Guwahati among innovation cities

Guwahati, Oct. 7 : Assam can finally breathe a sigh of relief with the human resource development (HRD) ministry including Guwahati in the innovation university map, along with 13 other centres across the country.

The university is expected to bring about a sea change in the field of education in the state.
The All Assam Students’ Union was formally informed about the development by the HRD ministry last evening.
AASU advisor Sammujjal Bhattacharyya told reporters here today that a meeting of the HRD ministry, held on August 28, shortlisted 11 places in the country for setting up innovation universities. But Guwahati was excluded from the list. AASU strongly opposed this and sent a letter to the HRD ministry on August 31 demanding inclusion of Guwahati in the list.
“AASU was shocked to see exclusion of Guwahati from the list, even after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s announcement in 2008 that the city would be one of the 14 innovation university locations. We were apprehensive that if the HRD ministry was not pressured, the city would miss the bus. Since the Assam government was not active, AASU thought it proper to intensify its lobbying in the central ministry to get Guwahati included in the very first phase of setting up the proposed innovation universities,” Bhattacharyya said.
The HRD ministry, in a letter dated October 4, informed AASU that the Centre had decided to set up an innovation university in Guwahati along with Amritsar, Greater Noida, Jaipur, Patna, Calcutta, Bhopal, Kochi, Gandhinagar, Coimbatore, Mysore, Pune, Vishakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar, he added.
The letter, written by one of the directors of the HRD ministry, R.P. Sisodia, mentioned that a legislative proposal was being drafted for inter-ministerial consultations.
Bhattacharyya said the university is expected to set benchmarks of excellence for other institutions of higher learning through “path-breaking research and synergy promotion between teaching and research.”
He said the proposed university, according to the Centre’s plan, would provide society with competent men and women to meet the knowledge needs of the country, perform service to the nation and humanity and cultivate the right moral and intellectual values.
AASU general secretary Tapan Kumar Gogoi said the ball is now in Dispur’s court, and it must immediately provide a suitable plot of land to set up the university.
Bhattacharyya also said that apart from an innovation university, the Centre must set up other national-level institutes like Indian Institute of Management in the state, as per clause 7 of the Assam Accord.
“For promotion of science and creation of scientific temperament among the young generation in the region, the government must set up an Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Assam. AASU has already met the scientific advisor to the Prime minister, C.N.R. Rao, and placed the demand,” the AASU advisor said.