GUWAHATI, March 8 - The Assam Legislative Assembly today passed the Cotton University Bill, 2017. With this, once the Governor gives his assent to the Act, the existing property, land and buildings of Cotton College and Cotton College State University shall vest with the Cotton University.
This also means that the historic Cotton College has been merged with the existing Cotton College State University for establishing the new varsity.
The Bill was adopted by the Assembly without any amendments.
Speaking during the passage of the legislation, Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Whatever problems we had in last few years, will be settled now. We hope faculties, students and all will take it to new heights.”
He added, “Cotton College will not vanish, but has been upgraded. I hope it will become an international institute. Assam Government will give large grants to make it big. Tezpur University VC Mihir Kanti Chaudhuri said he is ready to lead Cotton University if I provide Rs 200 crore grant. I said he was asking very little. We are willing to invest more than Rs 500 crore to make it grow. Sky is the limit. So forget all clashes and work for academic excellence.”
After the legislation comes into effect, all aspects of teaching and research will be discussed in and decided by the university, which will hold examinations and confer degrees and other academic distinctions on its own.
It needs mention here that the Bill that proposes to upgrade the premium educational institution into a university is being opposed by the Cotton College Union Society (CCUS) on the grounds that it will destroy the 116-year-old glorious heritage of Cotton College and create problems for the students of Higher Secondary courses.
The proposed legislation, on the other hand, has vested powers in the hands of the university to run a higher secondary section in the university under the mentorship scheme of the State Government which will, to some extent, act as a feeder to the undergraduate courses of the university and the higher secondary section will be a part of the university.
The existing syllabus and evaluation of HS students will continue under the Assam Higher Secondary Educational Council at present until the university deems it fit to review and do the needful.
With regard to the present principal and existing teachers and staff, the Bill mentions that the present principal of Cotton College shall hold an administrative or academic post which is deemed appropriate to the rank, qualification and status of the incumbent. On the other hand, all posts of Cotton College and Cotton College State University, including vacant posts, will be transferred to the Cotton University from the date of commencement of the Act, stated the Bill. The existing teachers and staff of the Cotton College and the University will constitute a special cadre with respect to their service conditions at the time of their appointment. All pension matters of the present and past teachers and staff of the institution will be handled by the Directorate of Higher Education.
The Cotton College State University Act, 2011 will stand repealed with the commencement of the Act.