Work on law, engineering colleges underway despite hiccups

[Junroi Mamai]

ITANAGAR, Jul 17: Plans to start the academic session of the state’s first government law college within this year hit another hurdle with the delay in the selection process of assistant professors for the institute.
The higher & technical education (HTE) department had advertised the posts of principal and librarian in January, and had aimed to complete the recruitment process for all 21 teaching and non-teaching staff by July this year. However, after the state government decided in May this year to implement the upper age limit for the post of assistant professor, much debate and objections ensued, prompting the state cabinet to reconsider its decision.
“The recruitment of assistant professors was scheduled on 12-13 July, but following the state cabinet’s decision to further relax the age-limit against the said posts, the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission reviewed the issue and made the decision to cancel the scheduled exam,” a senior official of the education department informed.
As per the cabinet decision, the upper age limit for the post of assistant professor has been raised from 30 plus 5 to 37 plus 5 years.
The senior official said that the Bar Council of India, which had on 27 December last year assessed the progress of the project, would give the go-ahead only after the recruitment to all the faculties in the college is completed.
“Though the recruitment process for college faculty stands deferred for now, the education department and the state government are making all efforts to ensure that the institute becomes functional at the earliest,” the senior official said.
However, apart from these key issues, the HTE department has been facing another obstacle, in the form of a legal notice served against it by some local individual over payment of land compensation.
Meanwhile, as regards the college infrastructure, the construction work on the college building has been completed. According to an official of the HTE department, water supply connection in the institute has also been completed, with only an overhead water tank being constructed presently.
Similarly, another major project of the state government – the engineering college in Toru – is facing many hurdles in its inception. Work on the much delayed project, which was approved in 2014-15 by the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan’s (RUSA) State Project Directorate (SPD), is progressing at a snail’s pace.
“The engineering college in Toru is one of the state’s most awaited projects. Its progress suffered a setback following the entrusting of its construction work from SPD-RUSA engineering wing to the public works department (PWD). Moreover, funds released by the Centre to the department, till date, are limited. More fund is required and we have requested the Centre for release of adequate funds to ensure early start of the project,” informed a senior official of the education department.
According to an official of the HTE department, the Centre has so far released Rs 292.50 crore as first installment for 2016-17, and Rs 1462.50 crore as second installment for the current fiscal.
As of now, after initial delay in land development work, the executing agency, PWD, is set to start the college building construction work.
An official of the HTE department informed that the PWD had said it had to halt the construction work during the rainy season, but that the PWD informed in a letter recently that it would start the construction work shortly.