March 21: Representatives of the Post Graduate Students’ Union of Gauhati University yesterday met Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi demanding financial assistance for the university from the Centre.
The two representatives — the union’s general secretary, Sanju Barua, and vice-president Himangshu Medhi — met Rahul yesterday and told him that Gauhati University had lagged behind other universities of the country despite the fact that it was set up more than 60 years ago.
“We told him that the financial assistance from the state government was not enough to run the university properly. We need a special financial package from the Centre,” Barua said.
The general secretary said Rahul had assured them that he would attend the North East India Spring Festival, which is being organised by the university next month. “We requested him to attend the festival,” Barua said.
The university will be holding the festival this year for the first time.
Cultural secretary of the union, Kiran Kalita, said all universities in the Northeast would be participating in the festival, where a host of competitions would be held. But sources in the university said the festival might not be possible in April because the preliminary preparations had not yet started.
Barua said he had requested Gandhi to take the initiative to institute awards in the name of Rajiv Gandhi to honour the first class position holders in Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University.
He said they would also meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to invite him to the festival as well as request a special package for the students of Assam.
Established in 1948, Gauhati University is the oldest varsity in the entire Northeast. It has around 4,000 students pursuing different courses.