GUWAHATI, June 1 - The historic Cotton College, set up on May 27, 1901, was today formally declared upgraded into a university by State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at a function organised by the Higher Education Department of the State at the Kalaguru Bishnuprasad Rava Auditorium of the institution here today.
The Minister handed over the official gazette notification, issued for the purpose, to Vice-Chancellor (in-charge) of the University Dr DJ Saikia to mark the beginning of a new chapter in the history of this heritage institution of higher learning of the country. The function was attended by the members of the Cotton family, including its alumni.
The new university has been named as the Cotton University (CU). The movement in support of the demand to upgrade the college to a university started in the early 1990s.
In his address, the Minister urged the members of the Cotton family to engage themselves in the efforts to transform this gem of the academic institutions of the country into a university of repute for the whole of South Asia, so that it can emerge as a hub of the academic activities of world class excellence.
The university will have around 500 posts of teachers, including the existing ones and those proposed to be recruited. This will be one of the biggest teaching faculties in the universities in this part of the country, the Minister claimed.
It needs mention here that following pressure from the Cotton family and the people of the State, the State Government constituted the Cotton College State University (CCSU) in 2011, making Cotton College its constituent college, through a legislation. But it created a lot of confusions and contradictions between Cotton College and CCSU, which necessitated the Cotton University Act, 2017 and creation of the Cotton University (CU).
By this time, a search committee has been constituted by the authorities for the purpose of selecting the new Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the university. The term of the present CCSU VC, Dr D J Saikia, expired yesterday and hence he has been made the VC (in-charge) of the new university till the appointment of the Mentor VC or the permanent VC of the university, sources in the university said.
However, the post of the Principal of Cotton College ceased to exist from today, said the sources.
AASU stand: Meanwhile, All Assam Students� Union (AASU) has made an appeal to the Chief Minister, Education Minister, Assembly Speaker and all the legislators to rethink the issue of merging Cotton College with the CU.
In a statement, the AASU said it is for upgrading the historic college into a university, but, at the same time, it is opposed to the idea of throwing the 117-year-old college into the bin of oblivion. There is a need to further discuss the issue of upgrading the college, it asserted.