Cong bonds with professionals

Party provides platform for progressive politics; flays scheme

By Our Special Correspondent in Guwahati
  • Published 15.10.17
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Ripun Bora, Gaurav Gogoi and Tarun Gogoi in Guwahati on Saturday. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati, Oct. 14: The Congress today launched the Assam chapter of All India Professionals' Congress (AIPC) to connect with professionals and give them a voice to make "positive" political changes.

The AIPC will provide a platform to professionals to engage with like-minded peers and political leaders for progressive politics. The Congress, passing through one of its worst phases after the 2014 Lok Sabha poll debacle, feels professionals have been the worst affected under the BJP-led government and lending them a voice could benefit the party in the long run.

The launch was held at India Club, a city landmark which has as its members sportspersons, businessmen and bureaucrats, among others, to make the AIPC members "feel" at home. The choice of the venue and the presence of senior Congress leaders conveyed that the party meant business.

The AIPC is headed by Congress MP and former diplomat Shashi Tharoor, who has said its work will support the party's political goals.

MP Gaurav Gogoi, in-charge of the East Zone chapter of the AIPC, Bolin Bordoloi, a former tea executive who will head the Assam chapter, PCC president Ripun Bora, former chief minister Tarun Gogoi and senior Congressman Pradyut Bordoloi, who heads the PCC media department, also attended the launch here.

Gaurav said, "So far 59 people have joined the AIPC online. Besides connecting with professionals seeking a positive political change in the country, the Assam chapter will look into the unemployment problem in the state and region, engage with stakeholders on economic policy and mentor and back meritorious rural youth."

The AIPC is one of the three new departments floated by the AICC. The other two are the All India Unorganised Workers' Congress and the All India Fishermen Congress.

Gogoi teared into Prime Minister Narendra Modi's economic policy, saying it was in a mess because the government had ignored professionals. "All sectors have suffered because of wrong policies. We do politics to provide relief to the people. But we need professional advice for all-round prosperity and to create jobs. Today there is so much joblessness and farmer distress. There is economic paralysis because the government was not able to use the services of professionals. This body will help us connect with them."

Gunotsav barb

Gogoi today hit out at Dispur for allegedly turning the second phase of Gunotsav, an assessment process of government schools, into a "picnic".

The second phase started on Tuesday and ended yesterday. The first phase was held in April.

"The programme has turned into a publicity stunt. In our time, we distributed laptops and bicycles. It's okay if MLAs and MPs visit schools but now senior IAS officers visit schools too, and have midday meal. It's like a picnic. It is a waste of time and money," Gogoi said.

A government website, dedicated to Gunotsav, states it is an initiative to improve the learning process of students of government schools at the elementary level.

Gogoi referred to widespread circulation of photographs and visuals of senior officials and legislators visiting schools on social and electronic media to drive home his point.

Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also took part in the assessment drive.

Sarma recently tweeted that school visit by senior officials and MLAs reflects the government's commitment towards the programme.

Sarma had posted a few photographs of some officials having midday meal with students during the programme. He even praised the officials for their involvement.

Reports suggest that though the quality of midday meal, which is being provided to students to check dropout, has improved, it is still not up to the mark.

Gunotsav is aimed at evaluating schools and performance of students and to design strategies to bring about qualitative improvement in learning and environment of institutions. The assessments were done for the students from Classes II to VIII.

Gogoi alleged that the government was putting more efforts on publicity than creating infrastructure such as hostels or improving transport facilities.