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Handique Girls College, Guwahati (Gauhati), Assam


Handique Girls College, Guwahati (Gauhati), Assam
Address:Dighali Pukhuri West
Guwahati (Gauhati)
Assam, India

Handique Girls College, Guwahati (Gauhati) Assam is a recognised institute / college.
Principal of Handique Girls College, Guwahati (Gauhati) Assam is Dr. (Mrs.) Indira Bardoloi.

Handique Girls College is situated in Guwahati (Gauhati) of Assam state (Province) in India. This data has been provided by www.punjabcolleges.com. email ID(s) is Handique Girls College Guwahati (Gauhati) Assam

Website of Handique Girls College, Guwahati (Gauhati) Assam is http://www.hgcollege.org/.

Contact Details of Handique Girls College, Guwahati (Gauhati) Assam are : Telephone: +91-361-2543793, 2602043


Handique Girls College, Guwahati (Gauhati) Assam runs course(s) in Arts, Computer Applications, Science stream(s).
B.A., B.Sc., Advanced Diploma in Information Technology, Certificate in Information Technology, Diploma in Information Technology, Vocational Courses (Assamese Teaching for the Non-Assamese, Child care, Children s and Ladies Garment making, Creche managem


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Tajmahal me assam ki students ka apman (Handique Girls College)
News: 15th March, 2015
Tajmahal me assam ki students ka apman

Tajmahal me assam ki students ka apman (News)

Media coverage of Handique Girls College, Guwahati (Gauhati) Assam, Assam

Profile of the College

One of the veritable nerve centres of women's education in north-eastern India, Handique Girls' College was established in 1939, a dream come true for the late Mrs. Rajabala Das, a pioneer in the field of women's education. The patronage and philanthropy of the late Radha Kanta Handique were also largely responsible for giving shape to the first institution for higher education for women, in the undivided state of Assam. Mrs. Rajabala Das also became the founder principal of the college. Imbued with the fervour of the nationalist struggle for freedom, Mrs. Das was intent in doing away with unjustified taboos and prejudices on the societal, familial and individual levels, pertaining to the womenfolk of Assam. Education appeared to her to be the only weapon to enable a woman to reveal her own identity and to partake of active public life. Mrs. Rajabala Das was herself one of the few fortunate women to have received higher education during the time, and she thus set about with an iron will to start a women's college in Gauhati. Beginning with just two students in the year of its inception, and housed in the premises of the Panbazar Girls' High School, the college was initially known as Gauhati Girls' College.

With the subsequent shifting to the present site, the college was renamed R. K. Handique Girls' College and was affiliated to the Calcutta University in 1940. By finally naming the college Handique Girls' College, a well-deserved tribute was paid to the late R. K. Handique, the noted.philanthropist of Assam, who donated a generous sum for its development. The Handique family, later on, in the cherished memory of the late R. K. Handique, further donated a considerable amount for the expansion and development of the college. The college is situated on the western bank of the legendary Dighalipukhuri, an ideal location in the heart of the city of Guwahati. The serene atmosphere with its calm green surroundings, is conducive to the pursuit of academic activities.
Over the years, Handique Girls' College has burgeoned, from its nascent stage, to a centre of academic excellence, nurturing simultaneously academic and co-curricular endeavours. The college has proudly established itself as the foremost institution for women's education in north-east India, and it functions as a meeting point for students from the diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds of the region, and beyond. The present enrolment of the college is around 3300 students. The sixty-seven years of the college's existence have been filled with a brilliant record of academic performance in the examinations conducted by the Gauhati University and the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council.
The aim of the educational programme at Handique Girls' College is to foster a spirit of academic excellence, encourage critical thinking, create innovative ways to broaden horizons and discover the liberating power of new ideas and insights. It is the college's unflinching belief that value-based learning is of great relevance in a dynamic work environment. Faculty and students share a special interactive relationship which provides an emancipatory learning context. Students have easy access to faculty guidance, full staff support, and a caring and nurturing atmosphere. The college provides students with a range of avenues and opportunities for self-expression, initiative and experimentation in both the intellectual and co-curricular fields. Students have a chance to interact meaningfully with distinguished personalities and experts from all walks of life.
Education at Handique Girls' College empowers young women to assume positions of leadership in society, to think in terms of constructive alternatives, and most importantly, to have a sense of commitment to the larger community, and to be sensitive to the duties and responsibilities that come with the privelege of higher education for women in a country like India. In the final analysis, the educational enterprise at Handique Girls' College seeks to nurture women who are not just conformers but trail-blazers-women who understand the link between educational and creative citizenship : in short, women who can, and who will, make a difference.
Since its inception, Handique Girls' College is uniquely priveleged in having a series of eminent, dynamic and visionary principals and members of the Governing Body, dedicated to the cause of higher education for women. The following have been the principals of the college : the late Mrs. Rajabala Das (1939-1965), the late Sarat Chandra Goswami (1965-1974), Mrs. Ameda Rasul (1974-1984), the late Dr. Ratna Kanta Baruah (1984-1992), Mrs. Priti Barua (in-charge, 1992-1993), Dr. (Miss) Saraju Das (in-charge, 1993-1994), Dr. Gagan Chandra Baruah (1994-2000), Miss Shenehi Begum (in-charge, 2000-2002), Dr. (Mrs.) Mridula Mazumdar (in-charge, 2002-2004), Mrs. Geeta Barua (in-charge, 2004). The present principal of the college is Dr. (Mrs.) Indira Bardoloi.

NAAC report of Handique Girls College

Handique Girls' College was founded in 1939 and is situated in Guwahati. It began as Gauhati Girls' College in the premises of a high school for girls with only 2 students. Being shifted to its present location, it was renamed in memory of Radha Kanta Handique whose philanthropy had made it possible. It was the first women's college of undivided Assam dedicated to the 'advancement, development and empowerment of women through quality education'. It was initially affiliated to the University of Calcutta, but with the foundation of Gauhati University in 1948 its affiliation shifted to Gauhati University. And it got UGC recognition under 2f and 12B in 1989-90. Financially it is grant-in-aid. It has a campus of 1.93 acres at the heart of the city.

The College has the annual system and offers two Undergraduate programmes, leading to the B.A. and B.Sc. degrees. 18 subjects are listed in its calendar. They are: Assamese, Bengali, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Education, English, Hindi, History, Home Science, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Sanskrit, Statistics and Zoology, each housed in a Department. Students can major in most of them (except Computer Science, Hindi, Sanskrit and Statistics). The College also offers 3 self-financing courses: a Certificate, Diploma and Advance Diploma in Information Technology (6 + 12 + 18 months), Computer Literacy (6 weeks) and Spoken English (12 weeks). One more course of a similar nature i.e. Textile Dyeing & Printing has also been introduced this year. It is noted that the College also teaches Higher Secondary, of course outside the University purview and the purview of the NAAC. No cognition is taken of that in this report except that the overall infrastructure and the faculty are the same and that the finances are undivided.

The College had a student roll of 2,140 in 2002-03 excluding the Higher Secondary. The Undergraduate enrolment was 630 instate and 43 out-of-state. The 2001-02 batch had a total of 807 taking the finals, the batch before, a total of 837 taking the finals. The majority seems to be in the Arts. The College does not seem to have an occasion to enroll any NRI or overseas students. The intake capacity in the 3 self-financing courses is 24, 30 and 40 respectively, though the current strength is altogether 37. The students' performance in the University examinations is good. Quite a few get 1st Class, some also rank.

The number of permanent teachers in the College is 86, of which 66 are female and 20 are male, and again 32 Ph.D. (26 female + 6 male) and 5 M.Phil. (4 female and 1 male). There are also 4 temporary teachers (2 female + 2 male) and 1 temporary computer instructor (male), a Postgraduate diploma holder. 7 female part-time teachers are also on the faculty at the moment, 1 of whom (female) is a Ph.D. 9 teachers have attended international seminars and 18 teachers have attended national seminars 1 having been a resource person. The College has completed 6 projects with a total outlay of Rs. 2,38,000.00 and has 6 ongoing projects the total outlay of which is Rs.13,50,000.00. In the last 5 years 11 teachers have attained Ph.D., and at the moment 1 teacher is registered for full-time research and 8 are doing part-time research.

The College has 241 working and 212 teaching days a year (improved from the last year's 226 and 183). It has a Central Library, a Computer Centre, a Health Centre, Hostels, a Canteen and an Instrumentation Centre. The Library keeps open on all working days. It has around 32,000 books and subscribes to 18 periodicals. There is also a 2,050 strong Book Bank. The number of computers in the Centre is 18. 7 other computers are housed in the Departments. Handique Girls' College has also been identified as an IGNOU study centre.

Equipped with the Self-Study Report submitted by the College, the NAAC Peer Team visited it on 24-25 November 2003. The Team consisted of Professor Amiya Kumar Dev (former Vice-Chancellor, Vidyasagar University) as Chairman and Major D.K. Nanda (former Director, College Development Council, Utkal University) and Dr. Anadi Kumar Kundu (Principal, Barasat Govt. College) as members. Dr Latha Pillai, Advisor NAAC coordinated the visit.

The Team met the Principal-in-Charge first. Then it went to the Departments and met the staff. It also met in succession the Governing Body, the students, alumni and parents. It looked up the facilities and checked the documentary evidence. Before finalizing the report the Team shared it with the Principal-in-Charge. The visit ended with an exit meeting. The Peer Team takes this opportunity to thank the Principal-in-Charge and everyone else involved with the visit.

Criterion I : Curricular Aspects
Non-autonomous affiliated colleges do not have much curricular freedom. In spite of its long tenure and noble motto, Handique Girls' College is no exception. It cannot design a course of its own unless it is of an ancillary nature, that is, not directly involved with the degree programme. A little option may be built into the cluster of elective subjects, but there too some constraints operate as to which ones to offer with which others—not everything can go with everything else. There is hardly any horizontal mobility under the scheme of things that is pretty classical. In fact the students are not left to themselves to make their choice according to their aptitude, they are pretty much told what to do. Of course one can choose between Arts and Science. If one is majoring one can also choose the major subject. Then she is bound up. There may be a little leeway, but within the given pattern. An Arts major cannot offer a Science subsidiary or vice versa.

Yet the College is trying to create an ambience of choice by introducing such auxiliary courses as Information Technology (Certificate or Diploma or Advance Diploma) the syllabi for which were initiated by the college itself, or Computer Literacy or Spoken English that Handique girls can take, though not Textile Dyeing and Printing just introduced More such courses will mean more freedom, but in no way can a cafeteria situation be envisaged as long as the auxiliaries lie outside the degree requirement. Any change in that is up to the University, not to the College. However, since some senior members of the faculty are on the University Boards of Studies, they can play an effective role in syllabus revision.

Even though the College doesn't have a modular syllabus for any of its degree subjects, it is producing a semblance of that by cutting the syllabus into a number of rational units. This may give a little flexibility to an otherwise rigid body. Besides, the interdisciplinary approach by some of the members of the Science faculty is a step in the right direction that the Humanities and Social Science faculty could also have introduced.

Criterion II : Teaching, Learning and Evaluation
Of these three components the first two are in the hands of the College, the third not. But in a way the third is the outcome of the first two. Better the teaching, better the learning, better is the evaluation. This evaluation is of course the final performance of the student in the eye of the University. But there can be another kind of evaluation or rather, continuous assessment or still better, monitoring her acquisition of the knowledge and the skill. This is spread over the whole period she is taught by her teacher. And such monitoring is naturally built into the teaching itself. For no teaching is independent of learning.

But to begin with, the learner has to have an initial interest. She must seek admission and convince the college that she is worthy of it. Handique Girls' College sees to it by raising the cut-off marks, on occasion quite substantially. But to get in is not the end of it. She must prove equal to it, exert herself if she is found deficient at any point. If by chance a remedial measure is extended to her she must welcome it, not shy away from it for fear of stigma. After all learning is a process and though she may be lagging at this moment, she may be ahead of others at another. And if she is ahead of others her college must take extra care of her. Handique Girls' College must make provision for both, for meeting backwardness as well advancement.

Now, as much as the learner, the teacher too must be equal to her/his role in this composite act, and Handique Girls' College is aware of that. Its recruitment is transparent and honours the norms set up by the UGC and the Government. It is a good sign that the College does not stick to its own alumni but also recruits people coming from other institutions--all the teachers inducted in 2000-02 were non-alumni. But the story does not end with the recruitment, a teacher is required to continually refresh herself or himself, that is, keep up with the knowledge she/he is imparting or rather sharing with the student. In that respect the Handique faculty cannot be accused of stagnation. But the story does not end there either. The College requires that the teacher prepares an advance lesson plan and keeps a continuous tag on whether that plan is carried out. It is self-monitoring supplemented by the monitoring at the College level. The teachers have been participating in UGC-sponsored Orientation and Refresher courses, attending national and international seminars (27 in the last two years) and doing research (a number of minor projects are recently completed and a few are ongoing including two major projects). Besides a Physics and an Economics teacher have successfully guided Ph.D. work for the affiliating University. The College is also going to introduce a regular self-appraisal by the teacher. It has already begun student feedback in a format derived from the NAAC. These are means by which the College is trying to upgrade its teaching-learning and assure quality, to be reflected eventually in the University evaluation of its students. However, there is room for further upgrading. True, there are field trips in some Departments and other components of first hand learning, but the teaching-learning is still quite routine in a few Departments. Yet it is to the credit of the college and its students that the results have been good, in some cases very good.

Criterion III : Research, Consultancy and Extension
Of these three components the first two concern the teachers, the third the students though the primary motivation for that has to largely come from the teachers. As to the first, Handique Girls' College can claim some credit. The College has a research ambience and by its own count some 27% of its faculty is actively engaged in research now. In the last 5 years 11 teachers have been awarded Ph.D. The College has facilitated that by giving them study leave or academic leave of one kind or the other, even by adjusting the teaching schedule. At the moment one teacher is doing full-time research and 8 part-time. But faculty research cannot merely be geared to career advancement, it also means funded projects. It is on record that the Handique faculty has completed 6 projects and a few others are currently ongoing, one of these is a national project involving four other institutions and another a collaborative project founded by Oil India. Recently the College has set up a Research Committee to promote project proposals. The faculty has also been participating in seminars and conferences, the count for the last two years being 9 international, 18 national and 11 State-level. There are publications as well including a good number of books.

The College recognizes that consultancy as a mode of faculty activity is rather new to it. Yet it doesn't draw a total blank. A MoU was signed between the College and an NGO in 2001 involving consultancy to be provided in the latter's wetland based employment generation endaevour by a teacher. Another teacher has been providing family counselling (in drug de-addiction too) in the urban area of Guwahati working in collaboration with the North East Society for the Promotion of Youth and Masses (NESPYM), an NGO.

Handique Girls' College can claim a good deal of extension activity. Although the College does not have formal extension personnel, an NSS coordinator for instance, several teachers are entrusted with it, that is, to motivate the students and help carry out the programmes. The programmes are: social work, community development, adult education and literacy, health and hygiene awareness, AIDS awareness, environmental awareness. Population Education Club. An outreach programme launched in 1991 may also be named here. The College has at the same time been involving its students in the Government's Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in the form of field placement for a month each year. A Disaster Management Centre too is being planned to sensitise students in the matter with GO and NGO help.

Criterion IV : Infrastructure and Learning Resources
The most obvious infrastructure for a college is of course space. A campus of 1.93 acres is by no means big, but being at the heart of the city it is not very small either. Much depends on how economically it is used. Obviously a campus 63 years old is not expected to have developed in an absolutely planned manner. So there has been some exclusion, a sports ground for example or a garden with a touch of green. Anyway, a master plan has been drawn up and the College is planning to approach a number of agencies and tap a number of other sources for fund it needs to execute that. A major feature in that plan is an indoor sports complex clubbed with an auditorium.

Another feature is a three-storied library building with a conference hall on the top floor. The present campus is maintained on a periodic basis and on emergency repair calls, from out of the sundry fees paid by the students for general maintenance and development. It cannot be said that the College is not making an optimal use of its infrastructure, for it does rent that out to outside agencies on academic and allied purposes, but it has to be on guard since one of its hostels is located inside. However, a major instance of academic optimisation has been to let the IGNOU set up first a sub-study centre, and subsequently a full-fledged study centre running a number of its courses.

The College Library has 32,000 books and subscribes to 18 periodicals. There is also a Book Bank with 2,050 books. The Library keeps open 241 days a year, the working hours being 9 to 4. It has a spacious reading room, though there does not seem to be much use of it by the students. There are also a few departmental libraries. Reprographic and limited Internet facilities are available, and so are audio-video cassettes. The Library is in the process of computerization. There is an advisory committee to look after the Library management. Incidentally, the Handique Girls' College Library is not part of any inter-library connectivity as yet.

The computer laboratory of the Computer Science Department has been designated the Computer Centre of the College. 18 computers are housed there. 7 other computers are housed in 7 individual Departments. The Centre caters to students and staff on all working days from 9 to 5. They have the usual configurations with a plan to have a LAN and Internet interconnectivity. The computers are maintained on contract. The Instrumentation Centre mentioned above is not inadequate for the students' immediate needs.

The College has a Health Centre looked after by a senior teacher. It seems to be more geared to health awareness propagation among students than nitty-gritty health care like a regular clinic. Maybe it is as yet in its infancy and will have to be developed into a full-fledged centre. Anyway, the various campaigns it organises (blood donation and herbal medicine) are commendable. A health check-up has been taken up in phases.

Handique Girls' College has a very limited space for outdoor sports. Yet there has been an optimal use of it and the students have picked up an active interest in some of the outdoor games. For want of their own sports complex they are often allowed in the SAI complex of Guwahati. Also an incentive has been given to sports by way of prizes and admission reservation. The College is looking for sponsors to introduce a sports scholarship.

The College has two hostels, one of which is inside the campus and the other quite close. Taking them together there is accommodation for about 220 girls, about 8% of the total students roll that, however, includes the HS students at the present moment. Most of the usual facilities including telephone and television are available in the hostels. A lady doctor visits once a month.

Criterion V : Student Support and Progression
In spite of the intense care the College takes of its students, and of the intimate atmosphere it sustains, there is a substantial dropout over which the College does not seem to have any control. The dropout is heavier in Science, about three times as heavy as in Arts. As to progression from UG to PG to NET or to employment, the College does not have any chaser system to keep a track. Obviously there is no placement service in the College and since it is an Undergraduate institution, it doesn't seem to feel that there is any immediate necessity for that. But that is compensated for by an Information and Career Guidance Cell just started for the benefit of students.

A major support that is offered to prospective students is the annual Prospectus that is regularly printed. It is comprehensive and contains all information about admission, fees, programmes of study, courses, hostel accommodation and about all the facilities and the services the College has for the students. It is a transparent document and a good guide. It is prefaced with a statement of mission and a brief history of the College. Anyone who reads that will be drawn to it.

The Prospectus has also a list of awards and scholarships. These are institutional. But there is a number of Government scholarships as well that the students have access to—national and State merit scholarships, SC/ST scholarships, sports and cultural scholarships and scholarships for the handicapped. In emergency the needy students can get financial support from the Students' Aid Fund.

The College has some co-curricular societies that too can provide intellectual support to the students. There are also recreational facilities including indoor games. Besides the students have a bilingual magazine (the 2001-2002 issue was published in late 2003) and a debating club. That they are good at debating has been amply proved.

The College has an alumni association. But more than that, the College has an illustrious roll of alumni. If necessary these alumni can be cited as sure instances of student progression.

Criterion VI : Organisation and Management
Handique Girls' College has a number of committees to help its management. They are: Planning Committee, Standing Committee, Academic Committee, Admission Committee, Examination Committee, Library Committee, Hostel Committee, Finance Committee, Grievance Redressal Committee, Construction Committee, Purchase Committee and Canteen Committee. Their functions are clearly defined and no decisions in the matter they are concerned with, are taken without leave of them. The Students' Union has a similar function in the matter of students. All this shows that the College has a democratic organisation and a management that is participatory and transparent. Instead of being an absolute authority, the Principal is as it were the chief coordinator. Nothing takes place without her, but nothing takes place with her alone.

There is a grievance redress mechanism operating in the College. First there is the redress sought by the student for a grievance she has. Then there is the redress sought by the staff of the Governing Body for a grievance against the Principal. It may go a step higher and redress may be sought of the Director of Higher Education, Government of Assam for a grievance against the Governing Body.

In consonance with all this, there is a staff welfare programme in the form of the Mutual Aid Fund of which all teaching and non-teaching staff are members. The fund is built up of regular contributions from the members. Two kinds of loan are given out of this Fund, general and emergency. Both are refundable in instalments. Loan can also be taken from the Provident Fund as elsewhere, only that the College doesn't directly handle it--it is in the hands of the Director of Higher Education, Government of Assam. The Principal is only the forwarding authority.

The College finances are properly handled. Day-to-day accounts are computerized. Budgets are prepared in advance and disbursements are made only out of the budgetary allocation. There is an internal audit system to oversee that. It is to be noted, however, that the finances are not at all comfortable and a deficit budget is quite in order. Thus resource mobilization is becoming more and more imperative. And the College is doing that by introducing a few self-financing courses as well as through a fund raising drive in right earnest.

The non-teaching staff of a college, both administrative and technical, is a major factor of its management. Handique Girls' College recognises that and plans that their professional skill is enhanced and that they get computer-friendly.

Criterion VII : Healthy Practices
Handique Girls' College is not a run-of-the-mill college doing the routine chore of education and producing women bachelors year after year. It has been sustained by a striving for quality. It may be too much to expect the latest managerial strategies from a non-autonomous Undergraduate college and one may not see it take strides by leaps and bounds. Yet the College is gearing up to the idea of planned development. An for that purpose a Planning Board has recently been set up chaired by the Governing Body President. Its projections are reflected in the master plan the College has drawn up as well as in the new and self-financing courses it has introduced and is planning to introduce. This is a sign of health.

Another healthy practice is its sense of sharing with other colleges. It has set up a student exchange and faculty exchange with another college in a neighbouring State. At the same time, even if for the needs of its Education Department, its adoption of neighbourhood schools for academic sustenance, is worth noting.

In addition, the College has been setting up links with Government and non-government organisations for the purpose of research the bulk of which has a social import. A MoU is being signed, for instance, with a local institute (OKD Institute of Social Change and Development).

That the College has introduced computer education and is popularising IT and has taken a pledge, as it were, that before long all the bachelors it produces will be computer literate, is also a sign of health. This has a bearing on its original mission of women empowerment. Whether or not the College gives an additional induction to the students that as women they are not inferior to men, the so-called 'second sex', and thus fulfil its 'goals and objectives', the computer education and the IT expertise are going to do that indirectly by infusing them with self-respect. And as long as skills are not self-aggrandising and knowledge is not alienating, these bachelors will be good future citizens. The sense of community that the College inspires in them through a variety of extension and outreach programme, is indeed basic health-giving.

It is a good practice that the College is bringing out a newsletter, The Handique Herald. Community extension activities, including participation in a few Anganwadi centers, under the NSS too are commendable.

Handique Girls' College is a good college. It admits students with the good potential and they live up to it. Its alumni are proud of their alma mater. And parents are happy to send their daughters, guardians their wards, to this college, the oldest girls' college of the region. Yet it lacks a number of things that it cannot develop further. It will just have to have more space. Its library should be bigger but at the same time have a more motivated use by the students.

More hostel accommodation and sports facilities too are needed. Besides, the teaching-learning has to be modernized to help the students further realize their potential and thus fulfill the prime goal of the college.

In view of the above the Peer Team would like to make the following recommendations:

The college may de-link its Higher Secondary from the degree programmes.

At the same time it may explore the re-introduction of the Post-graduate programmes where viable.

It may also explore introduction of more substantial career oriented courses.

The college may introduce regular tutorial hours for major students.

It may also set up a more effective proctoring system of the day-to-day progress of teaching-learning.

The Alumni Association may be requested to play a greater role in the development of the college.

Remedial courses may be introduced.

The NCC unit may be strengthened.

The College may have a regular system of accounts supervision.

An admission test may be introduced for major students.

The College may organize regular meetings of parents and teachers.

The college may take advantage of the schemes introduced in the Xth Plan by the UGC and other agencies.

Last but not least, the post of the Principal may be filled up.

Prof.Amiya Kumar Dev

Prof. D.K. Nanda

Dr.Anadi Kumar Kundu

Education and social change

Dr Fatima Tohsin Sahidullah
Time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future. This memorable quote from John F Kennedy vividly brings out the spirit of change in the society and change in the nature. The old order changes giving place to new. Hardly anything in our midst is static. Everything changes, every organism grows every life flows. Human society keeps on changing. Change is the redeeming feature. It is a continuous process. Social change is great reality. It implies changes both in the social structure and functions of the various social units which make up the society. Thus social change may be defined as the process in which there is significant alter-action in the structure and functioning of the social system.

Education plays an important role in the process of social change. Durkheim conceives education as the socialisation of the younger generation. It is a very potential instrument, a powerful medium of bringing about changes in the society. Changes brought about by invasion, revolution or any other abrupt occasion does not have permanent impact. Education effects changes slowly, but steadily. Changes brought about by education are permanent and transcendent in nature. Acknowledging the importance of education as aninstrument of social change, the Education Commission (1964-66) has observed, If change on a grand scale is to be achieved without violentrevolution (and even than it would still be necessary) there is one instrument, and one instrument only that can be used :EDUCATION.

The role of education as an instrument of social change is widely recognized today. Education can initiate change by bringing about a change in the outlook and attitudes of man. It can bring about a change in the pattern of social relationship and thereby it may cause social changes. One of the purposes of education is to change man and his life and living style. To change man is to change society only.

Social changes may begin at unconscious level but soon may be promoted to the conscious level. The changes, however, do not remain at unconscious level for a long time. They may be initiated at unconscious level but their acceptance takes place at conscious level and it is only at this level that the changes become universally acceptable in a group, a society or a nation. Education has a dual role to perform. First, it creates frustration in the individual with the existing situation. It prepares him to look for change. It promotes dejection, thus, unconsciously, it prepares the people towards accepting change whenever it is to be presented. Secondly education simply does not stop at the preparation of theindividual for a change. It also enables the individual to proceed in the direction of brining about changes in the society at conscious level. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, and other highly educated and enlightened Indians made all efforts at conscious level to bring about the social change.

Education today has been chiefly instrumental in preparing the way for the development of science and technology. The acceptance of the fruits of science and technology is a factor governed by education. Education has brought about phenomenal changes in every aspect of mans life. It is a process which enables everyindividual to effectively participate in the activities of society, and to make positive contribution to the progress of society. Modern education has changed our attitude and outlook. It has affected our customs and traditions, manners and morals, religious beliefs and philosophical principles. It has removed our narrow ideals, prejudices and misunderstanding. Education has contributed to a radical improvement in the status of women Educated modern women no more tolerate the double standard of morality. It has helped them to seek employment out side the family. Particularly, mass education in civilized societies has fostered the sense and the feeling of equality. Education is also an important means of attaining social and economic rewards of society. It has become essential for the economy. Planned educational innovations, policies and programmes may contribute to the social integration and a more highly educated labour force and electorate. Education has been playing a great role in getting occupations which are key determiners of general social status.

Education is expected to contribute to progress, to modify the culture heritage as well as to preserve and transmit it. In modern industrial societies educational organisations have become innovators. They are gathering and storing new knowledge, and are promoting change in the process of transmitting that knowledge. Education system should dedicate itself to the task of bringing about desireable changes. Widespread primary education can have a great impact upon people in the developing countries but only higher education provokes persons to question the values of everyday life. It is true that college educated persons are still the most progressive group in society whether they are quiet or vocal in calling for social reform or change. Today, more and more persons are receiving higher education. Majority will attain a degree. If that is so, it means that society will contain a built in engine for social change. As long as universities continue to occupy an increasingly important place in society so long changes are bound to be initiated through education in some way or the other.

Thus education prepares the individual for social changes. It brings a change in the need disposition and also creates frustration with the status quo. Education initiates the social changes and gives them a direction and purpose. Education also creates the social reformers and leaders who consciously make all the efforts to bring about social changes. It is through education that the nature of social change which ought to be brought about is determined. Education can help in protecting us from the destructive tendencies of the modern age. Therefore, education alone can bring necessary change through peaceful means and if it fails in preserving culture and society, it will itself lose its existence.
(The writer teaches Education in Handique Girls College)

Suchibrata Roy Choudhury passes away

GUWAHATI, Dec 2 – Social activist, author and administrator Suchibrata Roy Choudhury passed away at the Guwahati Neurological Research Centre (GNRC) at 11.50 am today. She had been ailing for some time and was undergoing treatment at the hospital. Roy Choudhury, who was a spinster, was 82.

Daughter of freedom fighter and firebrand poet Ambikagiri Roy Choudhury, Suchibrata was a Gandhian and led a simple but active life, often being in the forefront of social causes. She would be remembered, among other things, for establishing the States first old-age home named Amar Ghar at Patharquarry in Guwahati through personal initiative. She even donated a plot of her own land for the purpose. She was also the founder president of Nirmal Ashray, a home for destitute women.

Born at Panbazar, Guwahati on September 1, 1927, to a cultured family, Suchibrata was raised in an atmosphere charged with nationalism. Her father, Asom Kesori Ambikagiri – a staunch nationalist and eminent poet — left a profound impact on her.

An accomplished author, Suchibrata wrote her first play Kon Bate – a saga of love and sacrifice for the country — when in Class VIII. It was published by her father and later aired on All India Radio. She was conferred the Sahitya Akademi award in 2001 for translating S Jaiswals The Origin and Development of Vaisnavism in India. She was honoured with the Prabina Saikia award in 2003 in recognition of her overall literary contribution. The Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Akademi, Assam branch, conferred on her the Bir Bala Kanaklata award at the second Dalit Writers Conference in Guwahati in 2002.

Suchibratas other published works include Tumi aru Moi, Hahakaror Gaan, Matho Katha (all poetry collections), Ba Maroli, Jivanar Premor Atandra Anal (both novels), Sapta Parnya (short story collection), Gunjan Suhuri (collection of lyrics). She translated a number of books such as Bideshi Shishu Galpa, O Henryr Premor Galpa and Bipad Seema.

After completing her schooling from Panbazar Girls High School, Suchibrata graduated from the Hanidique Girls College. She was a general secretary of the students union. Later she joined the Assam Civil Service in 1954 and was well known for her administrative acumen. As an administrator, she travelled extensively across the then undivided Assam in different capacities and fought for social justice for the downtrodden and women empowerment.

Suchibrata was associated with many voluntary and other organizations. She founded the Ambikagiri Memorial Trust Society as a charitable society and contributed to different social causes. She was instrumental in setting up the States first working womens hostel at Narengi in 1968. She was also a doyenne of the cooperative movement in the State.

Suchibrata had donated her body to the Ellora Vigyan Mancha. She had also donated her eyes.

Suchibratas body was taken to the old-age home in the afternoon where people, including the inmates, paid their last tributes to the departed soul.

Meanwhile, different organizations and individuals have condoled Suchibratas death, terming it as a great loss for the State. Those who mourned her death included the All Assam Students Union (AASU), Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad, Save Guwahati Build Guwahati, Ellora Vigyan Mancha, and former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta.

Value-based environmental education

Todays young generation under the growing influence of negative aspects of Western culture, is stranded on the cross-roads. This crisis in the value system has resulted in utter confusion among the youth who are harbingers of the future, creative in nature and nonconformist in spirit. Therefore, the need of the hour is to impart value-based education to the youth for providing proper direction in their life, to inculcate a positive attitude in them and to teach them the distinction between right and wrong. Value education teaches them to be compassionate, helpful, peace-loving, generous and tolerant so that they can move towards a more harmonious, peaceful, enjoyable and sustainable future.

Value education in the context of our environment is expected to bring about a new sustainable way of life. Both formal and non-formal education must enable a person to understand environmental values. Environmental values are inculcated through a complex process of appreciating our environmental assets and experiencing the problems caused due to our destruction of the environment. Values in environmental education must discuss certain issues like how we can minimize use of resources and energy, need of keeping our surroundings clean, using less fertilizers and pesticides in crops, importance of saving water and keeping our water resources clean, separating garbage into degradable and non-degradable types before disposal. These values will lead to a better quality of human life and a better world where everyone can live healthy, productive and happy lives in harmony with nature.

Value-based environmental education has great significance in the present world. Earths life-forms are unique. Man belongs to a global community that includes another 1.8 million known living forms and innumerable unknown ones. He must live on this earth as a part of it, like any other creation of nature, and live sustainably. Man have a great responsibility to protect life in all its glorious forms. Therefore, a sense of values need to be developed that lead us to protect our environment. To check the environmental crisis, man will have to transform his thinking and attitude. Environmental education is something that every person should be well versed with. Only value-based environment education can help create a sense of duty. to care for the earth and its resources and to manage them in a sustainable way so that our future generations too inherit a safe and clean planet to live on.

The most fundamental environmental value is to value nature itself. Environmental values are inherent in feelings that bring about a sensitivity for preserving nature as a whole. They deal with concepts of what is appropriate behaviour in relation to our surroundings and to other species on earth. Several writings and sayings in Indian thought support the concept of the oneness of all creation, of respecting and valuing all the different components of nature. Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore are among the many internationally well-known scholars whose thoughts have included values that are related to environmental consciousness. Environmental values must also stress on theimportance of preserving ancient structures. The characteristic architecture, sculpture, art and crafts of ancient culture are invaluable environmental assets. They tell us where we have come from, where we are now, and perhaps where we should go. Apart from valuing diversity of life itself, we must also learn to value and respect diverse human cultures. Every culture has the right to exist. Tribal people have a wisdom and knowledge of their own environment that is based on a deep sense of respect for nature. The world will be culturally impoverished if we lose this traditional knowledge. Moreover, there must be social justice because sustainable life-styles is not possible without a more equitable use of resources.

India as a developing country needs economic and technical progress. While we do need economic development, our value system must change to one that makes people everywhere support a sustainable form of development so that we do not have to bear the cost of environmental degradation. Environmental problems are mainly due to a lack of awareness of the consequences of unlimited and unrestrained anti-environmental behaviour. Every action of an individual must be linked to its environmental consequences in his-her mind so that a value is created that strengthens pro-environmental behaviour and prevents anti-environmental actions. This cannot happen unless new educational processes are created that provide a meaning to what is taught at school and college level. Therefore, our value system must prevent all activities which degrade the environment through a strong value-basedenvironmental education.

Today, when the very survival of man is at stake, environmental education has to be made value-based. Through environment education, the basic human value thatman is one amongst billions of other species-biotic elements in nature rather than the thinking that nature is only for man or man-is the master of nature needs to be infused amongst the students. Nature nourishes us like a mother and provides us with all the resources for leading a beautiful life, so it is our duty to respect and nurture her. Preparation of textbooks and resource materials aboutenvironmental education can play an important role in building positive attitude about the environment. Social values like love, compassion, tolerance and justice need to be woven intoenvironmental education . These are the values to be nurtured so that all forms of life and the biodiversity on this earth are protected. Cultural and religious values emphasize that man should not exploit nature without nurturing her. Various religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, etc. teach us to respect nature in one form or the other. Cultural and religious rituals in many ways teach us to perform such actions that would help in the preservation of nature and natural resources. Therefore cultural and religious values must be made a part ofenvironmental education. Environmental education should encompass the ethical values of earth-centric rather than human-centric world view. Nature exists not for human beings alone, but for all species. Instead of considering human beings as supreme we have to think of the welfare of the earth. So,environmental education should promote the earth citizenship thinking. It is also necessary to know and understand global values.

The earth itself is a heritage left to us by our ancestors, not only for our own use but also for the generations to come. Certainly, none of us want development in exchange of environmental disasters, health hazards, loss of mental peace and merciless destruction of natures beauty and natural resources. The human values, social, cultural and religious, ethical, global and spiritual values incorporated intoenvironmental education can go a long way in attaining the goals of sustainable development and environmental conservation. Value-based environmental education can bring in a total transformation to our mind-set, our attitudes and our life-styles. Thus, the value elements in environmental education alone can succeed in achieving the real goals of environmental literacy.
(The writer teaches Education in Handique Girls College)

High-level team moves Centre over BVFCL

NAMRUP, Sept 8 – A high-level delegation led by Union Minister of State (independent charge) Paban Singh Ghatowar along with the State Cabinet Minister of Handloom, Textile and Cultural Affairs, besides representative of Joint Council of Officers (JCO) BVFCL headed by BM Borthakur met Union Minister of State, Chemical and Fertilizer at his Cabinet office on August 25.

The delegation discussed allocation of fund for the setting up of proposed Brown Field Ammonia Urea Complex in the name and style of Namrup IV at BVFCL with special permission from the Prime Minister, enhancement of superannuation age of BVFCL employees from 58 years to 60 years, extension of the service period of existing CHD of BVFCL for another two years after November 2011 and implementation of revised payscale to BVFCL employees starting January 1, 2007.

The Union Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilizer gave a patient hearing to the delegation and assured them that he would take up the above matters with the Planning Commission of India as well as PM for allocation of funds for setting up of Namrup-IV Brown Field Ammonia Urea Complex. He further assured the delegation that he would take up the matter with the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas for equity participation by Oil India Ltd and ONGCL in the proposed project.

It is to be added that a delegation led by Pranati Phukan, State Cabinet Minister of Handloom, Textile and Cultural Affairs along with the representatives of JCO headed by BM Borthakur, GS met the Chief Minister twice on July 13 and August 18 respectively requesting his personal intervention to pressurise the Prime Minister as well as the Planning Commission to allot and release the required fund for setting up the new Namrup IV Brown Field Ammonia –Urea Complex for saving the lonefertilizer complex of NER from imminent doom. The delegation also cited other issues, viz enhancement of superannuation age of BVFCL employees upto 60 years, implementation ofrevised pay scale starting January 1, 2007. The Chief Minister gave a patient hearing and assured them to try his level best by pressurising the Central Govt to take proper initiative for the greater good of BVFCL, Namrup.

BM Borthakur, GS, JCO, BVFCL told here that the Chief Minister had already penned a letter dated September 13 to the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of India, requesting him to allot the required fund forthe proposed Namrup IV New Brown Field Ammonia – Urea Complex in the budgetary head in the current Fiscal year 2011-12. He addressed it to the UnionFertilizer and Chemical Minister on September 23 urging him to undertake proper and urgent steps regarding issues like setting up of a New Brown Field Aammonia – Urea plant viz Namrup IV at BVFCL Namrup, enhancement of superannuation age of BVFCL employees up to 60 years, implementation ofrevised pay scale starting January 1, 2007 of the employees of BVFCL and extension of service period of the present CMD of BVFCL.

ICA mega job fair held

GUWAHATI, Sept 8 – The Institute of Computer Accountants (ICA), Bhangagarh and Panbazar branch in collaboration with Handique Girls College here organised a mega job fair recently at the college campus, a press release stated.

Many unemployed youths participated, where reputed companies offered 100-plus vacancies. Companies like HDFC, Manikchand and Sons, Aditya Birla Group, Godrej Direct, OASIS – Impulse Group, Kaapro, WIPRO, Reliance, First Source etc took part. Ten candidates received their appointment letters and 230 were selected for final listing.

The job fair was inaugurated by the principal of Handique Girls College and Nabajyoti Dutta of Career Guidance Cell. Jasmine Hussain, Director of ICA centres said that ICA has kept its promise of cent per cent job guarantee by providing appointments.

Support swells for anti-graft movement

GUWAHATI, Aug 26 – Friday belonged to the young generation who came out to the streets responding to the call of India Against Corruption, Assam branch, because they had all been inspired by the strong will power and earnestness of the Gandhian Anna Hazare.

The protest procession of India Against Corruption, Assam branch, that started from Lakhidhar Bora Khetra here saw the participation of thousands of people from different walks of life and young India was visibly present. Students from different educational institutions took part in the procession affirming their support for Anna Hazares crusade against corruption.

We want an end to corruption. It is really very irritating that the government is ignoring the sentiment of millions of Indian for a Jan Lokpal Bill, said Snigdha Gogoi, a student of Handique Girls College.

The feeling was the same in all the young people, who did not mind the scorching sun and walked with firm steps shouting slogans. They have felt the need for a strong anti-graft legislation and they wholeheartedly believe that the method adopted by Anna Hazare is the right approach to get the grievances of the people heard bythe government.

The general secretary of India Against Corruption, Assam branch, Pranjal Bordoloi, said that thousands of citizens responded to its call to come out to the streets and that clearly signalled that a strong determination was running in the hearts of the people to free the country from corruption.

Meanwhile, impromptu demonstrations continued to rock the capital city. A group of protesters under the banner of Medical Diagnostic Association, Assam, took to the streets in the evening. Halting for a few moments at the Lakhidhar Bora Khetra, this group announced that they have no affiliation for any political or religious party, but was committed to a Gandhian who has successfully united an entire country against corruption.

India Against Corruption also organized a torchlight procession today.

On the other hand, the Lawyers Association, Guwahati, staged a sit-in-demonstration in support of Anna Hazare and the Jan Lokpal Bill. The association has urged the UPA government and Team Anna to initiate a constructive dialogue for passing a strong and effective Lokpal Bill and to find an amicable and meaningful solution on the issue before August 30.

Artist Madhusudan Das expressed his support for the crusade against corruption through a drawing that highlighted the spirit of Team Anna.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has appealed to freedom fighter Satyalata Gogoi of Doomdooma to break her fast. Gogoi said that the State government has initiated a slew of measures to check corruption and added that the people too should come forward and support the government to eradicate corruption.

The All Assam Students Union (AASU) has appealed to all the citizens to be a part of its Satyagraha scheduled on August 27 from Latasil field.

Handique college form distribution starts today

GUWAHATI: The Handique Girls College will begin distributing admission forms for BA and BSc from Thursday. The college is a favourite destination for many girl students across the NE. However, those seeking hostel accomodation might have a problem, as the number of seats in the hostel is limited.

The college is offering honours courses in English, economics, political science, home science, education, statistics, history, philosophy, chemistry, zoology, botany and physics. Many girl students from neighbouring states are expected to reach here for admissions.

Nearly 3000 apply in Handique Girls College

GUWAHATI: There was a mad rush of outstation students at Handique Girls College, the citys only girls college on ednesday as it was the last day to submit forms for the Three Year Degree Courses.

Known for its strict decorum and high cut-off rates, the college is also one of the oldest, dating back to1930s. The last day for submitting forms saw parents accompanying their wards to buy, fill up and submit admission forms on the spot.
The stressful season of admissions have only begun as colleges will soon start with their admission procedure. This is a time when students have their hopes up for a better future. While some try their luck in the city considered the helm of educational excellence in the northeast, others go to the different education hot spots in the country.

While patiently waiting in the queue at the college counter to submit her form, Mritanjali Chakraborty, an aspirant from Digboi, said, I scored 67.4 per cent in HS and I am striving for majors in Economics at Handique. I am keeping my options open and have also applied for majors in Geography at Cotton College as well. I am flying to Pune tomorrow as I have also applied at Fergusson and SP Colleges. After few days, I will be travelling to Delhi as well to try my luck at Miranda College for majors either in English or Geography.

Demlw Mushaiary from Udaligiri has kept her hopes pinned on majors in Political Science at Handique. I have scored 344 marks and as I am not planning to study outside the state, I have also applied at B Barooah and Cotton College.
Pratul Kumat Sarma, who is accompaning his daughter for the submission of forms said, I want my daughter to complete her degree course in Guwahati and then go outside the state for her post graduation. This period is very stressful not only for the students but also the guardians.

Bibedita Baitchury, Nita Borah and Nuri Gogoi from Mrgherita in Upper Assam said, We all have applied to Handique, Cotton and B Barooah Colleges as we want to keep our options open. We are keeping our fingers crossed as we have come from a far away place and dont want to be left in the lurch.

The college printed 4,000 forms for the degree level courses for the arts and the science streams. On the last day of submission of forms, it sold almost hundred forms. We had to increase the number of forms for the TDC to 300 and till now we have sold around 2,100 forms for TDC arts stream and over 800 for science stream, said Santana Kakoty, admission department convener, Handique Girls College.

Summary: Handique Girls College, Guwahati (Gauhati) Assam website, mobile, contact address and approval / recognition details.