GUWAHATI, March 7 - Conversion of Cotton College into a university has created a severe financial crisis and staff crunch at the institution, alleged the Cotton University Students� Union (CUSU) today.
Cotton College was first converted to Cotton College State University in 2011. In 2017 the State govt turned it into Cotton University.
�When it was a college, 69 teachers� posts had remained vacant in the institution. But after the conversion, the number of vacancies increased to 149. Moreover, at present nine third-grade posts, 43 fourth-grade posts and 14 non-teaching staff posts are vacant in various departments,� said Pranjal Kalita, general secretary of CUSU.
Criticising the then Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, he said, �The minister had announced conversion of Cotton College into one of the topmost institutions of South East Asia. But later we have seen a contradictory picture. Altogether 5,548 students are now undergoing various courses at Cotton University. But against them, only 287 seats for girls and 244 seats for boys are available in seven hostels. Instead of making any initiative to increase the hostel seats, the authority chose to close down altogether three boys� hostels till today.�
The CUSU alleged that three courses, namely Bio Technology, Mass Communication and BCA have remained non-provincialised even after over ten years of introduction.
�In 2015, NAAC had provided heritage status to four buildings of the then Cotton College State University. Then the UGC announced Rs 4 crore for development of those buildings. But after the conversion, allotment of fund stopped and as a result renovation of those buildings including Chemistry Building, Principal�s residence, KKH Hostel and Arts Building remained incomplete. The State government had also announced Rs 100 crore for the university, but no fund has been released yet,� Kalita said.
The CUSU further alleged that after the conversion, the admission fee was hiked by 50 per cent. It alleged the students are deprived of proper facilities in the hospital attached with the institution. It threatened a road blockade in the city if the State govt does not take steps to resolve the issues.