| The Government College of Arts and Crafts |
July 11: The Government College of Arts and Crafts, the only art college in the city, lacks basic infrastructure and facilities.
Nearly 150 students are pursuing degree courses in different subjects like painting, sculpture, graphics, history of art and applied arts. However, even today they do not have access to a proper library or archive.
The college, with less than 10 teachers, is also running short of faculty members to run the various departments.
Though the examinations are conducted by Gauhati University, the college exists under the state department of culture.
“It is true that the infrastructure of the college needs to be developed. We have requested the state government to take steps for these developments. We also need teachers and the state government has assured us that it has already started the process of appoinment,” said Government College of Arts and Crafts principal J. Ghosh Dastidar.
According to sources, the art college still conducts a five-year degree course in fine arts while all other art colleges in the country conduct a four-year course. Hence, the syllabi of this college do not match with courses conducted by different universities across the country.
“This difference creates difficulty for the students. While our students are currently pursuing post-graduate courses in different universities in the country, these universities have asked us to introduce the four-year degree course. While the students have been able to get admission to PG courses so far, the universities may not be able to accommodate them in future if our course is not changed,” said a source from the art college.
“It is true we need to develop the library to allow our students to access more knowledge concerning different areas related to fine arts. An archive also needs to be created where these art students can work,” said the source.
The All Assam Visual Arts Association, too, has demanded that the state government take measures to develop the only government college on fine art in the state to make it on a par with other government art colleges across the country.
“The Government College of Arts and Crafts is not half as developed as the other fine art colleges in the country. While the students pursuing different courses there are quite talented, they have been no access to basic facilities. The small collection of books that the college currently has can in no way be termed a library. An archive should also be created so that the students can view the art pieces created by veteran and contemporary artists,” the general secretary of the association, Kishore Kumar Das, said.
“For greater benefit of its students, the college should be brought under a university. More UGC-approved courses should be introduced and hostel facilities provided to outstation students. We had also approached the chief minister regarding the development of the college and he has assured us that he would look into the matter,” said Das.