TEZPUR, Jan 24 � The 21st foundation day of Tezpur University was celebrated with a day-long programme on January 21.
The establishment of Tezpur University is considered to be one of the outcomes of the Assam Accord, along with the establishment of Assam University and Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati. It was established by an Act of Parliament in 1994, the opening of which was chaired by the then Prime Minister of India PV Narasimha Rao. Initially, the university functioned from the premises of the Darrang College, in Tezpur. Later it was shifted to Napaam, a suburb of Tezpur, about 15 kilometres east from here with an area of 242 acres (0.98 square kilometers).
It may be mentioned that cultural icon Kalaguru Bishnuprasad Rabha donated an ancestral estate of 2500 bighas, received from the British government in favour of the peasants. The present-day Tezpur University stands on the land donated by him. However, the institution striving to offer employment-oriented and inter-disciplinary courses, mostly, at the postgraduate level to meet local, regional aspirations and developmental needs of the State has been offering courses and promoting research in areas which are of special relevance to the region and in emerging areas in science and technology.
The programme included three foundation day orations by three leading educationists of the country, distribution of winter gifts to school children and cultural and literary events. Participating as the chief guest of the function, Prof V Nagaraja from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore laid great emphasis on the need of various strategies to counter tuberculosis (TB). Describing TB as the most ancient and dangerous enemy of mankind, Prof Nagaraja said that about one-third of the world population carry TB in a dormant form out of which 9 million are infected and 2 million die every year. Although scientists have been tirelessly carrying out their warfare against the �very clever� bacteria, it is of utmost importance for the common people to take specific care to save themselves from this killer disease. Delivering his oration, IIT Guwahati Director Prof Gautam Biswas presented a model of the undergraduate engineering programme designed to suit the need of the time and meet the newer challenges. Another eminent scientist Prof Sher Ali of the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi spoke on �Genomics and Human Health�.
Addressing the gathering, Vice Chancellor Prof Mihir K Chaudhuri laid emphasis on the need of revamping the higher education scenario in India in order to be equal to the top ranking institutions of the world. He stated that 13% of Indian students move to US, UK and other European countries every year which was chiefly due to lack of proper facilities in most Indian institutions to carry out research in the desired direction. A missionary zeal in the educational planners buttressed by enough funds would only take the Indian universities to such a stage, he said. Coinciding with the occasion, 27 students of the university who brought national-level accolades from inter-university meets were awarded. Eight non-teaching employees were also presented with the Best Performance Awards in the function. Apart from these, 126 pairs of shoes along with socks were gifted to the children of the nearby Gandhi Suwonroni Prathomik Vidyalaya, Amolapam. A cultural programme displaying the indigenous cultures of Assam and the NE was also organised on the eve of the foundation day.
The university is an outcome of the historic Assam Accord signed on the midnight of August 15, 1985 which ended the six-year old Assam agitation led by the AASU and the AGSP. Tezpur University was established a decade after this epoch-making event on January 21, 1994 as a non-affiliating residential institution of higher learning and research. The University started with a modest 57 students and three departments. Today, with 3000 students, 220 faculty members, 250 administrative and technical staff and tastefully developed 800-bigha campus with state-of-the-art facilities, the University has made rapid strides in the field of professional education and career building.