GUWAHATI, June 12 � The Assam Government is planning to upgrade Cotton College and JB College, Jorhat to status of universities in addition to setting up a new state university at Diphu in Karbi Anglong district.
Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the State Government would be forced to increase the number of universities in view of the recent decision taken by the Central Advisory Board for Education on higher education reforms in the country.
The Central Advisory Board, in its recent meeting, agreed on principle that the number of affiliated colleges under each university should not be more than 50 to ensure better control of the universities over the colleges. In view of the decision, there will be urgent need for Assam to have more universities as at present, there are more than a hundred colleges are affiliated to Gauhati University and around 90 colleges are affiliated to Dibrugarh University.
Sarma said that to do away with the problem, the State Government has decided to upgrade Cotton College and JB College to the status of universities with affiliating powers and a few more colleges would also be elevated to status of Universities in phased manner. He said that a Bill in this regard is likely to be moved in the ensuing Budget Session of the Assam Legislative Assembly scheduled to begin in the middle of July. He also said that the Government has also taken a decision to set up a University at Diphu.
The Education Minister said that the guidelines for appointment of school teachers would also be changed and the candidates appearing for interviews would have to clear Teachers' Eligibility Tests and all candidates must get over 50 percent mark in the higher secondary examination.
Though the Governor JB Patnaik, in his address to the Assembly recently, announced the Government's decision to provincialize the schools set up before 2006, the Government is not aware of the number of such schools and the teachers working on the same as of date. Sarma admitted that the Government would have to put a mechanism in place for implementing the decision.
On the problems faced by the school students because of the delay in providing text books, Sarma said that this year the all the books would be made available by July. He assured that from next year onwards, all the students would get the books on time. The orders for the printing of text books for the next academic session would be placed within the next ten days so that the books are ready by November, he added.