[ Nellie N Manpoong ]
Technical institutes such as the North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST) and the National Institute of Technology (NIT) are precious assets of the state.
These institutes not only provide quality education to innovative minds without having to step outside the state, but also offer employment opportunities to brilliant minds.
So, when news of NIT Director Prof Rajiv Kumar Garg’s resignation due to alleged threats surfaced, it affirmed what a friend once said, “We do not deserve anything nice!”
While the director has maintained that he has resigned due to “personal reasons”, there are apprehensions that if the threats are the real reasons for his resignation, then no other person from outside the state would be willing enough to take charge as director and could lead to the closure of the institute.
This certainly does not imply that someone from the state would be incapable of running the institute as director, but someone with the knowledge and experience of Prof Garg would certainly be hard to come by in the immediate future.
Even students and a majority of faculty members of the NERIST sought someone from outside the state during their protest in early March, as they believed that he or she would be able to apply their expertise to take the institute to newer heights.
Meanwhile, there have also been no improvements after the appointment of the new NERIST director, informed a student from the institute.
Nevertheless, they are getting by and the students who fought the hardest, are now engaged in studying for their examinations and do not have the time or energy to fight another futile fight.
Students of the NIT, Yupia do not have a student union, but they stood together and fought for their basic rights when they were shifted to the permanent site in Jote in October last year without any proper setup. They also succeeded in bringing a new director and Prof Garg was appointed in October itself and joined the institute in December 2017.
However, most of the students in NIT were clueless about the director’s resignation and with their examinations set to begin from Monday, there is little they can do to change the situation.
Sources informed that issues of past corruption and scams were being now slammed upon the new director and others, and the officials being threatened in the NIT are mostly non-locals, who were reluctant to divulge further on the claims fearing for their safety.
There are also reports of an internal conflict in the NIT, same as reported in the NERIST.
Owing to frequent transfer and posting of directors of the premier institute, the AAPSU has now taken the responsibility of seeking an inquiry from the government and Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) into the internal affairs of the NIT.
While the AAPSU has been fighting for the cause of the students, it is imperative that they also consider what would be beneficial for the students in the long run and not merely the immediate future.
The MHRD is certainly taking notice of the absurd situation, and it won’t be wrong to assume that the state would soon be losing its assets to petty politics and bring an end to all the “nice things” we wish we deserved.
[ Nellie N Manpoong ]