Nalbari College. Telegraph picture
A tradition of excellence since 1945
Nalbari College is among a handful of institutions from the pre-Independence era in Assam that takes pride in its 67 years of tradition.
In 1948, the college changed its affiliation from Calcutta University to Gauhati University.
Many literary and political stalwarts of Assam took decisive roles in founding and moulding the institution over the years. First among them is Trailokya Nath Goswami, the founder-principal, an eminent short-story writer, a noted critic and rare visionary.
His single-minded initiative in steering the college’s maiden journey is universally recognised. The college proudly remembers IPS Hiranya Bhattacharjya, Prabhat C. Goswami, Bhabananda Dutta and Shashi Sharma among its alumni.
Currently, Nalbari College has 15 full-fledged departments in the arts and science streams offering honours in 14 subjects at the undergraduate level. Besides, the college also conducts post-graduate programme in Assamese. All along, a significant number of students have brought laurels to this college by securing top positions in university examinations. This year, Namita Kashyap of the department of botany received the gold medal as the best student in Gauhati University.
Apart from the core academic activities, the faculty members and students of Nalbari College take part in various co-curricular programmes. Every year, students from this college excel in events at Youth Festivals of Gauhati University.
The college has forums like Dramatic Society, Centre for Comparative Literature and Language, Sanskrit Adhyayan Chakra, Asomiya Adhyayan Chakra, Physics Forum and the like, facilitating socio-cultural dialogue. The women’s cell of the Teachers’ Unit, too, has been undertaking awareness programmes from time to time.
The NCC unit of this college was formed against the backdrop of the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The 55th NCC Rifle Battalion headquarters was established in the college on May 8, 1963. The senior wing included members of Pragjyotish College, Mangaldai College, Bajali College, MC College, Abhayaprui College, Kokrajhar College and BN College.
The responsibility of imparting martial training to students and teachers of a large area stretching from Mangaldoi to Dhubri was assigned to this headquarters.
The current enrolment capacity of this unit is 108 cadets imbibing leadership qualities, spirit of patriotism and self-confidence during the course of their training and after.
This unit also fosters the cause of voluntary blood donation and has already offered many units to recognised blood banks.
The college has a well-equipped playground and a basketball court. Recently, the college has received UGC grant of Rs 70 lakh to build an indoor stadium, the construction work of which is in full swing.
A staff reporter
Trailokya Nath Saloi, Principal, Nalbari College
In analysing the present status of college education in Assam, we cannot avoid looking into certain grey areas that are challenging the very spirit and philosophy of education.
Colleges are not insulated against the political and social unrest and this has affected the atmosphere on campuses. A very important point to ponder on is the overwhelming outflow of meritorious students to the other states of India and abroad.
One possible reason for this could be the outdated syllabi of the state universities. Lack of infrastructure and incompetent teaching staff have led to this exodus of the student community.
In most colleges, the medium of instruction remains vernacular, while good students pursuing higher education looks for exposure to authentic expostulations and information; a contact with books of international standard only can fulfil that quest.
Students have become more and more dependent on tuition rather than classroom interactions and self-learning.
This has crippled their sense of self-actualisation and social reality. A serious probe into all these matters and sincere attempts in working them out will certainly lead us, especially the youth, to rebuild the edifice of our ‘education’, which has been reduced to rubble.
Only then can we envisage a society of progressive thinking individuals who live meaningful lives.