JORHAT, Sept 12:Malinee Goswami, HOD, Assamese, Gauhati University has been appointed as the new Vice Chancellor of the Assam Women’s University here.
The announcement was made by the Secretary to the Government of Assam Higher Education (Technical) Department SZ Hazarika through a notification (ATE 144/2014/32) on Thursday by orders of the Governor, who is the Chancellor of the University.
The appointment has been long overdue with the University which celebrated its 6th Foundation Day on Wednesday.
KM Bujarbaruah, Vice Chancellor of Assam Agricultural University had been the mentor till he retired from the post of Vice Chancellor in July this year. Ashok Bhattacharyya, who took over as in charge Vice Chancellor was also officiating as the mentor till date. Moreover, for the past six years after its establishment in 2014 following the passing of the Assam Women’s University Act 2013 by the State Legislative Assembly led by the then Congress government in which Himanta Biswa Sarma was also the Education minister, the University had been functioning with 33 ad hoc teachers, who had been told that they would be made regularised within six months after joining work.
The appointment has brought much relief to the students and staff of the University who were suffering much heartburn with several batches passing out with only a provisional pass certificate. The announcement has also put to rest speculation about how serious the state government was in development of the only Women’s University in the northeast and whether it still nursed the aim of degrading it into a Technical Institute as had been hinted last year by the then state Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Much water has flowed down the Brahmaputra since March 8, when the students of the University took to the streets to protest this and demand the appointment of a vice chancellor and other officials. Notably, the students had boycotted classes from March 19 after the then State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma made contradictory statements on the floor of the Assembly and in front of media persons that the University would be degraded into a technical institute.
Sarma’s statements and consequent agitation by the students had drawn national and international attention including the support of All Assam Students Union, Students Federation of India, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and its student wing Satra Mukti Sangram Samiti and students of Dibrugarh University, Gauhati University, IIT, JNU, BHU and several other individuals and institutes.After mounting pressure by the students all over the State, the Government retracted its stand and Hitendra Nath Goswami, Jorhat MLA assured the students on the floor of the house that a vice Chancellor and other officials would be appointed and the University would not be degraded.
On April 10, last year the students decided to resume classes after the Bihu vacation following the Speaker’s assurance that a VC would be appointed and the University be made into a full-fledged one at the Circuit House here.In a Cabinet reshuffle on April 26, Himanta Biswa Sarma was relieved of the Education portfolio which was given to Sidhartha Bhattacharyya.
Seven posts including the Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Controller of examination, Comptroller were sanctioned by the government for Assam Women’s University on its fifth foundation day in 2018, with the Registrar being appointed only last month.