The Assam University came into being by an Act of Parliament in May 1989. The University was established on 21st January 1994 at Silchar, the headquarters of the Cachar, District of the heart of the Barak Valley in Southern Assam. Within 7 years of its existence, the University has established a permanent campus with 24 Departments and 3 Interdisciplinary centres such as Computer Centre, Women's Study Centre and Netaji Sibhash Bose Centre for Research and Studies in National Movement and National Integration. 8 schools administer the the 24 Departments and are endowed with qualified staff. The University's catchment consists of the 5 districts of Southern Assam :Cachar, Hailakandi, Karimganj, North Cachar Hills and Karbi Ablong. As a teaching cum affiliating University, it has select colleges numbering 52 at professional and degree levels. This includes a Regional Engineering College, a Medical College, College of Law, and Teachers Training College.
The history of Assam University is the history of people's struggle for higher education. The people of Surma Valley (known during the time of British India) saw two partitions in a century --- one isolated them from their ethnic link with Gangetic Bengal and ensued a forced merger with Assam state by the then British Rulers. The second partition that created Pakistan in 1947 truncated the Valley by taking away 4 out of 5 subdivisions of Sylhet district. So the Surma division was lost for ever and newly defined Barak Valley came into being comprising Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts. The partition of India brought to the people of Barak Valley an insurmountable economic hardship, cultural alienation and separation from their nearest kins living on the other side of the international boundary. Till 1947 the colleges of Barak Valley were affiliated to Calcutta University but the partition of India brought out logistic problems. When Gauhati University was established in 1948 following the independence, the colleges in Barak Valley were affiliated to it, solving hardly its logistic problem. With this growing sense of discontentment, the people's wrath was further aggravated when Assam Legislative Assembly introduced a bill to make Assamese the only official language of the state. It meant denial of Bengali, the second major language spoken in Assam and which constitutes the major language group in Barak Valley. Consequently, people of Barak Valley set off a democratic language movement for due recognition of their mother tongue. At the height of the movement, eleven youths were killed by police firing at Silchar on May 19, 1961. This incident inspired the people to take vow for having a University of their own. The demand was further augmented when Gauhati University sought to introduce Assamese as the only medium of instruction at University level. This led to another mass movement at Barak Valley which saw similar repression and killing. Two youths at Karimganj were killed by police on 21 July 1986, many suffered jail confinement while some were injured and rendered incapacitated. Assam Government at a point of time offered a State University for Barak Valley, but it was turned down outright by the people as they saw nothing except a central university could fulfil their aspiration for national education, and put them into the mainstream of Indian life. The yearning for remaining into the mainstream of Indian life is no doubt the uniqueness of character of the people of Barak Valley. They are peaceful and strictly committed to democratic values and against separatism. Later on, as a result of the struggle of the people of this region the Assam University Act was passed by the both Houses of Parliament in May 1989 and it received the assent of the President of India in the same month. The University having jurisdiction over all three districts in Barak Valley and two neighbouring hill districts, viz. North Cachar Hills and Karbi Anglong started functioning from January 21, 1994.
Courses of Studies
The University at the moment has Master Degree programmes (4 semesters) in following subjects : Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Life Science, Ecology, Mass Communication, English, Bengali, Manipuri, Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic, Linguistics, History, Economics, Political Science, Sociology, Philosophy, Education, Business Administration and Commerce. Besides there are integrated Degree and Master Degree programmes (10 semesters) in Fine Arts, Computer Science and Social Work. There are also post-graduate diploma courses in Marketing Management and Journalism, and a certificate course in Functional Sanskrit. About 2000 students are on roll in various courses.The University has already started Master of Philosophy and Ph.D. programmes. Section 28 (1) of the AU Act has clearly delineated the modalities for the programmes. The objectives of these programmes are to provide deeper insights in the relevant subjects, broadening horizons and emphasising the unity of all knowledge normally divided in numerous disciplines, equipping scholars with necessary tools and practical experiences for further research in different fields. The M. Phil programmes for three semesters is available in Mathematics, Bengali, Commerce, English, Economics, Education, History, Political Science, Sociology and Sanskrit. M. Phil in Chemistry, Ecology, Physics, Life Science and Mass Communication was started from January 2000. Ph.D. programme is offered in all subjects.
Assam University, Silchar 788011, Assam, India. Phone: +91-03842-270806, Fax: +91-03842-270802, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: www.assamuniversity.nic.in
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