GUWAHATI, March 24 � It is as if the death knell for the historic Cotton College and the nascent Cotton College State University (CCSU) is ringing. It is alleged that the Government is planning an ordinance, to be promulgated immediately after the current Budget Session of the State Assembly, to bifurcate the CCSU and Cotton College. If this allegation comes true, then the death of both the centurion Cotton College and the new CCSU is certain, said sources in Cotton College.
It needs mention here that the State Government decided to create the CCSU under the Cotton College State University Act, 2011, following a long-standing demand from the academia of the State. There was a strong demand from the academia to upgrade Cotton College, the first college of the NE region, to a university.
According to sources, due to the failure of the makers of the Cotton College State University Act, 2011 to envisage the real purpose of the legislation, the present situation has arisen. The Act in its preamble declared that the Cotton College has been upgraded into a university and at the same time, it also maintained: �The Cotton College as on the date of coming into force of this Act shall automatically be deemed to be a Constituent College of the University.�
Initially, the University was envisaged as an affiliating one but later on, through an amendment, it was declared as a unitary one, but Cotton College was kept its �constituent college,� which resulted in all the confusion.
This created all the confusion, the sources said. Reasoning, they said Cotton College, which was enjoying the status of a Post-Graduate Institution for about 45 years prior to the CCSU coming into being, was degraded to an undergraduate college with a stroke of a pen by the makers of this legislation. This led to a court case and following a Gauhati High Court directive, the State Government had to constitute a three-member working group to examine the matter.
The working group, in its report, advocated for making both the CCSU and Cotton College a single entity. �The Cotton College should be upgraded in the form of the University in line with the preamble of the CCSU Act, 2011,� it said.
It also recommended induction of the existing teachers of the College into the University with the existing terms and conditions of their service along with the posts kept intact. It further stated that for the Higher Secondary section of the College, the Government might initiate necessary action to phase out this section from the University within a stipulated period.
Moreover, it said the powers and functions of the present principal of the College should be redefined to accommodate her within the University set-up and if need be, her designation may also be redefined. Necessary changes in the Assam Education Service Rules, 1987 may be carried out for the purpose.
��Removal of two authorities from the institution is sine qua non of the system. The working group feels that the existing Principal may be accommodated as Academic Registrar or Secretary University Classes,� said the working group, among others.
But despite the above recommendations of the working group, the Government is now thinking on the lines of bifurcating the University and the College. And for this purpose, it is planning to promulgate an ordinance immediately after the current session of the State Assembly, which will complicate the matter further and jeopardize the existence of both the institutions, alleged the sources.