The Court of Justice Achintya Malla Bujarbarua of Gauhati High Court in a significant judgment dismissed a writ petition which was lodged challenging the decision of bringing the affiliation of five engineering colleges under the Assam Science and Technology University (ASTU), as ‘devoid of merit’.
The five engineering colleges in Assam which will now affiliated to ASTU are Assam Engineering College (AEC), Guwahati, Jorhat Engineering College (JEC), Jorhat, Bineswar Brahma Engineering College (BBEC), Kokrajhar, Jorhat Institute of Science and Technology (JIST), Jorhat and Barak Valley Engineering College (BVEC), Silchar.
Quashing the writ petition, the Court of Justice Achintya Malla Bujarbarua in its order stated, “It having being concluded that the requirement of a Governing Body of a college is not a mandatory requirement to enable ASTU for its affiliation, an appropriate interpretation of Section 37(a) would be that the dominant purpose of the said provision is that in the event a college or institution seeks for an affiliation of ASTU, the Governing Body of the said college must mandatorily require to have two representatives of the University and at least three representatives of the teaching staff.”
The Court of Justice Bujarbarua also stated that one of the aspects that have been taken into consideration in arriving at the conclusions is that upon the substantial change would be made in the technical education system in the State which would lead to a better and higher standard of education.
Stating that “one such indicator of a higher and acceptable level of technical education is the NBA accreditation,” the Court of Justice Bujarbaruah directed the appropriate authorities in the State respondents, more particularly, the Commissioner and Secretary to the Government of Assam in the Higher and Technical Education, Assam as well as the appropriate authorities in the ASTU to ensure that “the five engineering colleges are given a high NBA accreditation at the earliest”. The authorities concerned were also asked to undertake all necessary steps required to arrive at a high NBA accreditation.
According sources, the Girijananda Chowdhury Institute of Management and Technology (GIMT) and Girijananda Chowdhury Institute of Pharmaceutical Science (GIPS) are two institutes in Assam, affiliated to ASTU, have been able to secure the NBA accreditation.
While AEC, BBEC and BVEC were earlier affiliated to GU, the JEC and JIST were earlier affiliated to DU.
Keeping in view that the DU had conducted the first semester examination in respect of the students of JEC and JIST, but the answer scripts have not been evaluated and being kept in a sealed cover, the Court of Justice Bujarbaruah was of the view that “it would be equitable if the said answer scripts of the examination conducted by the DU are now taken over by the ASTU and proceed with its evaluation for the purpose of declaring the result”.
The writ petition was lodged by 21 students of different semesters of the five engineering colleges.