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Dispur, GU bury hatchet

Nov. 26: Dispur today promised its unstinted support to Gauhati University to achieve its goal of becoming a centre of excellence.

Education minister Ripun Bora visited the university today and took stock of the infrastructure and other facilities available at the institution. He assured the authorities that the government would release the promised one-time grant of Rs 25 crore within three days of receiving a detailed project report from the university.

Sources said Bora has urged the university authorities to submit the utilisation certificates of the funds allotted under the 11th Finance Commission so that it can move for fresh funds under the 12th Finance Commission.

Bora, along with a high-level team from the education department, visited different hostels, departments, academic buildings and classrooms in the university.

The visit comes after the resolution of the standoff between the university and Dispur over the administration’s alleged indifference towards the institution, leading to vice-chancellor Amarjyoti Choudhury’s resignation in September.

The standoff was resolved with the intervention of Governor Ajai Singh and both sides pledged to work together for the institution’s development.

“Today’s visit signalled the beginning of a new chapter, as both sides indicated that they have forgotten the past and moved on,” a university source said.

Emphasising the need to introduce self-financing courses in the university to minimise the deficit of funds, Bora advised the authorities to reduce the number of unnecessary staff. The vice-chancellor said the optimisation of jobs would be done judiciously.

The minister agreed to constitute a committee comprising state government officials and representatives from the university for better communication between Dispur and the institution.

Bora said the government is planning to hire a professional consultancy firm to prepare the vision document for the development of the university.

The deans and members of the executive council of the university discussed various problems with Bora.

The executive council, which is the highest decision-making body of the university, told the minister that the annual grant of Rs 50 crore given by the government is not enough to meet the university’s requirements.

A senior teacher expressed his gratitude to the education minister and said it is high time for the university to achieve new heights of academic excellence.

“We hope that the government sticks to its assurance,” he said.

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