JORHAT, Aug 31 - Close on the heels of the demonstrations staged by the students of Assam Engineering College, Guwahati, and Jorhat Engineering College on Wednesday in protest against the State Government�s decision to shift the existing affiliations of all engineering colleges in the State to the Assam Science and Technology University (ASTU), the students of Jorhat Institute of Science and Technology (JIST) at Sotai near here launched an indefinite strike from today, demanding immediate withdrawal of the government decision.
The agitating students on the JIST premises shouted slogans against the Education Department, demanding the immediate rollback of the decision. The vice president of JIST Students� Union, Manash Pratim Choudhary, told this correspondent that the Government was forcefully imposing the decision, which was against the interests of engineering students.
Choudhary pointed out that all engineering colleges in the State were till now affiliated to two universities � Dibrugarh University in upper Assam and Gauhati University in lower Assam � which, he claimed, was beneficial to the academic interests of the students.
The union vice president added that the Government�s new decision would have an adverse effect on the career prospects of engineering students. He said that the newly-established ASTU (located at Tetelia in Guwahati) has neither the requisite infrastructure nor any NAAC accreditation, and hence the move to shift the affiliation would harm the interests of the students.
The shifting of the existing affiliation of JIST from the Dibrugarh University to the ASTU would also affect the prospects of students who got admitted to engineering courses after qualifying in the JEE, Choudhary said. He alleged that the Government�s decision was in violation of Section 12B of the UGC Act. Choudhary warned that the strike would continue if the Government did not roll back the decision on affiliation.
Apart from offering several engineering courses, JIST, a premier institute of engineering education in the State which was formerly known as Government Science College, was established in 1971. It also runs a number of BSc courses.