The central university teachers of north-eastern India have recently formed an association to administer and manage higher education affairs in the region. The association has been aptly named NEICCUTA which stands for North-East India Confederation of Central University Teachers’ Association and is headquartered in Shillong. Upholding the needs of the region in higher education, NEICCUTA has urged the central government to spend at least 10% of the higher education funds in India’s north-eastern region.
The association is of the opinion that the spending currently allocated by the central government is far less than what is required as per the realistic needs of the region. They have called upon the ministry of HRD as well as UGC to look into the matter and ensure the realization of their solemn plea. Other governmental higher education bodies like CSIR, ICHR, ICMR, ICCR, ICSSR and others have also been urged to support the cause for the development of higher education in the region.
“The lack of funds is the biggest constraint of the region to register positive growth in higher education. The funds will help us to penetrate the remote regions even further and ensure equitable and stabilized distribution of education in the entire region,” said Prasenjit Biswas, the secretary general of NEICCUTA.
While speaking on this matter, NEICCUTA also demanded for the setting up of a Common Inter-University Research Consortium for north-eastern India so that the funding of research in innovative spheres becomes more efficacious and yielding. This step will not only assist research in the region but also narrow down the existing gap between the regional and national standards in higher education.
The association also proposed the idea of allocating seed money of Rs 1.5 Lakh to each faculty member of the central universities in the region in order to help them attend international meets and conferences on research. The experiences they gain will help them to implement innovative ideas in their homeland and encourage the same global standards of research among their students.
“If our demands are not met, the region will sordidly lag behind in higher education and research which will never be good for the nation’s progress. Education and its funds must be decentralized for equitable development in all regions. The consortium of teachers from all the central universities will raise multiple issue before the central government to make them understand what the region languishes,” said Biswas.
The association also asked for a special pay for retaining talent in the central universities by luring them in order to build a commendable base of higher education which can also be sustained in the future for the growth of higher education in the region. The pay has been affixed to be 25% of the basic pay meant for the individuals.
NEICCUTA has questioned why only administrative government officials like IAS and IPS are paid such financial assists and not the teachers. They argued that they should too get the same privileges as the education of the entire region is concerned in their case. The association has also decided to submit a memorandum in this regard consisting of all their demands to the President of India.