Cotton College to Cotton State University – Upgradation or Degradation (Part 2)

Cotton College

By- Biswajit Chakrabarty


When the Cotton College State University Bill was introduced, it was assumed naturally that the Cotton College, along with its history, glory, teachers, staff, students, all assets and properties together would upgrade itself to a university. What is going to happen in reality?

What will be lost – forever?

Cotton College State University would be created and the existing Cotton College would become its obvious part. Instead of a natural upgradation, Cotton College would have to give away all its land, the century old memory ridden buildings, hostels, library, laboratories,- everything would be sacrificed for the glorious start of the new university.

The untiring efforts taken by the legendary teachers throughout the last century which had paved the way for the post graduation courses in Cotton College would be all be lost and a new start will take place. The laboratories which had given birth to the first Doctorate of Gauhati University would be lost.  The efforts of legendary icons like Professor Atul Dutta and Gobinda Deka would be lost as well. All UGC accredited qualified teachers would be lost as well!

The cost of so much loss – is it really worth it?

At such a high cost, what will be Cotton College gain from its new “ruler” Cotton College State University? It will go back 50 years in to the past and become a mere Graduate level college with nothing left apart from a glorious past.  Just a fading institution “Who has nothing left but had everything in the past”.

Our education minister has claimed that this is just a technical arrangement for the job security of those who do not have UGC accredited qualification! The “Unqualified” ones would be kept back in the Cotton College, while the “Qualified” lot will have to re-apply for positions in the new university and get posted!

This it proves the vast difference between Cotton College and new Cotton College State University.

The Unanswered questions

In the year 2001, Cotton College celebrated its glorious centenary celebrations. In year 2051, when Cotton College celebrates 150 years of glorious existence, would it the responsibility of Cotton College or Cotton College State University? Will Cotton College State University claim its foundation year as 1901 or 2011?

In the last 110 years, whoever has prided himself as a Cottonian or as a teacher of Cotton College, the above questions are very important. Not for the ones though, who do not understand or learn from history. For them, emotions should come in progression.

With emotions kept aside

Keeping emotions aside, let us give away Cotton College along with all its assets to the new university for the sake of the new education revolution that this university would bring, as per words of our education minister.

Now, can our education minister answer us if for his dream university, the present size and campus of Cotton College enough? We have always realized that for progression of Cotton College, one of the drawbacks always faced was its lack of space and land. So would it end up in a situation that after losing our beloved Cotton College, the new university too is of limited strength and limited size?

Those whose life is dedicated to teaching, those who regards overall progression and development more than political profitability have always been ignored by the education department while brining any changes in all levels,- elementary to higher levels. When there was protest against blind following of the CBSE curriculum in schools of Assam, the education department did not allow the past teachers of Cotton College to meet the officials to discuss the issue, in spite of requests put. There is no surprise now when this same lot has taken a dictatorial decision for Cotton College.

To the Education Minister

In a news channel, you have used the word technically every time you spoke about the issue of Cotton College State University. Whatever you meant, for us it is clear that you are adamant to destroy our beloved Cotton College both legally and technically. The history of Cotton College will see this chapter written in black, not golden.

Just a request to our honorable Education minister, – please do not try to fool us anymore by speaking about upgradation of Cotton College. No one would stand against your will and your effort to create an international level university though, may your efforts be successful.

Writer Biswajit Chakrabarty is a retired professor of Cotton College.

Translated by Priyankan Goswami from the writer’s original article in Assamese with his kind permission.

Disclaimer: Views and statement made in the article are Author’s personal. TIMES OF ASSAM disclaim any legal or other liability for the above.

3 Responses to "Cotton College to Cotton State University – Upgradation or Degradation (Part 2)"

  1. P Das  August 01, 2011 at 04:22 PM

    Converting historic Cotton College to Cotton State University under a political head (Chief Minister) as the Head (Chancellor)of the new institution is really ill conceived. It will degrade the Cotton College and the past honour will vaporise. Although I did not study in Cotton College (I graduated from IIT Kharagpur), I find the move very FUNNY that it is intended to be an affiliating University. The present politicisation of Cotton College is dangerous. Make it a university like Presidency University, Kolkata. TISS, Mumbai, BITS, Pilani etc are some success storied of development of university. Will the Education Minister rise above petty political considerations while dealing with such serious issues like cotton college/university??

  2. Partha Prawal Goswami  August 02, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    First of all I thank Sir Biswajit Chakraborty for coming out this piece of writing and more such write ups from the past and present members of the academic staffs will help in highlighting the issue with profound clarity.
    Well, if the state government wish to set up a new university, they can establish it without using the name of Cotton College. As per as I can think back, it was in 2001 itself when steps were taken to upgrade Cotton College to a Deemed University. I heard UGC, AICTCE also gave their approval but the project got shelved due to the non-approving of the State Government. Had it become a Deemed University, the education scenario of the state would have changed drastically. But now, Cotton College State University (CCSU) is nothing but a new University where the name of Cotton College will be used to gain profit. This will degrade the education scenario, instead of upgrading it. But anyhow, does our say holds any importance in this regard as it is the Council of Ministers of the State Government who think they know better than anyone of us.

    • P Das  August 03, 2011 at 03:51 PM

      Yes, Cotton College BRAND NAME is getting used/misused. Beware everyone. Please see through this cunning game.


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