Sunday, September 2, 2012

An open letter to Prof Somnath Dasgupta, the new Vice Chancellor of Assam University, Silchar


Dear Sir, 
            Congratulations to you on assuming charge as the fifth Vice Chancellor of Assam University. You have come from a very distinguished background and have excelled in your profession with great élan. This job is a challenging one and we would, with all humility, like to point out a few of them to you.
One of the main challenges that you are going to confront here is the mad clamour for employment opportunities in the university. People with all kinds of connections – both worthy and unworthy, will approach you, at various stages of your tenure here. This valley has great hunger for jobs but the opportunities are very scarce.

Some new academic blocks of the university
If Barak Valley had a good number of industries to accommodate job seekers, things would have been different, but industries are also only few, worth the name here. The university cannot create jobs for every aspirant who approaches you. The appointments must always be done according to rules and no personal links should be able to obtain a job for any body. Such a strict attitude may make you a little unpopular but you must take such unpopularity in your stride for the greater good of the institution.
A common allegation is often raised that the survival instinct in a vice chancellor brings in a coterie around him. When a coterie surrounds the authority, the obvious victim is the rule book. The coterie is seldom linked with efficiency. Such allegations were rife with some your previous predecessors. Please be careful and always keep such officials at bay.
The statutory offices like that of the Registrar and the Finance Officer must not be occupied by teachers for a long time unless there is high emergency. These offices must be manned by professional officers who know the jobs better then whole time teachers.
We now live in an era where the state wants to gradually divest itself of many responsibilities, particularly on financial matters and therefore, the university cannot depend entirely on government funding for its future expansion plans. How and from where the funds could be generated is a matter of planning and you will have to look into this very pertinent issue seriously. Otherwise, in the future, this institution, now plush with government funds, may find itself struggling to maintain even its routine activities.
We also know that many new departments have been created but there is urgent need to make them worth while with clear goals chalked out. Every department of the university must show some research programs to justify its existence. A university’s aim should not be merely to award degrees, but to produce high quality research works which would benefit the country in the long run.
Our valley, communication wise, is in a very bad shape and the students cannot go out easily to seek admission in other universities. Thus, the establishment of the university in our very midst is a great boon for all the students. While, the valley itself may provide enough number number of students to the university to fill its seats, it would be great if meritorious stuents from various parts of the nation and even abroad can be attracted. It can only happen if the academic standards here are upgraded and brought at par with the other prestigious institutions of the nation.  
We remember the time when the people of the valley were demanding for a university, it was then only a dream. Nobody thought that it would come to fruition one day. Every good intention of people is linked with unforeseen political turn which comes at the opportune moment, the people are to make right noise at the right time, and this is the untold message we are having. A good and conscious people make their own time of action. There is no scope here to narrate the background of the movement for the university but it must be admitted that it benefited scores of students of this valley.
           During the last eighteen years, many students came out with distinction and got themselves absorbed in higher jobs elsewhere in the country and abroad. There is great sign of change on the board and any great thing is not only the state’s munificence. There must be the people’s participation in a creation. Elsewhere in the country, there is a great diversity in the sphere of higher education. Here, the political and economic changes are slow to come and in this valley, we depend on the success of the university. The people want that the university plays a much bigger role in the socio-economic emancipation of the valley. We pin our hopes on its success.
           Dear Sir, we do not think that such idea is an empty dream. The people at the local level are very much exercised when the rule book is not followed and the jobs go to the unworthy. While we cannot plead for the total exclusion of the honourable Vice Chancellor from the public gaze, but he must use his absolute sense of discretion in meeting people, many whom may have motives detrimental to the interests of the university. There is no reason to presume that a Vice Chancellor who goes by the rule book, not having an unworthy coterie to advise and who is teacher, employee and student friendly will face trouble from any quarters. Being the fifth occupant of this high office, you will have ample analyzable data to know why some of the predecessors faced ire from some quarters.
           While it is an extremely inadmissible a fact that a Vice Chancellor of a Central University is deterred from performing his statutory duties because of the unlawful acts from a section of the University staff, it is necessary that the Vice Chancellor himself must guard himself up against any kind of provocation from his own end. A judicious Vice Chancellor does not provoke and gets a free run as an administrator and most of the time, he gets it also. The students, teachers and employees have their associations and their domains must be respected.  
          Of late, many hostels have come up for students and the complaints are rife that these are not in good shape. All the hostels must be under your constant scanner and the students’ grievances must be solved before they go for strikes. There is also complaint that sub standard things are supplied in the hostels. A constant surveillance is necessary to make the hostels habitable for the students. Some times, occasional visits by the Vice Chancellor to the hostels and befriending them helps enormously to boost the administration — student relationship, and is a great boon for his image. Who does not want an image building exercise? The Vice Chancellor will certainly cherish it in his wisdom. We want that you should retire from this university as the most student friendly vice chancellor. We know you have the elements to make it work. 
         The student’s journey from the town to the university is not pleasant and you are to see that the transport system is streamlined and the students may not worry in commuting between the university and the town. If there is a single welfare scheme the university may execute with a sense of purpose besides the improvement of the students’ hostels, it is the comprehensive development of the transport system. It pre supposes a well built road between the town and the university. Let this university be a symbol of peace and development in midst of chaos every where. 
          While the task is enormous, we know that the challenge shall be accepted. Most of the people of this valley are peace loving and law abiding but some may spoil the show and they are not to be accepted and must be ruthlessly cornered.  A few people with cunning and pusillanimous character are found every where but such people cannot disturb the peace if the law is with you. After all, it is our university and we are to nurture it and make it a good one in the comity of universities in the country. Our best wishes are with you, Professor.

7 comments:

  1. A few cunning people are still nearer to you. Be careful. They are still on the move. Recently also something happened of which you should take note of regarding Appointments.

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  2. There must be strict probe on appointments in the university by the previous VC. There were many other severe irregularities which must be probed by the new VC. Hope Prof Dasgupta will take action and set an example for the next generations of administrators in our prestigious Assam University.

    Thanks
    Team Silchartoday
    www.silchartoday.com

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  3. Very well written article. Truth spoken. Great work CFS.

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  4. The article got attention off very late. Indeed a very balanced article. But university would be truly benefited if the author can have an interaction with the Vice-Chancellor Professor Dasgupta. Because it would further strengthen his minds and hands. Author can write in confidence, unless he likes to help Assam University and Professor Dasgupta from behind the curtains, to his mail id which is in public domain, i.e., in the AU website.

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  5. Plese stop the ongoing process of flatery in Assam University. Already people has started that you are misguided by Samira Behera. Do you think that he will help in running Assam University. He will simply keep you in confussion. At the last of your tenure you have to face his oposition.

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  6. ACTUALLY, MANY WHO WERE APPOINTED ILLEGALLY BY THE PREVIOUS VC STARTED OPPOSING HIM IN ORDER TO SHOW THAT THEY BELONG TO THE ANTI CAMP. THE OPPONENTS OF T BHATTACHARJEE HAVE TAKEN BENEFIT FROM HIM AND THEN MADE 'WHITE PAPER' ON HIM. MANY PEOPLE ARE HIDING BECAUSE IF ENQUIRY IS DONE THAN TRUTH WILL COME OUT.

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  7. the main write up and all the above comments makes one to have deep thought on every aspects. But recently the appointment of Registrar and Controller will no doubt prove his efficiency. Entire Barak Valley is looking for the result. and more importantly, HOW HE HANDLES THE SILAJIT GUHA SCANDAL, IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TO WATCH FOR ALL OF US. BECAUSE ON THIS, LIES THE FUTURE OF THE INSTITUTION. NONE CAN ALLOW A RASCAL TO CONTINUE AS TEACHER IN A UNIVERSITY...

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Silchar through the Lense