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Cotton students slam CCSU merger plans

Guwahati: The Cotton College Union Society (CCUS) has vehemently opposed the state government's proposal to Cotton College with the newly constituted Cotton College State University (CCSU).

The union on Friday said Cotton College should be allowed to function as an autonomous college under CCSU.

The students' union threatened to launch a stir if the state government merged the college with CCSU or upgraded it to a university. It said amalgamation of Cotton College with CCSU would bring about a sudden death of the British-era college which was established in 1901 to spread the light of higher education in the northeast.

"Our apprehension is that the state government will go ahead with its plan to upgrade the college to a university soon. If the government amalgamates the college with CCSU, the student community of the state and the region will be the biggest losers," said Surajit Dutta, president of CCUS.

The students' union wrote to state education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and said former Cottonians, current pupils and 'conscious citizens' of the state were against the idea of upgrading the college to a university. It also urged Sarma, a former students' leader of the college, to intervene in the matter.

"It will be a unilateral decision and a big blunder. The students of Cotton College are totally against the idea of upgrading it to a university," said CCUS general secretary Jintu Thakuria.

He added that any upgrade of the college to a university would hurt the aspirations of thousands of students of Assam who aim for a seat in Cotton College.

In August, the higher education department had constituted an eight-member panel to find a solution to the conflict between the college and CCSU, both of which function from the same campus in the city. The committee had also been entrusted with the task of exploring the possibility of upgrading Cotton to a university along the lines of Presidency University in Kolkata and Ravenshaw University in Bhubaneswar.

Even though, the committee's report was yet to be made public, CCUS said it would not accept any such proposal 'under any circumstances'.