R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, March 28 – Strengthening the bond of unity among all the indigenous people of Assam will be the main motto of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) in the days to come, said newly elected president of the student body Dipanka Kumar Nath. He also said the student body would continue to fight for solution of the problems faced by the students.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Nath said that the just-concluded Dudhnoi conference of the AASU proved the student body’s desire to unite all the indigenous people of Assam as cultural troupes of all the ethnic groups of the State participated in the cultural procession as well as in the cultural evenings, even as leaders of organisations representing the major ethnic groups of the State participated in the open session and offered their valuable suggestions.
Nath said that the AASU has already taken leaders of organisations representing 26 ethnic groups of the State into confidence for a joint struggle on the issues concerning the people of Assam, including infiltration of foreigners. He said the AASU would continue to work together with the organisations representing the ethnic groups on all the major issues. He said the AASU and the organisations representing the ethnic groups would keep a close watch on the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) so that no foreign national can get his or her name included in the same.
Nath is well aware of the problems faced by the students of the State as he had worked as education secretary of the AASU for almost three terms and said the student body would continue to fight for solution of the students’ problems.
Giving an account of the major problems faced by the students, the newly-elected AASU president said that one of the major problems was the failure of the State’s universities to hold examinations and declare results in time. The process of holding examinations and declaring the results should be completed within 45 days, but the Gauhati and Dibrugarh universities sometimes take months to declare the results, which seriously affects the career of the students. He said the syllabus should be changed and updated regularly to bring the same at par with the major universities of the country.
Nath revealed that despite repeated requests, the Gauhati and Dibrugarh universities failed to increase the number of seats in the science departments for years. The university authorities always claimed that they lacked the infrastructure to increase the number of seats. The authorities should move the government for funds to augment infrastructure and the AASU would keep mounting pressure to ensure release of money, he said.
Nath rued that though the government had formed two commissions headed by prominent educationists Dr Srinath Baruah and Professor Dilip Baruah to suggest measures for reforming the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA), most of the recommendations were yet to be implemented. He pointed out that even the Chairman of the SEBA was appointed on a temporary basis and there had been instances when the SEBA Chairman was transferred within months of his appointment. In such cases, it was not possible for the SEBA to function properly, he pointed out.
Nath demanded that the Higher Secondary Education Council should involve the prominent educationists of the State to prepare the syllabus instead of just translating the books prepared by the NCERT. He also admitted that the refusal of a section of college teachers to evaluate answerscripts of the higher secondary examinations was a major problem and the AASU had already held talks with the Assam College Teachers’ Association (ACTA) in this regard. However, the government would have to take a stand on the issue, he added.