chabua in the aftermath of the Beltola violence, the Mancha demanded an inquiry into the killing and punishment for those involved in the killing.The Mancha will soon submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister and President of India in connection to the Beltola incident

New approach needed for Management students
GUWAHATI, Dec 3 – MBA aspirants of the city were introduced to a multi-disciplinary approach in management education by the Delhi Business School (DBS) on Monday, which also announced scholarships for girl students of the State.An official of the group, Suresh Yadav gave a presentation before the aspiring youths highlighting the new concepts in business education.“The world business scenario is changing and it is time now to change the conventional definition of management,” Yadav, told media persons asserting that pure academic skills alone are not enough to get students the right lead.Yadav further said that for students in this line, it was necessary to imbibe life skills, which polish a true character, complete with qualities like commitment, hard work, sincerity, team spirit, strategic thinking and current awareness that unlock minds from conditioned attitudes.He said that in today’s era, specialization played an important role in elevating one’s career and informed that DBS, through industry interaction and study of market conditions, had formulated subjects to give students the dual advantage in specialized subjects.He said that the scholarships for girl students were introduced to motivate the fairer sex to join the management stream. The scholarships would be between Rs 5000 to 40,000.

Shillong IIM to be at par with the best
SHILLONG, Dec 1 – Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh today described the setting up of the 7th Indian Institute of Management (IIM) here as “North East’s march with the rest of the nation towards globalisation”. Singh laying the foundation stone of the 7th B-school, named Rajiv Gandhi IIM, Singh said: “the North East is now on the march. The people here need no longer feel alone. India is marching along with you”.Terming the setting up of the B-school as a link to globalization through high-end education in management and marketing, Singh said, youths from the region should take advantage. “This institute would contribute to manpower of tomorrow…all handicaps the North East region faces today would be a thing of the past and a bright future awaits the region,” the Union Minister asserted.Justifying the naming of the IIM here as the Rajiv Gandhi IIM, Singh said, “there is nothing unusual in having a prefix for the institute. Rajiv Gandhi has contributed tremendously towards development of the region hence the institute was named after him.”Maintaining that all the faculty members of the RGIIM would be at par with the other IIMs, the Union Minister said, the management would select the faculty members and there would be no compromise on the standard.Assuring RGIIM’s standard would not be diluted in any manner, Singh said, the institute here would maintain the standard as in other IIMs of the country. The HRD Minister also assured that fund would also not be a constraint.The institute session is scheduled to begin July next year at NEHU’s Mayurbhanj complex temporarily, with an initial intake of 60 students. The state government has acquired 80 acres of land at Mawdiangdiang for the permanent complex after which student intake capacity would be increased to 120 and subsequently hiked to 180.

NE colleges to receive fund from DST
GUWAHATI, Dec 6 – A special high-level meeting between the experts appointed by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, and the representatives of the Universities of the North-Eastern region is going to be held on December 10 - 11 at Gauhati University for finalisation of grants of Rs 50 lakh each to 50 colleges of the region for development of Science & Technology Education, stated a press release.This is a special package for the North-east which was decided in a meeting between the secretary, DST and the vice chancellors of the Universities of the region held at Mizoram University on October 7 and 8, following which coordinators were appointed from each of these universities for selection of colleges. The scheduled meeting will now make the final selection in this regard.An expert committee was formed for this purpose headed by Professor TP Singh, distinguished Biotechnologist from AIIMS (New Delhi) as chairman.Professor Hemanta K Baruah, Dean of Science of Gauhati University, who represented GU in the meeting at Mizoram University, has been appointed the overall coordinator of the process. The meeting will be attended by Dr A Mukhopadhyay, adviser/scientist G who is also the Coordinator for DST, Prof BB Bhattacharya, emeritus professor of SN Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences (Kolkata), Prof Shital K Chattopadhyay, Deptt of Chemistry of University of Kalyani, Prof M Udaykumar of the Deptt of Crop Physiology of Agricultural Sciences University of Bangalore and the coordinators from the respective universities.

English key to success in cut-throat competitive world’
GUWAHTI, Dec 4 – A three-day workshop on ‘Spoken and Communicative English’ was held under the joint auspices of the Placement Cell of Bajali College and English Language Teaching Institution (ELTI), Govt of Assam, on the premises of Bajali College from November 28 to 30 last. Altogether 85 participants from six colleges – Bajali college, Tihu College, BHB College, Bhawanipur Anchalik College, NH College and Nirmal Haloi College – actively took part in the workshop. The inaugural session of the workshop was held on the morning of November 28 under the chairmanship of Chandra Mohan Sarma, AES (Retd.), president of the College Governing Body. The workshop was formally inaugurated by GD Laskar, SDO (Civil), Bajali Sub-division while Dr KK Patgiri, Retd Principal, Bajali College addressed the inaugural session as the chief guest. Dr PS Misra, director ELTI, Assam attended the inaugural session as guest of honour. Dr DN Sarma, principal, Bajali College and the chairman of the Placement Cell of the college gave the welcome address. All speakers opined that English is gaining in importance all over the world due to the significant change in global economy, trade and commerce, science and technology, media and communication, information and higher education and placement. English has established itself as the language of gobalisation. It is not only the window to the world, but also the key to success in the competitive world of today, the speakers said. They insisted that it is not necessary for us to speak English like Englishmen. What is needed is to develop a reasonable intelligibility and fluency in English, to identify ourselves as Indian speakers of English. In the workshop, participants were trained on communicative skills, interview skills, phonetics, pronunciation, vowel sounds, consonant sounds, word stress, intonation etc. Dr PS Misra, director of ELTI, Assam, Swapon Dweroah, Academic officer of English, SEBA, and Jyotismita Bora, faculty member of ELTI acted as resource persons in the workshop. The speakers insisted that the basic objectives of spoken English is fluency appropriateness and acceptable language. In other words, communicative competence. The faculty members of the Department of English, Bajali conducted an extempore speech competition among the participants in the second day of the workshop. A talk on Globalisation and Future of English was delivered by Dr PS Misra, director, ELTI (Assam).The valedictory session on the afternoon of Nov ’30 was chaired by Dr DN Sarma, principal of the college while RN Sarma, retd principal, Bajali College and Swapon Dweroah, academic officer for English, SEBA addressed the Valedictory session as Chief guest and guest of honour respectively. In the workshop, certificates of participation were distributed among participants by the guests. Speakers highlighted the fact that spoken English is needed for a wide variety of academic or occupational purposes. They opined that spoken English takes place in the context of situation, it is a face-to-face communication.Dr DK Mahanta, HoD, English and Dr Bhupendra Talukdar of Geography Dept, Bajali College, and secretary, Placement Cell offered vote of thanks in the inaugural and valedictory sessions respectively. In the valedictory session, one participant from each college and the general secretary of Bajali College Students’ union also spoke a few lines. Girin Sarma, principal, Tihu College and Dr Runu Devi, principal, North Kamrup College also spoke a few lines in the workshop. This was stated in a press release.

Business houses eyeing candidates from NE
GUWAHATI, Dec 9 – The dream of north-eastern students to work in big conglomerates has started turning into a reality. Whereas students of the region are getting maximum benefits and opportunities through association with the brand names, the firms too are queuing up in search of skilled and stable manpower from the region. “Workforce from the region and the State managed to come in the good books of the management and IT companies by dint of their commitment and a stable pattern of working in comparison to the workforce from other parts of the country,” feels Pratul Chandra Kalita, Institute Coordinator of the North East Professional Institutes Forum (NEPIF). The NEPIF is a joint forum of 11 premier engineering and management institutes of North East India endorsed by the institute authorities. The forum has already organized six common placement events for its member institutes, from where organisations like ICICI Bank, Genpact, Satyam, Colgate Palmolive, Kanbay (Capgemini) TCS and TVS Motors have picked up 126 of the students.According to an estimate, the State requires raising its capacity by 17 times over the existing infrastructure in degree engineering level and five times over the existing capacity in diploma engineering level to be at par with other States of the country. However, despite this, the students from this region have managed to have a sizeable presence in the BPO sector of the country.The companies that have planned a visit in the State in the coming days are TCS, Infosys Technologies, Infosys BPO, Wipro Technologies, First Source (Formerly known as ICICI one Source), IBM Daksh Bangalore and IBM Daksh, Gurgaon.Recently the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) recruited six students from Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Nalbari, and the next event was held on December 3 at the Department of Chemistry, Cotton College by IBM Daksh, Banglore for graduates in any discipline passing out in 2008. Infosys Technologies Limited and Infosys BPO will recruit students at the same venue it was learnt. “They have profiles for various domains such as Banking, Insurance, Telecom, Procurement, Customer service, Financial & Accounting, Knowledge Service, HR Operations, Life Sciences & Order Management,” he added. “Our other placement events will take place on December 10 and 11. We have also initiated talks with some of the firms like Vodafone and Kotak but their visit is still to be finalised,” added Kalita.Recently, Wipro BPO, the BPO arm of global IT giant Wipro, and Gauhati University (GU) organized a mega job fair for students of the university. In this first ever partnership at this scale in the north-eastern part of the country, Wipro selected around 42 students for providing job in BPO.Kandarpa Kumar Sarma, training and placement officer, GU said, “Nearly 42 students are selected by Wipro during the fair. Those selected are graduates from different colleges under the GU.”Though the State and the region can not boast of the best quality infrastructure in its education sector, the number of students joining the job after getting through the selection procedure is higher than many of the leading States of the country. This credibility and the dedication of the North-east work force is sure to draw the national and multinational companies for the recruitment drive to the region in future,” added Kalita.
Utility of GIS technology in wildlife conservation highlighted GUWAHATI, Dec 9 – A two-day training programme on “GIS in Conservation and Management” was organised for senior officials of the Assam Forest Department at the NIC Training Centre, Guwahati recently.The training was mainly targeted for DFO-level officers having elephant reserves or protected areas (PAs) under their jurisdiction. The training was organised jointly by the Assam Forest Department, National Informatics Centre (NIC) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and was coordinated by Ajit Kumar Nath of NIC and Amit Sharma of WWF. BS Bonal, CCF (Wildlife), in his welcome speech, said that the Forest Department was going for modernisation and in this aspect was developing a GIS cell at Forest School, Jalukbari. He stressed the need for the development of a real time field-based database development system on poaching to keep a check on it. He also impressed upon the officers to use the tools to develop the plans and maps of their respective areas, and also collaborate with NIC and WWF for the same. He also appreciated the efforts made by WWF for already undertaking collaborative works with the Forest Department of Assam. Deepak Goswami, senior technical director, NIC Guwahati, spoke on the development of WEB technology and the benefits that can be derived thereof for the purpose of information gathering, interactive mapping and free resources. Prof BS Mipun of North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) was the theme speaker in the inaugural session who spoke on “Recent trends in GIS & Remote Sensing.” He highlighted the use of the technology in different aspects of wildlife management and conservation. He also illustrated the use and the developments in different parts of the globe and how the same can be used in the State for conservation. The training focused on the needs of the Forest Department like use of GPS in the field, management of databases and preparation of maps using GIS. Software training provided to the participants is expected to give them the opportunity to use it in the actual field condition and develop plans with the help of the technology. The resource persons gave demonstrations on the use of instruments and software and allowed hands-on learning making the training practical and effective. The participants’ feedback showed that the actual use of the instruments and equipment helped in gaining confidence rather than just the theoretical knowledge. The training concluded with the distribution of a copy of the software on which the participants were trained along with other resource material.

Seminar for wanna be IITians
GUWAHATI, Dec 8 – The food loving young lot, thronging the cafeterias and food joints on the holidays would find the mantra to crack some of the important competitive examinations at city-based cafeteria Rocka Rolla tomorrow. The seminar on ‘Breaking entrance barriers of IIT, JEE, AIPMT, State CEE’ would be conducted by career counsellor and an alumnus of IIT, Kharagpur, Professor Goutam Sardar on December 9, Sunday, for the students, which will be followed by a brainstorming quiz competition on the next Sunday in the cafeteria near the Goswami Service stop. “This cafeteria is mostly crowded with the school students, who indulge in elaborate discussions on the career prospects and opportunities over a cup of coffee or some food stuff and the same discussions made us think about planning this seminar,” said David Coch, one of the owners. The seminar will be free of cost and will start from 1 pm,” he added. “In future also we will plan such events which will be beneficial for the students,” he added. “From the day of opening this cafeteria, we are promoting rock music here and for that, we have organised two quiz competitions on rock music. This apart, we have also organised two open quizzes and one cricket quiz,” he added. “We are also planning to hold a big rock music event in the city in the first quarter of the coming year. In the Rock Fest’ as we have termed it informally, we will invite rock bands from all over the country,” he said.

Leadership drought a constraint for present-day youth
GUWAHATI, Dec 8 – Intellectuals and eminent personalities of the city today found an opportunity to discuss possible strategies of peace building and to exchange thoughts on the present situation of the State at an open house discussion, a platform provided by the Don Bosco Institute, Kharguli, at Guwahati Press Club. Addressing the colloquium on ‘bridging the divide’, a gathering of noted personalities, HN Das, former State Chief Secretary, highlighted the problems affecting peaceful co-existence in the State and the challenges faced by the society in preparing the roadmap to peace. Speaking in the light of the Beltola incident that rocked the State, and Guwahati more particularly, the speakers in the colloquium put forth their view on the ethnic and sub- ethnic aspirations and the need of good leadership for the society. Speaking of the challenges facing the youth, senior journalist Samudragupta Kashyap pointed out the lack of efficient and honest leadership guiding the youth. “The enthusiastic and innovative youth of today have a passionate concern for human dignity, but again due to lack of leadership trait, restlessness etc., they get easily influenced by the vested interest. The youth of present day are not motivated to utilise their full potential,” he observed. The colloquium went on to discuss the socio-cultural unity and a history of mutual co-existence in the greater Assamese society. Moderating the colloquium, Noni Gopal Mahanta of Gauhati University said, “Peace is not an event, but a process and non- violence could be an important tool to inculcate peace culture.”Expressing his views, advocate Arup Borbora said that the Beltola incident should not be termed as an ethnic clash. “It was an accident, rather than an ethnic clash and later on both the parties (Adivasis and the residents of Beltola) came up with apology and thus we can not term it as an incident because of ethnic divides,” he mentioned. Colonel Manoranjan Goswami suggested developing a feeling of nationalism as a possible way to address the ethnic and sub-ethnic problems. Former State Home Secretary Jatin Hazarika stressed the responsibility of the civil society in teaching people to understand the problem. “Unless we tackle the existing problems, academic discussions can take us nowhere,” he observed. Senior journalist Wasbir Hussain said, “The greater Assamese society is not so fragile that it needs only a spark to fire up an ethnic conflict,” he maintained. “At present there are two groups supporting and opposing the proposed ST status to the six tribes and a proper platform should be provided by the conscious citizens and scholars of the State to both the parties to discuss their differences,” he proposed. Throwing light on the psychological aspect of the conflicts and peace building, Dr Jayanta Das said, “Most of the individuals in our society identify themselves with some group or section and the conflict arises when a section feels deprived or neglected. The main problem is that the major decisions in our society are taken by only a few people and the rest abide by it due to their suggestive nature,” he said, stressing the need of quality leaders in the society. Many other eminent speakers expressed their opinion on the issue. A candle light procession was also led by the Don Bosco Institute from Guwahati Press Club to Dighalipukhuri.

Pages missing from their attendance register !
MORIGAON, Dec 7 – Believe it or not, on November 29, some unscrupulous persons clandestinely tore away as many as 12 pages (from the month of August to October/07) from the Morigaon College teachers’ attendance register. The principal of the college was reportedly out of station on that day due to some important work at Guwahati.According to a source, some employees of the college were irregular in their duties for which principal had taken drastic steps against them. The principal of the college even endorsed pay cut proposal against some errant employees. Finding no alternative, somebody took register pages on which they were absent for substantiating their claim against the principal.Even as the incident was detected, Morigaon College Teachers Unit convened an emergent meeting and condemned the incident. Moreover, some examiners of English department of the college evaluated the marks wrongly in the answer scripts of English (general) of Higher Secondary (2nd year) Terminal examination.

Interview lays bare info level of local youths
GUWAHATI, Dec 7 – That the Union Government has a separate Ministry for the North-eastern Region is not known by 95 per cent of the State’s youths interviewed by the Assamese monthly youth magazine Jiban during a survey. And more interestingly, 46 per cent of these youths have demanded that such a Ministry should be created.The magazine had distributed questionnaires among 2,270 youths of more than 100 villages and towns of the country. The respondents were in the age group of 15 to 40 years and they were selected applying the random sampling technique maintaining the parity in the male-female ratio and a logical rural-urban ratio. The respondents were generally found on the college campuses, libraries, canteens, hostels, restaurants, evening gatherings, offices etc.Of the respondents, 76 per cent do not know the location of the headquarters of the NEC. While 29 per cent of them were not aware of the existence of the NEC, 22 per cent of them thought that the Council was located in Kolkata! Fifty nine per cent of the respondents were not aware of the RTI Act.For the AASU and the like organisations, there is an important finding—37 per cent of the respondents did not know the cut-off date for the deportation of foreign nationals as set in the Assam Accord!Another significant finding of the survey is that 74 per cent of the respondents did not know that Srimanta Sankaradeva had written— Dhanya Janam Bharat Barishe. Twenty-two per cent of the respondents thought that Sukafa, the founder the Ahom dynasty was born at Charaideo, while ten per cent thought that he was born at Gargaon and for 20 per cent of them, it was on the Patkai Hills that the great unifier of the Assam peoples was born. And 36 per cent of the respondents had no clue in this respect.

Uplift of education must: Gogoi
GUWAHATI, Dec 11 – Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said that the State, in order to secure a place in the existing competitive world, must improve its education system, which is the prerequisite for the overall development of the country. Gogoi, while speaking on the unveiling ceremony of the bust of Singha Purusha late Radha Govinda Baruah in the Radha Govinda Baruah College here today, further stated that the State Government is giving special stress in upgrading the entire education system of the State so that Assam stands amongst the top States in the country.“ The whole system of education in the country has undergone drastic change for which we also need to prepare ourselves to stand at par with others in the business. We have to be innovative in our approach to pave the way for novel initiatives in the education sector,” Gogoi said, while adding, “ we have already initiated certain moves to attain a level where we can boast of quality education system.” The Chief Minister also hailed the RG Baruah College authorities for putting in their best efforts with the limited resources and assured help in future to develop the infrastructure of the college.He also hailed the efforts of RG Baruah saying that the contribution of the latter in the field of journalism and the society as a whole continues to act as a source of inspiration.Praising The Assam Tribune for upholding the values and ethics of the journalism since its inception, Gogoi said that the scribes of the newspaper have managed to perform their duty to perfection. Dwelling on the issue of exodus of students from the State to pursue higher education, the Chief Minister said, “I am not against students going outside the State for pursuing quality education but at the same time, we are equally committed to catapult our quality of education to such a level that poor students also get quality education.” “We are having plans to increase the number of quality educational institutes including the medical and engineering colleges,” the Chief Minister revealed. He also urged the educational institutes to mobilise its own resources instead of waiting for Government aid all the time.“Composite education is something we are stressing to develop in the State,” he pointed out and added that various co-curricular activities must be given importance to greater benefits of the country. “We know that there is no dearth of talent in our State, but only having talent is not enough. We need to capitalise on our quality human resources to the benefit of our State and country,” he said.TG Baruah, chairman, Assam Tribune group of newspapers, PG Baruah, editor, The Assam Tribune, Hemanta Talukdar, president, RG Baruah College governing body and Dr Parul Saikia, principal of the College among others were present on the occasion.

Free education for BPL students
GUWAHATI, Dec 10 – In a bid to encourage meritorious students from below poverty line (BPL), the Central IT College, an academic unit of ERD Foundation, has launched a new scheme to provide free education to students who come from a below poverty line family.For availing of this benefit, all that a student needs to do is to furnish a certificate from the village panchayat/ration card/income certificate of his patents.The college is already providing free education to nine below poverty line students from the session 2007.

Bid to promote letter writing among youths
GUWAHATI, Dec 10 – To promote letter writing among the young people, the Department of Posts is going to organize a letter writing competition with attractive prizes. The subject given for the competition is ‘Write a letter to someone to tell them why the world should need tolerance’. The competition will be held on January 6, 2008, from 10 am to 11 am simultaneously at the office of Chief Post Master General, Assam Circle, Meghdoot Bhawan, Guwahati and the office of the PMG, Dibrugarh Region, Dibrugarh. The competition will be held on the spot at both the places. Children up to 15 years of age on 31-03-2008 are eligible for the competition. The letter should not exceed 1000 words on length. The letter can be written in English or any recognized language in the Constitution of India. As per norms, credit will be given to originality of ideas, style of writing, correctness of language, coherence-logical development, theme and format of the letter.The best entry at national level will be awarded cash prize and a certificate and the same entry will qualify as the official Indian entry for the international competition being organised by International Bureau of Universal Postal Union. Children intending to participate may send entries on or before December 20, in duplicate with two passport size photographs to the respective post offices.

IIT Guwahati bid to motivate research students
GUWAHATI, Dec 15 – In its attempt to motivate bright students from different institutions in their research pursuit, the IIT Guwahati has hosted the week-long Sixth Indo-German Winter Academy since December 13 to 19. The winter academy is a joint effort between the Indian Institute of Technology and the university of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, which was started in 2002 with the objective of motivating talented undergraduate students from premier technological institutions in India and the university of Erlangen-Nuremberg to address the challenging problems of science and engineering.The winter academy is an academic conclave for bringing together a group of talented undergraduates from their respective institutions in a collaborative learning environment. A total of 57 students and 15 coordinating professors including six students and three coordinating professors from abroad will participate in the sixth edition of Winter Academy. The focus of the academy is not only learning about contemporary research issues but also to promote a greater understanding of the social and cultural contexts. The selected students from the academy are assigned a seminar topic beforehand and are provided with guidance through a group of research mentors. The students give lecture on their own topic that is assigned to them. The courses to be covered during the academy are fluid mechanism and energy conservation, numerical methods and simulation of engineering problems and semiconductor materials and devices.

Steps to boost science, tech in NE region
GUWAHATI, Dec 14 – A high-level meeting of an expert committee of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, held on December 10 and 11 at Gauhati University, has decided upon several steps for boosting science and technology education in the Northeast under a special package, stated a press release.The packages include the following: visiting fellowship will be awarded to eight faculty members below 50 years, per year per university of the region in differnt reputed institutions in the country outside the NE region. Ten research scholars and postgraduate students would be awarded fellowships per year per university for one month each in different reputed institutions outside the region. Teaching assistance to the tune of Rs 1.50 crore would be awarded for procuring equipment, instruments to each university.Projects related to area-specific research such as biodiversity, landslides, etc, to the tune of Rs 35 lakh would be awarded to each university for which proposals can be submitted anytime in the next year. Another assistance of Rs 50 lakh would be allocated to every university for providing uninterrupted power supply in the science departments. Adequate support will be provided for inviting up to 70 numbers of distinguished personalities in the field of science and technology from outside the NE region to the universities of the region. The proposals for all these fellowships would be submitted to DST in the Dimapur meeting.The matter regarding awarding of Rs 50 lakh each to 50 undergraduate colleges of the region will be finalised in the second meeting of the committee to be held in Dimapur on January 19 as a few new criteria were added to the earlier conditions.This was informed by Professor Hemanta K Baruah, Dean, faculty of science of Gauhati University, who convened the meeting of the committee which is headed by Prof TP Singh, distinguished biotechno-logist from AIIMS (New Delhi) as chairman. The committee members include senior experts appointed by DST from various reputed science & technology institutions of the country and the representatives of the universities of the NE region.

Media Trust to introduce four new courses
GUWAHATI, Dec 11 – The Institute of Mass Communication & Media, instituted and run by Media Trust, Assam, will be introducing four new short-term courses from next year. This decision was taken at a sub-committee meeting headed by Radhika Mohan Bhagawati, chairman, Media Trust, Assam, stated a press release.The Institute, which is in its ninth year, will start an orientation course in journalism for students of class IX and X all over State from next year. A one-month course in ‘anchoring for stage, TV & radio’ will also be started, besides a three-month certificate course in ‘radio jockeying’ (FM radio).The meeting was attended by executive trustee, Proffula Ch Borua, Anuradha Sarma Pujari, Ramani Barman and the Director of the Institute RN Dutta Baruah.

Present education system hinders creativity’
BARPETA, Dec 22 – Present system of education which is mainly centered on teachers, classroom and evaluation has nothing to do with the basic purpose of education. Such traditional commonplace evaluation-based education controlled by the examiners cannot arouse curiosity among the learners and thus stands as hindrance to creativity– the most important aspect of education. This was the opinion expressed by noted scientist, educationist and Vice Chancellor of Dibrugarh University Dr Kulendu Pathak in his speech delivered in the Guru Prasad Das Memorial lecture on ‘Knowledge, Efficiency and Transformation’ here recently. He also stated that present era is the age of trasformation and everything related to development depends upon proper utilisation and management of scientific invention, technological innovation and its guided authoritative management. To cope with the pace of development rapid change in teaching-learning activities mingled with value-based progressive attitude is the need of the hour.Presided over by Manindra Das, president of the Guru Prasad Das Smriti Raksha Samiti, the chief general manager of power. Generation Corporation Limited, Baneswar Khound also took pain in the seminar. Khound lamented the nature of Assamese people who failed go give due recognition to a person like Guru Prasad Das who was able to inscript his name in the history of technology by his invention of the GP Brake at a time when the Assamese people were busy quarrelling with each other and did not have any acquaintance with the modern world of development.Guru Prasad Das is famous for the invention of the most used brake of the train which is known as vacuum brake or seamless coil brake or the GP Brake named after the inventor as a mark of respect was an internationally famed technocrat. Born in 1904 in Bilartarihati of Barpeta he completed his primary education from Amolapatti Primary School of this town. After studying up to class eight in Barpeta Government High School (now Higher Secondary) he shifted to Calcutta.From his childhood he was very inquisitive and curious. So in spite of constrains of formal education he could rise only because of his inherent qualities like intelligence, self-confidence, dedication, perseverance and last but not the least the God gifted dexterous hands.Beginning his carrier with the Burn Company in Howrah under the then Bengal Province he worked in Several reputed organisations like Institute of Mechanical Engineering and Marshal Sons and Company in London, Indian Railway, Indian Navy, Burma Oil Company and Kanpur-based Indian Ordnance Factory.Even after retirement he was associated with a number of Calcutta based companies in the management cadre and worked as adviser in the AIDC, AGCC and Assam Petrochemical Limited etc.The person who even occupied the post of prestigious post of Mayor of Calcutta is going to be lost in oblivion. Intellectuals and conscious people here have lauded the effort of reminding about the great son of Assam and expect that principle of late Guru Prasad Das will definitely show a new direction to the distracted new generation of the State.

Seminar on governance of higher education from Feb 4
GUWAHATI, Dec 21 – A UGC-sponsored national seminar on ‘Governance of Higher Education in the Changing Scenario’ will be held at BH College, Howly, on February 4 and 5, 2008. On behalf of the National Seminar Organising Committee, Dr KK Kakati, principal and chairperson and Dr GD Das, organising secretary informed that the broad theme of the seminar has been divided into six sub-themes for the convenience of deliberations and discussion, and accordingly seminar papers have been invited either on the main theme or any of the sub-themes. Keeping in view the broad periphery of the question of governance in higher education, the following sub-themes have been selected - Role of UGC and Affiliated University, Role of Government and Governing Body, Emerging Trends and Financing Pattern of Higher Education, The Trend of Privitisation and Growing Challenges in Higher Education, Status of Affiliated colleges and the need of Faculty Re-orientation in tune with changing environment and Quality compatibility and Accountability in Higher Education, a press release stated.During the two-day programme of the seminar, there will be three technical sessions in which paper presentation, deliberation and interaction will take place. Besides, the seminar will be prefixed by a solemn inaugural session while an equally important valedicatory function with some colourful cultural programmes will mark its conclusion.Eminent experts and administrators from the field of higher education have been contracted to participate in the seminar as resource persons. Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury, vice-chancellor, Gauhati University has accepted the invitation to inaugurate the seminar. Dr G Guna Sekharan, joint secretary, UGC, Prof G Horogopal, director of Centre of Law and Governance, University of Hyderabad, and Prof AK Barua, Department of Political Science, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, have already confirmed their participation as resource persons in the proposed seminar. SN Das, noted educationist and founder principal of BH college, Howly and Dr RK Das, a member of the NAAC Peer Team and ex-principal, BH College have also conveyed their consent as resource persons of the seminar. Prof Madam M Das Ex-Emeritus Fellow (AICTE) and former director of Technical Education, Assam, has also agreed to deliver a key-note address in the seminar. The organising committee has invited seminar papers from academicians, teachers, faculty members, administrators, NGO activists, researchers and other interested individuals and the papers should be sent in two hard copies and in a compact disc formatted in MS word/MS Excel. The last date for the submission of the full paper is January 20, 2008 and each paper should carry the full postal address the contact number of the contributor.

Fish garden project aims at making jobless youths self-sufficient
GUWAHATI, Dec 21 – To bring about a change in the living standards of the marginalised section and provide employment to the youths through pisciculture, the Navajeevan Fisheries Development Society, Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra Society and the Fishery Department have come together to build a fish garden at the premises of Kalakshetra.The idea of the fish garden, which was the most frequently dreamt dream of the Navajeevan Fisheries Development Society since its inception a year and a half back, will materialise in the form of a hatchery, aquarium, aquarium manufacturing centre, etc., at Kalakshetra by April 2008. The project envisages changing the lives of around twenty thousand unemployed youths by making them self-sufficient.“The fish garden will act as a model farm to make the public aware about the potential of pisciculture in the State,” said Nayan Chandra Sarma, secretary of Navajeevan Fisheries Development Society.Sarma said that though the main objective of the project was employment generation, it would also contribute a lot towards publicity of the local ornamental fish found in abundance in the natural water bodies in the State. The ornamental fishes will be brought to the model farm at Kalakshetra from the society’s fishery on the outskirts of the city at Panikhaiti. The fishery covering an area of 35 bighas concentrates on producing quality fingerlings to meet the local demand.“There are many fisheries here, but these fisheries have been hit by shortage of quality fingerlings,” said Sarma.From the Panikhaiti project of the society, 20 unemployed youths have directly benefited. Apart from producing quality fingerlings, the society is focussing its attention on preservation of the ornamental fishes of the State. Different species of the ornamental fishes are being collected by the society from across the State for the purpose of preservation. “We are now breeding the ornamental varieties at our site,” said Sarma, adding that pisciculture can go a long way in addressing the unemployment problem.It needs to be mentioned here that the Society is expecting its model farm to act as a motivator to the students also. “If the students are attracted towards this subject, we can hope to see the natural resources of the State put to optimum use in the near future,” said Sarma.Sarma further said that as the project was also looking towards exporting the local ornamental fishes, which had great demand outside, all the parties involved in the project were quite upbeat. “So far there has been no direct export from here. If our plan succeeds, the local fish producers would benefit,” concluded Sarma.

Army’s vocational training for unemployed youth
GUWAHATI, Dec 23 – As part of its efforts at imparting technical skills to local youths so that they can take to constructive self-employment, the Army’s Red Horn Division is conducting a series of vocational training on computer, vehicle mechanic, welding and banana chips processing, a press release said.The month-long training, being conducted under the Army’s Operation Sadbhavana, began at Agia on Tuesday. The training cover vehicle repair, computer repair, welding and fabrication and banana chips processing. There will be 80 trainees for all the four programmes, the release informed.Good response has been received from woman participants in the computer and banana chips processing programme. The training is being conducted by the Electronics and Mechanic Engineers of 11 Mountain Brigade, Red Horns Division.The training on vehicle repair comprises both theoretical and practical classes on repair of Maruti 800, Maruti Omni and Maruti Gypsy besides Tata Sumo and Mahendra and Mahendra jeep.According to the release, the computer training will envisage both hardware and software aspects. The training on welding will encompass basic engineering jobs like welding and minor fabrication to enable the participants to start their own venture.Experts from Kerala would be available for imparting training on banana processing. Banana chips are in great demand in Kerala, which is a banana producing State like Assam. Banana chips can have a big market in Assam as well, the release stated.Civil administration of Goalpara District has appreciated the Army’s venture and is providing full support and cooperation in selecting and sponsoring students for the vocational courses. The training camp was inaugurated by Col Ajay Kumar, Officiating Commander, Headquarter, 11 Mountain Brigade, the release added.

State’s first open varsity starts academic activities
GUWAHATI, Dec 24 – The first Open University of the State – Krishna Kanta Handique State Open University (KKHSOU), set up last year, has started its academic activities with its Bachelor’s Preparatory Programme (BPP). The six-month programme is aimed at preparing those above 18-year learners who have not been able to complete the 10+2 courses, for higher studies. The BPP courses being offered twice a year.Addressing a press conference at his Basistha Road Housefed Complex office, KKHSOU founder Vice Chancellor Prof Srinath Baruah said that process of BPP admission had already started and it would be over by February 15 next. After February 15, classes will start and final examinations for the first batch have been planned by July next.Classes for the programme will be held at about 60 study centres spread all over the State on 15 Sundays. The results of the examinations will be declared within one month of the examinations and those qualifying in the final examinations will become eligible for the Bachelor courses being launched by the University. Admission fee for the BPP is Rs 700, said Prof Baruah.Besides, the University is offering bachelor degree programme, diploma courses, certificate courses, teachers’ training programme, vocational training courses and research and development programme.The University is also planning to offer need-based degree and post-graduate courses, besides a large number of professional and vocational diploma and certificate courses to promote development of human resources suitable for the job market, self-employment and entrepreneurship development. Its thrust area will however, be professional and vocational courses.The University will also start innovation and research-oriented research and training programmes. But all these courses and programmes will be offered in phases on priority basis, said Prof Baruah.It has plans to offer degree courses initially in Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Commerce (B Com), Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelor in Computer Application (BCA) and Bachelor in Mass Communication (BMC) from the ensuing academic session beginning in August next. BCA and BMC courses will be modular ones. In such courses, the learners will have the advantage of being awarded the certificate on successful completion of the first year courses. The diploma in such courses will be awarded on successful completion of the second year courses while the degree will be awarded to the learner on successful completion of the third year courses.In the degree courses, credit system will be introduced wherein the papers in which the learners get qualifying marks, the same will be credited against their name and they will have to clear the other papers within a period of eight years or within a fixed time-frame, Prof Baruah said.The University also plans to offer a degree course in tourism and hospitality management in the next phase. It has plans also to run some professional courses like the ones connected with healthcare, agriculture and entrepreneurship development, through some selected partner institutions. The admission of the learners will be made through the study centres and partner institutions and these institutions will work as the contact agencies of the University. The study centres will conduct the counselling classes, Prof Baruah said. On the medium of instruction, Prof Baruah said that English and Assamese would be the languages. Including Bengalee as a medium for the Barak Valley Bachelor’s Preparatory Programme learners is also under consideration. The University has plans also to go for agriculture-based courses and a plot of land in Rani area on the outskirts of the city has been surveyed for the purpose.On the preparation of the study materials, Prof Baruah said that three workshops were held to train the writers with the help of the IGNOU and the Distance Education Council experts. University’s OSD, Academic Dr M C Sarma and Registrar Rajat Baran Mahanta were also present.

Meet-the-scientist programme at Bajali College
PATHSALA, Dec 24 – As part of the post-accreditation quality sustenance activity, the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC), Bajali College, organised a ‘Meet-the-scientist’ programme on December 12 last in the Geography seminar hall of the college.Dr Keshab Sarma, a scientist of international repute, shared his research experience in Pharmaceutical Sciences with the faculty members and the students as well.Dr Sarma, who hails from Bajali-Rahadhar-Birkala, a remote village, at present works as a research leader in Roche Palo Alto Laboratory at California, USA. He is a post-doctoral researcher from the Harvard University, USA.Dr Sarma’s contribution towards invention of drugs against Hepatitis C, HCV and HIV virus is unique.He is instrumental in implementing different projects leading to the control of Benign Prostatic hyperplasia, rheumatoid, osteoorthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, asthma etc.Dr Sarma fondly recollected his school days in Bajali HS School. It is the same institution from where he stood second in Assam in the HS final examination 1972,Regarding his post-doctoral experience, Dr Keshab Sarma said, “I took up a research project to elucidate whether di-radical intermediate involved in cistrans isomerisation had anything to do with the reported cancer preventing effect of beta-cardena like polyenes contained in carrots, tomatoes etc.My research with Prof Doering led to some isomerization of olefines. I also performed reaction-kinetic studies of some cope rearrangement reactors”.Earlier, Prof MC Deka, Head, Department of Chemistry, Bajali College and the convenor of IQAC, welcomed Dr Sarma and other guests. He highlighted Dr Sarma’s brilliant academic career right from his school days and his contribution in the field of research.DN Sarma, Principal of the College and Chairman, IQAC, presided over the meeting.Dr Keshab Sarma was felicitated by IQAC, Bajali College Teachers’ Association, Bajali College Students’ Union and Bajali branch of Assam Science Society. Faculty members both from Science and Arts streams and a large number of students interacted with Dr Sarma. Prof MC Deka, convenor or IQAC, offered the vote of thanks.

GU yet to get Rs 25-cr State grant
GUWAHATI, Dec 25 – Chances are there of Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury, VC, Gauhati University, resigning from his post if the State Government does not keep its commitment of releasing Rs 25 crore for the development of the premier seat of higher education. Apprehensions about the fate of the university in case Dr Choudhury resigns were expressed by the Post Graduate Students Union (PGSU) on Tuesday before media persons.It needs to be mentioned here that since Dr Choudhury took up his responsibility, a change of perception was obvious in the campus with students and teachers confident about the university developing as one of the best in the country.With financial crunch coming in the way of realising the vision plan of the university, Dr Choudhury had tendered his resignation on an earlier occasion, but withdrew his decision after the State Government assured to provide Rs 25 crore to the university by December 31.But with the State Government yet to release the amount for the infrastructure development of the university, the PGSU along with the other associations of the university are fearing that Dr Choudhury might tender his resignation again.“The education minister gave us the assurance that Rs 25 crore would be provided for the infrastructure development of the university without any condition,” said Chandan Kumar Borah, vice president of the PGSU.The education minister had made the promise at the discussion with the PGSU and the Gauhati University Teachers Association (GUTA) last month.“One month has elapsed, but the promise is still a promise,” rued Borah, informing that the university authorities had received intimation from the higher education department, which was almost ridiculous.The PGSU revealed that the letter sent to the VC has asked the university authorities to take up the developmental activities planned to be undertaken with the promised fund of Rs 25 crore. “It is ridiculous of the Government to send such a letter asking to take up developmental activities when the university has been hit by fund crunch,” said Borah.Warning that situation in the campus would go out of control in case the Government does not keep its promise and Dr Choudhury resigns, the PGSU announced to take up a fast unto death from January 1, 2008. The PGSU said that the GUTA, the Gauhati University Workmen’s Union, the Gauhati University Officers Association and the Gauhati University Law College Students Union have extended support to its agitational programme.

GU hails govt for Rs 24-cr grant
GUWAHATI, Dec 27 – A meeting of the members of the Gauhati University (GU) community here today under the presidentship of Vice-Chancellor Prof Amarjyoti Choudhury, expressed utmost happiness and satisfaction over the special grant of Rs 24.47 crore the University received today from the State Government. The meeting, attended by the office bearers of the Teachers’ Association, Officers’ Association, Workmen’s Union, Post-Graduate Students’ Union, Law College Students’ Union and Research Scholars’ Association, besides the Registrar and Treasurer of the University, also conveyed thanks and gratitude to GU Chancellor Ajai Singh, Chief Minister and Education Minister of the State and officials of the Education Department specially for the grant.Sources in the University said that the meeting also expressed heartiest thanks and gratitude to the people of the State for their support and cooperation to the University.The GU community appealed to the State Government to extend such types of support in future also for resolving various problems and crisis of the University for the grater academic interest of the State, said the sources.Meanwhile, talking to this newspaper, GU PGSU general secretary Moon Kumar Bora demanded that the State Government should accept at the earliest the vision document prepared by the University for overall improvement in its infrastructure.

Pathak calls for drastic change in education system
GUWAHATI, Dec 26 – Dibrugarh University Vice Chancellor Prof Kulendu Pathak on Wednesday called for a drastic change in the education system and the prevailing mindset in the State to prevent it from dying a premature death.Delivering the KC Das Silver Jubilee Lecture, the first in the series, on the topic “Problems of Science Education”, Prof Pathak asked stakeholders to think hard on the subject and come up with innovative and practical ideas to make education more meaningful.He said that a disconnection between science and daily realities was a big factor in the declining interest of students in science. He said that the subject should be made easier and interesting keeping in mind the global challenges so as to motivate more students to taking up the subject.He, however, had tough words for universities in the region saying that flexibility, or the lack of it, was one of the major reasons as to why higher education in the country was lagging far behind that of the West or for that matter China. He also was critical of the prevailing British education system in the country saying that the system was meant to produce clerks and not independent thinkers. Prof Pathak, a noted physicist, was all in favour of using the Internet to enliven the learning experience.He exhorted colleges in the region to spruce up their governing bodies to make them more meaningful. The Vice Chancellor also rued the secondary education scenario in the State. On the question of employability of graduates from Assam, he said that NASSCOM officials recently met him and said that despite the fact that nearly 8,000 jobs were up for grabs in the region, hardly a few hundreds have actually applied. Earlier, Dr Hitesh Deka, Principal of the College dwelt on the importance of an inter-disciplinary approach in education to make education a wonderful experience.

GU to switch over to credit-based grading
GUWAHATI, Dec 26 – The Academic Council (AC) of Gauhati University (GU) in its meeting here today decided to change over from the existing system of marking to that of credit-based grading for evaluating its students. The system will be applicable now for the PG level students of the University to begin with.Disclosing this, GU Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Amarjyoti Choudhury told this newspaper that the credit-based grading system was recommended by both the UGC and the NAAC and accordingly a committee had been formed to adapt it to GU circumstances.The system is followed in the IITs, IISc and some universities in India, which include the JNU and Tezpur University. Moreover, this is the only system followed by the developed countries for evaluating their students.The GU AC today accepted the proposal for the change over to this system of assessing the merits of the students, but for the PG level now to start with, said Prof Choudhury.This method will bring in flexibility in choosing courses within PG programmes and will also help the mobility of the students. For, it allows inter-university collaboration in studies with a credit-based system, Prof Choudhury said.Besides the above decision, the GU AC also approved today several new courses. The GU authorities systematically analysed the type of courses for which the State’s students migrate to the outside-the-State educational destinations, with an aim at preventing the migration of the students.Based on it, the AC of the University approved today the courses like the Bachelor of Busines Administration (BBA), B Sc in Information Technology, B Sc in biotechnology, BA in mass communication and B Sc in environmental science. While BSc in Information Technology and biotechnology and BA in mass communication will be niche courses where teaching, learning, research and outreach programmes all have their manifestations, the B Sc in environmental science will be a major course.The AC has approved 29 new undergraduate courses and 50 Post-Graduate (PG) courses. Of the PG courses, two-year MA course in peace and conflict studies in the Political Science Department, one-year diploma course in organic farming in the Department of Biotechnology, one-year diploma course in production of canes and bamboo in the Department of Botany and one-year diploma course in wasteland reclamation in the Department of Environmental Science of the University will be niche courses.On behalf of GU, Prof Choudhury appealed to the colleges to introduce the new undergraduate courses. He said that necessary training facilities for teaching the niche courses would be provided by the University. He also appealed to the State Government to encourage the colleges under GU to introduce these types of courses.

Govt releases Rs 24.47 cr to GU
GUWAHATI, Dec 26 – In a significant development the State Government today released an amount of Rs 24,47,65,000 to Gauhati University (GU) through a State Bank of India, Dispur Branch bank draft (No. 118838 dated 26.12.2007). The GU Registrar Dr RN Das will receive the bank draft from the Director of Higher Education tomorrow, official sources here said.It needs mention here that State’s Education Minister Ripun Bora had assured the GU authorities during his recent visit to the University campus that a sum of Rs 25 crore would be released to the University within December 31 this year. His assurance came in the wake of the developments concerning the resignation of the University’s Vice-Chancellor on grounds of apathy of the Government towards this State University.Official sources also told this newspaper that another sum of Rs 4 crore has been sanctioned to the University as a special grant under the Plan head during the current fiscal. The sanction letter was signed on December 17, said the sources.Sources also maintained that though the official procedure was to release the funds within March 31, in this case the funds assured to GU had been released within December 31 in keeping with the words of the Education Minister.The Government has, however, fixed the heads for spending the amount of about Rs 24.47 crore released today by the GU authorities. According to this schedule, Rs 10,38,87,900 should be spend on a new three-storey academic building, Rs 32,64,800 should be spent on a single-storey RCC building of the Environmental Science Department, Rs 4,87,99, 800 on a new three-storey annex building of the Krishna Kanta Handique Library.The schedule also includes Rs 32,87,000 for roof treatment of the Library, Rs 89,22,000 for 40 modern class rooms, Rs 54,46,000 for ten seminar/case study rooms and Rs 6,25,000 for renovation-cum-upgradation of conference room/small auditorium of the MBA Department.It also includes the sum of Rs 2,35,20,000 for computer, UPS and land extension, Rs 17,86,000 for the LCD, Laptops and accessories and Rs 4,52,39,000 for the upgradation of laboratories, said the sources.When told of this development this evening, GU Vice-Chancellor Prof Amarjyoti Choudhury said, “It is an investment for the future of the State and we welcome this.”GU Post-Graduate Students’ Union general secretary Moon Kumar Bora also welcomed the development. He also demanded that the Government should immediately accept the GU vision document.


shalu said...




shalu said...

hello dear

really informative information u present and impresive.


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