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Plan for fine arts course

Guwahati, May 13: Gauhati University is mulling a post-graduate course in fine arts to end the woes of students who otherwise have to go outside the state to pursue the course.

“The university is actively considering introducing the course,” Mridul Hazarika, the vice chancellor of the university, told The Telegraph.

The initiative has come following a recent request of the All-Assam Visual Artists’ Association to the university to open the course and set up a separate department of fine arts.

The association informed the university that the course is one of the most upcoming professional disciplines in modern day context, especially because of its demand and close association with IT and the world of media and visual communication. At present, the only institute that offers an undergraduate course in fine arts under Gauhati University is the Government College of Arts and Craft at Basistha in the city.

Every year around 30 students complete the under-graduate course from the college.

“Each year a substantial number of students pass out from the college with flying colours but because of the lack of opportunities of being enrolled for a masters degree, most of them have to be content with low-paying jobs. Only a few privileged ones can afford to go outside the state to pursue a masters degree,” said Kishore Kumar Das, the secretary of the association.

Assam University in Silchar offers a masters course in fine arts.

However, because of its limited seat capacity (10 seats), it cannot cater to the needs of the students.

On the employment avenues after a masters course, Das said most of the students who have pursued such a course outside the state are working with corporate world of media, advertisement and animation and the remaining are working as reputed artists. “Some students come back home after completing higher studies with a view to dedicating themselves to pure academics in their regional environment. Even if they aspire to further their studies by pursuing a doctorate of philosophy they cannot do it as universities like Gauhati University still do not have a department of fine arts,” said Das.

Das said the vice-chancellor assured a 16-member team of the association to try his best to open the course in his tenure.