GUWAHATI, Dec 1 – An emphasis on holistic education is the guiding force of the Assam Don Bosco University, which will cater to a cross section of youths offering a wide range of innovative programmes.
The university, the first in the private sector in Assam, “aims to be a hub for culture, knowledge, research and intellectual ferment … for critical thinking and analysis of whatever shapes and impacts human life…”
It was on March 29, 2008 the State Government gave a Letter of Intent to establish the university, and the Government passed the Assam Don Bosco University Ordinance, 2008 on December 3. The first graduate courses in Technology and Engineering (B Tech) started on August 11 that year.
Speaking exclusively to The Assam Tribune, VM Thomas, the Chancellor of Assam Don Bosco University, revealed the salient features of the institution. “The stress is on all professional education with focus on inclusive higher education with collaborating partners in India and abroad,” he noted.
Among other innovative courses, a number of online courses are on offer with ample opportunities for thorough assessments. Around 20,000 students will benefit from the various courses on offer. When in full steam, 30,000 to 40,000 youths may be trained as technicians in tune with the ambitious ‘Skilling India’ programme.
According to Vice Chancellor and the chief architect of the university project, Dr Stephen Mavely, “Piloting this project has been like chasing a dream. But its success lies in the fact that Don Bosco University Project has been and continues to be the shared dream of a cross section of individuals, organisations and agencies.”
“During these last four years, much has been achieved. However, as the Assam Don Bosco University develops and spreads its wings, the core values will remain intact. It will continue to strive to make professional and higher education accessible to the weaker sections of society. It will spare no effort to ensure that the graduates become dependable and truly human leaders with a strong sense of commitment to the poor, the disadvantaged and the needy,” Dr Mavely added.
Research will be a key area for the new institution, according to its founding members. Tea, conflict resolution, and environment have been identified as major subjects which students will be able to study.
Inauguration of Doctoral Programmes (Ph D) on August 23, 2011 was a step in promoting research in various disciplines. A total of 22 scholars began their studies within the ambit of eight disciplines – Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Electronics and Communications Engineering, Physics, Chemical Sciences, Social Work, Forensic Science, and Northeast India Studies.
The temporary headquarters of Don Bosco University is at Azara, but the permanent main campus will be at Tapesia nestled amid tea gardens off National Highway 37. In a pioneering move, a master plan has been prepared for the University that will have academic and administrative blocks, staff and student residences, recreational and sports facilities, jogging tracks and cycle paths along with a school, a healthcare centre and an amphitheatre.