Education

Educational institutions in Guwahati

Indian Institute of Technology 

Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, the sixth member of the IIT fraternity, was established in 1994. The academic programme of IIT Guwahati commenced in 1995.

At present the Institute has eleven departments covering all the major engineering and science disciplines, offering B. Tech., B. Des., M. Tech., Ph.D. and M.Sc. programmes. Within a short period of time, IIT Guwahati has been able to build up the necessary infrastructure for carrying out advanced research and has been equipped with state-of-the-art scientific and engineering instruments.

Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati's campus is on a sprawling 285 hectares plot of land on the north bank of the river Brahmaputra around 20 kms. from the heart of the city. With the majestic Brahmaputra on one side, and with hills and vast open spaces on others, the campus provides an ideal setting for learning. While the campus construction programme will terminate at the end of the tenth five year plan, students' hostels, faculty and staff quarters, and a guest house have already been built.

Cotton College

Cotton College, Guwahati was established in the year 1901 by Sir Henry John Stedman Cotton, the then Chief Commissioner of the erstwhile province of Assam, with the noble mission of promoting the cause of higher education in the North-East region of India. Spread over a sprawling campus covering an area of 33.474 acres in the heart of the city of Guwahati, Cotton College, Guwahati is located about 25 kilometers away from the Gopi Nath Bordoloi International Airport, Borjhar and is about 1 kilometer away from the Assam State Transport Corporation Office and Guwahati Rail way station. The college that started in 1901 with 5 professors and 39 students is today a premier educational institute of Assam with 244 teachers and 5000 students on its rolls. Rated as an A-grade College by the NAAC, Cotton College, Guwahati has 21 undergraduate and 20 postgraduate departments in science, humanities and social science faculties. For over a century,the Cotton College has been the center for breeding academic culture and literary renaissance of North-East India, a symbol of hope and aspiration of all forward-looking people of this part of the country.

Guwahati University

Started in 1948 under the Guwahati University Act 1947, Guwahati University is the first university of North East India. The University has been accredited with a 4 star rating by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) of UGC. It is funded by the University Grants Commission and the Government of Assam for research and other academic activities.

Guwahati University offers under-graduate and post-graduate courses in Humanities and Social Science, Science, Engineering, Management, Commerce and Medicine in its campus and in the affiliated colleges spread all over the state. The university has also been involved in path breaking research in nearly all emerging areas despite its infrastructure constrains.

The University has a student's welfare wing that takes care of all the needs and basic facilities being provided to the students. The welfare scheme takes care of a Guest House located at the East end of the University Campus, Auditorium, An extensive video collection Health Centre, Lecture Halls, University Press, core branch of State Bank of India with 24 hours ATM and a Post Office branch located with in the periphery of the campus. Provisions for Basketball Court, Children Park, Football Ground and Outdoor Stadium have also been laid inside the campus to encourage leisure activities. The University has a Placement Cell that extends warm invitation to everyone concerned to carry out Recruitment Drive in the Campus for the PG students of the University.

University of Guwahati was established on 26 January, 1948. For a long time, there was no other university in the entire eastern region apart from Calcutta. This university catered to the needs of all the students from Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Assam. Thus in order to fulfill the requirement of growing number of students the Guwahati University was incorporated by an Act of 1947. In the beginning it started as an affiliating, teaching and residential university in a few temporary buildings in Guwahati. Initially the University had 17 affiliated colleges and 8 Post Graduate Departments which has now grown to a significant number besides a satellite campus at Kokrajhar, Post Graduate Correspondence School and a constituent Law College.

Assam Engineering College

Surrounded on two sides by the historical Deepor Beel (a huge natural Wetland now declared a bird sanctuary by the Govt. of India) and evergreen hills on the outskirts of Guwahati city, about 13 km on the west, Assam Engineering College spells a magical impact on the visitors. Assam Engineering College was established in 1955, the first undergraduate engineering college in the northeastern India. It started with Civil Engineering discipline, and within a few years other departments came into existence. Currently, it awards Bachelor's Degrees in eight different engineering disciplines and Master's Degrees in Computer Applications, Civil Engineering and Industrial and Production Engineering. There are Phd programs in Soil Mechanics & Hydraulics. With a well spread out lush green campus, AEC has been the hub centre of many intellectual and extra-curricular activities in Assam for almost half a century.

Bounded by the Guwahati University on the north, the Deepor Beel on the south, the Government Ayurvedic College on the east, and the Assam Police Radio Organisation on the west, Assam Engineering College spells a magical impact on the visitors. Well connected to the major city centres by open and wide roads, the College campus is about 9 km. away from the Guwahati Main Railway Station, 5 km. from the Inter-State Bus Terminus and 8 km. from Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport, Borjhar.

The Assam Engineering College started with a single department and has grown in the past few decades to incorporate several other disciplines. The college presently offers degrees in the following courses:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering
  • Instrument Engineering
  • Industrial and Production Engineering

The college has collaborated with other centers to set up three centers in the college itself. The AEC Nodal Center works under the Institute of Applied Manpower Research. The college collaborated with the Housing and Urban Development Corporation to establish the Assam Engineering College Building Center. The Rural Technology Center undertakes research for the enlistment of the rural areas with the Assam Science Technology and Environment Council.

Gauhati Medical college and Hospital

Dr. John Berry White, MRCS, a British Surgeon of the East India Company, was the pioneer to start Health Education and health care in Assam. He established a medical school known as 'Berry White Medical School' at Dibrugarh, Assam in 1898-99. In course of time this medical school was upgraded and on 3rd Nov., 1947 the Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh was established and it stands as the first medical college in Assam.

With increasing demands for health care and health education, the need for more medical colleges in Assam was keenly felt. The State Government in 1959 headed by Mr. B.P. Chaliha, the then Chief Minister of Assam, Mr. Fakaruddin Ali Ahmed, the then Finance Minister, and Mr. Rupram Brahma as the then Medical Minister of Assam decided to have a second medical college in Assam. On 7th Nov., 1959 the State Government set up an expert committee to go into the matter and submit their report.

The expert committee comprised of the following members:

  1. Dr. Basudev Narayan - member, Medical Council of India and 
    the Principal of Kakinda Medical College. He was the chairman of the committee.
  2. Dr. A.B. Dasgupta - Medical Secretary.
  3. Dr. B.L. Choudhury - Director of Health Services (DHS), Assam
  4. Dr. R.I. Cunvill - Director of Pasteur Institute, Shillong.
  5. Dr. S.N. Sarma - Principal, Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh.
  6. Dr. G.S. Das - M.L.A., Guwahati.
  7. Dr. B. Bhattacharyya - Silchar.
  8. Raisahab Apurba Dutta - Silchar.
  9. Dr. U.C. Bardoloi - Retired Director of Health Services, Guwahati.

The Assam Government decided to have both the medical colleges simultaneously from August, 1960. So a second technical expert committee was formed on 6th April, 1960 to go into the details with the following members:

  1. Dr. B.L. Choudhury - D.H.S.
  2. Dr. S.N. Sarma - Principal, Assam Medical College (AMC), Dibrugarh.
  3. Dr. I. Jahan - Prof. of Physiology, A.M.C., Dibrugarh.
  4. Dr. O. Lyngdoh - Prof. of Anatomy, A.M.C., Dibrugarh.
  5. Mr. Pundarikakhya Sarma - Chief Engineer Public Health.

After several rounds of discussions, the committee visited the sites at Ulubari, Jalukbari, Chandmari and other areas of the city of Guwahati and also different parts of Silchar. The committee submitted its report on 26th April, 1960 stating that it was feasible to start the Gauhati Medical College from August,1960 in the vacant Ayurvedic College buildings and the Physical Education Training buildings at Jalukbari, Guwahati but no such place was immediately available at Silchar to start the Silchar Medical College. The committee recommended Ulubari for Gauhati Medical College and Ghungoor for Silchar Medical College to be the permanent sites.

So the State Government decided to start the colleges with preclinical classes in the vacant buildings of the Ayurvedic College at Jalukbari, Guwahati with 60 students for Gauhati Medical College and 40 students for Silchar Medical College as a twin college. By a State Govt. order no. MM-D/275/60/45 dated 26th June, 1960, Dr. S.N. Sarma, the then Principal and Supdt. of the Assam and Supdt. of the Assam Medical College & Hospital, Dibrugarh was entrusted with the responsibility to make all necessary arrangements for starting the preclinical classes at Jalukbari from August, 1960 and also for taking necessary steps for establishment of the proposed medical colleges at Gauhati and Silchar in addition to his duties in the AMC, Dibrugarh.

Accordingly the vacant Ayurvedic College buildings at Jalukbari were taken over and arrangements were started by August, 1960. On the 20th September, 1960, the functioning of the Gauhati Medical College was formally inaugurated. The first batch of the 100 students were interviewed and selected in the AMC, Dibrugarh in the last week of September, 1960. Preclinical classes were started from 10th October, 1960. Members of the teaching staff were sent from AMC, Dibrugarh and they were:

  1. Dr. I. Jahan - Prof. of Physiology and Prof. in-charge for day to day works.
  2. Dr. O. Lyngdoh - Prof. of Anatomy and to look after the official works.
  3. Dr. P. Goswami - for Biochemistry.
  4. Mr. Narayan Deka - joined as Asstt. Prof. of Chemistry.

Other staff members were appointed gradually. There was no provision for staff and students at Jalukbari. At Chandmari, about 15 km. away from Jalukbari, 73 tenements of the Industrial Housing Colony, some vacated houses of the Civil Surgeon's office, and also some vacated houses of the Engineering Institute were acquired where accommodations were provided to the staff and students who did not have their accommodations elsewhere at Guwahati. Students and staff were transported in Govt. buses at subsidized rates from Chandmari to Jalukbari and back. Lady students were accommodated in Ayurvedic College hostel building when available. Subsequently two temporary barracks were also built in the Physical Education Training building at Jalukbari where second year students were accommodated while the first year students had to come as before.

The Gauhati Medical College (GMC) took its start under the stewardship of Professor I. Jahan from October, 1960 to June, 196Professor S.N. Sarma was transferred from AMC, Dibrugarh and he took over the charge of the Office of the Principal, Gauhati Medical College on 3rd June, 196Professor S.N. Sarma was the founder Principal of the Gauhati Medical College and he took great interest in the construction of the permanent college and hospital complexes. Paraclinical and clinical departments were started in the Civil Hospital Campus at Panbazar, Ulubari Maternity Home, Emigration Hospital (later on Infectious Diseases Hospital) and T.B. Hospital at Birubari, Guwahati as and when they became available. The members of the teaching staff were brought from Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh with the following as the heads of the respective departments:

  1. Dr. L.M. Kakati - Pathology Deptt.
  2. Dr. Alimuddin Ahmed - Pharmacology Deptt.
  3. Dr. D.C. Choudhury - Medicine Deptt.
  4. Dr. J. Mahanta - Surgery Deptt.
  5. Dr. R.K. Das - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  6. Dr. L.C. Dutta - Ophthalmology Deptt.
  7. Dr. S.N. Sarma - (Principal, GMC)- E.N.T.
  8. Dr. P.C. Changkakati - Radiology Deptt.
  9. Dr. Cheniram Dutta - Asstt. Prof. in Social & Preventive Medicine
  10. Civil Surgeon, Guwahati - Forensic Medicine Deptt.

Due to non availability of a qualified person for professorship in SPM, the Medical Council of India permitted Dr. E. Lyngdoh, Professor of Medicine to be in-charge of the SPM deptt. as its head. Later on Dr. A.C. Patowary took over as its head. Dr.G.C.Medhi took over as the Head of the Deptt. of Forensic Medicine from the Civil Surgeon, Guwahati. Prof. I. Jahan was appointed as the Vice-Principal and Deputy Supdt. of the Gauhati Medical College & Hospital. Mr. Sarbananda Das was appointed as the Head Asstt. of the college and Mr. Basanta Goswami became the Head Asstt. of the hospital. When Mr. Sarbananda Das was left as secretary of the Silchar Medical College Mr. R. Nobis joined as secretary in GMC.

The Govt. of Assam decided to construct the permanent buildings of the Gauhati Medical College & Hospital on the Narakachal hill. The P.W.D.,Govt. of Assam, took up the survey and started road constructions in 1962 in the Narakachal hill. The Assam Govt. Construction Corporation (AGCC) started building construction in Feb., 196The architects entrusted were Mr. J.K.Choudhury and Gulzar Sing of Delhi. Mr.J.K.Choudhury, an Assamese from Goalpara, was a reputed architect and also the then President of the All India Architects' Association. Hostels were given the first priority and started in the foot hills of the Narakachal hill. The hostels were completed and taken over and occupied in between August, 1965 and October, 196Girls' hostel could be occupied in June, 1968.

Late Mr. B.P. Chaliha, then Chief Minister of Assam, laid the foundation stone of the college building in the year 196The construction of the main college and administrative building at the Narakachal hill top could be started by the AGCC in April, 1965 after the road was completed to the top by the PWD. Part by part the main college building was taken over from April, 1968 to which Preclinical. Paraclinical and Central Library was shifted by August, 1968. Meanwhile, the Silchar Medical College was inaugurated in its permanent building under construction at Ghungoor on 15th August, 1968 and thereby the twin got separated. Dr. Rudra Goswami was put in charge of the Silchar Medical College.

In September, 1968 the permanent building of the Gauhati Medical College under process of construction was inaugurated by the then Governor of Assam Mr. B.K.Nehru. On 20th September,1968 the then Chief Minister of Assam Mr. B.P. Chaliha laid the foundation stone of the hospital by the side of the college main building at Narakachal hill. The then Medical Minister Mr. Chatrasing Teron hoisted a flag in the permanent hospital site. However, this construction had to be abandoned because of the presence of large rocks. As stone breaking and clearing would incur massive expenditure the State Govt. decided to shift the hospital construction to the foot hill of Narakachal. The foundation stone was laid down on 15th August, 1975 by Shri Sarat Ch.Sinha, the then Chief Minister of Assam. National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) was entrusted with the responsibility for construction of the hospital building. The new hospital at its permanent site at the Narakachal foot hill started functioning since 1984.

The Gauhati Medical College was inspected by Medical Council of India on every first examination of the first batch, that is, the first, second and final MBBS held in 1962, 1964 and 1965 respectively. There were inspections also by the Gauhati University, to which GMC is affiliated, in 1961, 1964 and 1968. Dr. C.S. Patel, President of the Medical Council of India inspected the GMC from 15th to 18th March, 196He was so impressed with the progress of the Institution and permitted to start Post Graduate courses in GMC. In February, 1969 Post Graduate started in Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pathology, Pharmacology, Community Medicine, Medicine, Surgery, Ophthalmology and Otorhinolaryngology. General Medical Council of U.K. recognized the bachelors degree of this college in 1969, thereby enabling the graduates to pursue higher studies in that country. 

 

Spreading of modern education

Guwahati, one of the major and bustling cities of Assam, is also a frontier to the country's North Eastern region. It is an ancient city and believed to be the capital of the medieval Kamrupa Empire. It is not only the largest city of the northeast but also an important commercial center. Guwahati is the cradle of education in the entire northeastern belt and education in Guwahati has always attracted people from different parts of the country. The city lies close to the LGB International airport and is also well connected through rail that makes it convenient for students across the country to come and avail Guwahati Education.

Although the language of the local people is Assamese, because of its high Bengali population Bangla is considered another vernacular medium. Schools in Guwahati can be both private run and government-aided public schools. The public schools use both Bangla and Assamese as their medium of instruction while private schools are generally English Medium barring a few which is Hindi Medium.

 The schools are affiliated either to the Assam Council of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education or Indian Council of Secondary and Certificate (ICSE/ISC) or Central Board of Education (CBSE). Among the schools, which deserve mention, are Cotton Collegiate HS School, DAV School, Carmel Convent and Bengali Girls' High School, Don Bosco High School, St Mary’s Convent School, TC Girl’s High School.

The city, which is a domicile to several premier institutions, boasts of the Guwahati University (G.U.), one of the oldest educational institutes of the region. The University was set up under the state of Assam Legislature Act in 1948 and is accredited a 4 star status by NAAC under UGC. Set in an arcadian ambience enjoying the ravishing beauty of the hills, the university has developed for itself a small-secluded township known as Gopinath Bardoloi Nagar. The University has a huge population of students and boasts of all possible modern amenities like canteens, library, conference and seminar halls, medical facilities, hostel, residential quarters for faculty and not the least, state-of- art laboratories. The University conducts all kinds of programs from Undergraduate to Doctoral programs related to Arts, Science, Commerce Medicine and Law. The educational palette is extremely colorful and caters to a varied taste propagating education in almost 50 different subjects. In fact Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) is one of the oldest medical institutions under G.U., recognized by All India Medical Council.