GUWAHATI, Oct 15 - An ambitious proposal from the Indian Federation of United Nations Associations (IFUNA) to set up a UN University in Guwahati and its request to Assam government for allotting 15 acres of land for the purpose have gone unheeded. However, the State government in the neighbouring Meghalaya has shown keenness to provide the required area of land to the IFUNA for the purpose.
The university would have been the second one in the world, after the UN University in Tokyo, Japan. There is also a move to set up a UN University in Costa Rica.
The proposal was mooted by the IFUNA as a move to accelerate development of the NE region, which is lagging behind other regions of the country in this respect.
The IFUNA has made two communications with the State government in February, 2014 and on August 3, 2016 in this connection. It has also made the same proposal to the Meghalaya government, which has shown its keenness to provide land for the purpose and it is learnt that the process to allot land for the university is on.
The last of the two letters, to Sonowal, written by IFUNA secretary general Suresh Srivastava on August 3, 2016, states: �The Institute of UN Studies, which is the department of IFUNA having on its record a large number of students from Afro-Asian and European countries and successfully running this course for the last four decades, is now � in the process of establishing a UN University in India which is unique � as there is no such university in the world which imparts knowledge about United Nations, its specialized agencies and its commissions, etc.
�� We would like to start courses for graduation, post-graduation and research level in the proposed university. We may take this opportunity to request you to kindly consider our request for establishing a UN University in Guwahati, and for this purpose we may be requiring about 15 acres of land to establish a full-fledged university.
�Therefore, you are requested to kindly allot a minimum land of 15 acres for the purpose,� said the IFUNA secretary general in his letter to the Chief Minister.
The IFUNA was established over five decades back for promoting the aims, objectives and activities of the United Nations and its specialized agencies. It is affiliated to the World Federation of United Nations Associations, New York and has been granted a special consultative status to deal with the United Nations Economic and Social Council matters. It is duly recognised by the Union External Affairs Ministry.
The IFUNA secretary as well as secretary general of the United Nations Association, Assam Dr Aswini Sarma, who has been appointed member secretary of the proposed UN University Ad-doc Committee, told media-persons at a press conference here today that the IFUNA in its latest meeting had observed that between Guwahati and Shillong, Guwahati is relatively the better place for setting up the university because of its locational advantage.
However, if the Assam government delays the matter of allotting land for the purpose in Guwahati or at any of its neighbouring areas, and the Meghalaya offer to allot land for the purpose precedes that of Assam, the IFUNA will have no way out but to opt for the neighbouring State to set up the UN University.
The proposed university will also offer courses on Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science and Technology, besides the courses on the United Nations, etc, said Dr Sarma.