Saturday, Aug 13, 2022

Assam Women's University Students Call Out To Modi, Say ‘Don’t Convert The University Into A Technical Institute'

The students have been protesting on the Rowriah outskirts for the past four days but the Centre has given no response as yet.


Assam Women’s University (AWU) Students are demanding the attention of the Narendra Modi-government to get a response for their ongoing protest protest against the state government’s decision to convert the university to a technical institute.

The students have been protesting on the Rowriah outskirts for the past four days but the Centre has given no response as yet. There was a 36-hour hunger strike for the second day after a ‘brief meeting’ with the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at the Guest House of the Assam Agricultural University here failed to cut ice, according to Assam Tribune.

The students, with support from the Jorhat district unit of the AASU, since March 19 were carrying out the hunger strike in front of the Jorhat Deputy Commissioner’s office besides the AT Road.

The student political parties have now started a Twitter Campaign too against the BJP government. A girl of AWU tweeted: The Assam Women University is the first ever University of Northeast but Assam Government is taking up steps to degrade it from University to a Technical Institution.

A video of the student’s hunger-strike can be seen below:

Tarun Gogoi, who served as the Chief Minister of Assam from 2001 to 2016 also tweeted and called for support from the Centre: Assam Women's University was one of my dream project for empowering the women. It is not only a pride of Assam but of the whole country. Assam BJP Govt's decision on AMU exposes the hollow promises of flagship program.

AWU has been functioning without a permanent Vice Chancellor (VC) since classes began in 2014, according to NewsClick. KM Bujarbaruah, the VC of the Assam Agricultural University (AAU), is made in charge as the ‘mentor’ of AWU. Two batches have already passed out, according to Assam Tribune.

The students were also demanding appointment of a permanent Vice-Chancellor , necessary infrastructure and appointing permanent faculty members and staff. The teachers are all working on ad hoc basis since the inception of the university.

The AWU has been running under the support of Assam Agricultural University here with AAU entrusted as the mentor university with its Vice-Chancellor Dr KM Bujarbaruah officiating as the VC for the institute as per the arrangement made by the erstwhile Tarun Gogoi-led government during whose tenure the university was established in an old building of the AAU in 2014.

According to the 2013 Act passed in the State Assembly in 2013, Chief Minister is the Chancellor or the AWU.

The Narendra Modi government has proposed the same plan for Jawaharlal Nehru University, to augment industry and job-oriented but several faculty members and students fear that such a move would dilute the varsity's mandate to promote critical thinking, according to The Telegraph. But presently, it is anticipated that JNU will go along with the Centre’s mandate.