Guwahati, Sept. 20: All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) today demanded immediate withdrawal of Dispur’s recent directive asking governing bodies of provincialised colleges to include local legislators as permanent invitees.
Reacting sharply to an exclusive news report about the directive published in the September 19 edition of The Telegraph, the union said this was nothing but an instance of the double standards practised by the Tarun Gogoi government.
“We have been fighting against inclusion of political personalities, MLAs, ministers and MPs in the GBs (governing bodies) or management committees of educational institutions since the days when late Hiteswar Saikia was the chief minister of Assam. Only academic personalities and prominent citizens should be in the GBs,” AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharjya told this correspondent.
When Tarun Gogoi became the chief minister in 2001, he had stopped appointing legislators in the governing bodies following strong protest by AASU. “But it is very unfortunate that the Gogoi government has reintroduced the system. The development has simply exposed the government’s double standards and its lack of clear vision about keeping education free of politics,” Bhattacharjya said.
He said legislators, being elected representatives, could always take part in activities of colleges in their constituencies. In fact, they could be considered guardians of educational institutions in their constituencies. “Under such circumstances, we fail to understand the rationale behind the government move. We smell a rat; it will further vitiate the academic atmosphere in higher education institutions. The directive must be scrapped,” he said.
Former principal of B. Borooah College Dinesh Baishya strongly opposed the directive. “The move will allow further intrusion of dirty politics into college campuses,” he said.
The director of higher education, P. Jidung, had recently issued the directive, asking go-verning bodies of provincial-ised colleges to include local MLAs as permanent invitees.