An Interview with the Vice-Chancellor of Tezpur University, Prof. Mihir Kanti Chaudhuri

Professor Mihir Kanti Chaudhuri is a renowned name in the nation’s academia, for his significant and practical contributions towards inorganic chemistry. He got his PhD from IITKgp in 1973 and went to Germany for further research. After coming back from Germany, he started working in North Eastern Hill University in 1976. He joined IIT Guwahati as the Head of the Department in Chemistry in 1996 and later continued his service as Dean, Student’s Affairs and Dean, Research & Development respectively, in the same institute.  He was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of Tezpur University in 2007.

Till date, he has published around 140 research papers in different reputed journals and also has registered 10 patents in his name.  He is also serving as the jury member in several national council and committees, including organizations like UPSC, UGC, IACS and CSIR. He was honoured with the Fellowship of the Indian Academy of Sciences (FASc) in 1988 and Fellowship of the National Science Academy (FNA) in 1991. In 1989, he received the Shantiswarup Bhatnagar Award, the most prestigious award of the nation in the field of science.

Tezpur University has been able to attain remarkable achievement, both in the field of academics and infrastructural development, during his two terms as the vice-chancellor of the university. Pankaj Jyoti Mahanta, the editor of the July, 2014 issue of popular Assamese online magazine xahitya.org, talked with this devoted scientist and academician, on behalf of the magazine to know about work and opinion on different issues. Rajkiran Doley, PA to the VC also assisted during the conversation. The interview, originally taken in Assamese has been translated into English by Manoshi Goswami for our readers. We thank, Pankaj Borah, founder member of xahitya.org for permitting us to publish the translated version of the interview in Gonit Sora.

PJM: Sir, where did you spend your childhood? How was the educational scenario then?

MKC: I spent my childhood in Assam, till matriculation. At that time, discipline was followed very strictly. All our school teachers were highly knowledgeable and whatever we had learnt from them was of immense importance in later stages of our lives.

PJM: Why did you get attracted towards Chemistry?

MKC:  The reason is I love this subject and it is strongly related to many other subjects as well. In some or the other way, chemistry is required in almost all other subjects.

PJM: You have achieved lot of success in academics. Apart from that, your administrative works in several other higher education institutes have also been considered to be model. On the other hand, you are also executive member of many national level committees. How you have managed to accomplish so many responsibilities? As per our knowledge, you work for 11 hours daily in 6 days of the week. Would you please elaborate about your working style?

MKC:  The first condition is, one has to been punctual as a person. I have to ponder upon thoroughly to decide my target. Whatever responsibility is taken, that has to be understood properly. Particularly, whenever some responsibility or proposal comes, be it small or large, it should not be accepted immediately. It must be thought, whether I can accomplish the responsibility or proposal that has been offered. When you know that you can do this, then the journey begins. That, you have to complete the task; you have to succeed. Moreover, the word “excuse” does not have a place in my life. Something needs to be done means it has to be done, will be done for sure; but with honesty.

I have never taken any such administrative responsibilities earlier in academics. But, whenever, I had some administrative works, I have managed the time very nicely. I did fix the duration of research, teaching and administrative works for my daily schedule of work. This is very important in life. I always emphasize on time management. Now-a-days, I have to devote more time in academic administration and hence can’t give so much time for research. Since I love academics, I have got the opportunities to study in some reputed institutes by the grace of God, I have met with many reputed scholars inside and outside the country, so I am privileged to acquire a considerable amount of knowledge. I won’t tell that I know everything in the world, but at least I have known something. With this and constant perseverance, along with God’s blessings, I am moving forward like this.

I have never taken any formal training on academic management. I apply common sense. I believe in sincerity and honesty. I may commit a mistake, that’s natural, but not constructed or intentional. That is the basic principle. Whenever I do something, I do it whole heartedly.  Be it administrative work or student’s disciplinary work. Apparently, I am a very strict person; but inside I am a different person. I have to mix both of these. And, what happens in education, especially, in case of institutes like ours, we have students from H.S. passed level up to doctorate and post-doctorate level. There are students of different age groups. In our campus, we have approximately 45% girl students and 55-56% are boys. All of them stay inside the campus, in hostels. Naturally, I have to work constantly on maintaining discipline every time. All my colleagues are very good and they accept whatever I say and I also try to speak good things. Thus, we are doing everything together. I won’t tell that you have to read some book for learning management nor am I doing that. I do read, but it’s not like that I am working after undergoing some training; I am self-trained.

Image courtesy:

Image courtesy: Rajshree Goswami

PJM: Sir, you have spent a few years in Germany for research. Please let us know about your experience.

MKC: At that time, I was in West Germany; now it has united. West Germany has been specially known for experimental science and new inventions. I tried to learn how they have achieved that. There, I did my second doctorate. The reason behind that was, if someone follows the methodology for completing doctorate, it can be known how they perform different steps to arrive at the success. I did my doctorate for the second time only to know this. I was specially benefited by this. And, I had also won a very prestigious fellowship of the world, known as Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship; which was completely my luck. A biggest benefit of my study there is the knowledge of how people go forward very systematically in education, in their own fields. Another thing that I benefited very much from was patriotism, the love for your own nation. After going there, I have realized its importance. That is one of the biggest benefit of my stay in Germany and I still keep that in mind.

PJM: Sir, what were the differences of their education system and India’s education system?

MKC:  Roughly, there are some similarities; but their course-curriculum, teaching methods, examination systems and marking systems are different from us. It’s not that there are huge differences; but one thing that varies significantly is that both teachers and students are very sincere and they love doing experiments by themselves. This mentality is a little weak here. I myself have studied in IIT; before coming to TU, I have even taught in an IIT.  We have a habit of sitting with the computer even at the slightest chance.  I won’t say it to be bad; but computer is the soft science; when you give students works related to hard science i.e. how to manufacture the computer, what are the items required to manufacture like that; they try to get rid of it. I have seen that in my students too; so that’s a big difference.

PJM: India is quite lagging behind in original/innovative research; both in quality and quantity. Number of researchers in India against per million is 10-50 times lower than countries like Japan, China, Norway. On the other hand, as per information published by World Intellectual Property Organization in 2012, India has applied for patents of only 42,291 items manufactured in India during 2011; whereas, China and USA had applied for 526,412 and 503,582 patents in the same year. What according to you is the reason for lagging behind and why only few people are interested in this?

MKC:  What you are telling is quite true. If you compare us with Korea, even they are ahead of us. The reason is that the patent culture was not there in our nation earlier, especially in university system or in institutes like IITs. Although it was there in CSIR lab, DRDO lab or in ISRO lab, much importance was not given to the same. It was almost negligible in universities or IITs. Earlier, when we went for filing patent, it was very costly too. When I have started my career in NEHU, Shillong, my intension was to go for patenting. If my items reach market, it should benefit people. When I did that, I had to spend a lot. But what has happened later is, when the government and administration became aware of it, they made the process easier. Now, we can move through DST or TIFAC without spending our own money. Likewise, we have an IPR cell in our university now. This is one reason. The basic reason is that we are yet to understand the meaning of patent. There is another psychological barrier. We have a concept that, if we apply for patent, than publication may get late or it may not even be published. But, it is not clearly stated that this is not true or we have not been able to understand the fact. However, I am not blaming anyone, but the fact was not clear, not clean. If I work on something and invent something, I can claim patent for it and can publish the same work too. The only difference is that, first the patent application should be submitted. In general, three months or so is required to write and analyze the paper.  We can submit a paper after three months of filing the patent; but the only thing is that the reference has to be written as ‘patent filed for’. No doubt, it takes time to get the patent granted. I have some patents, some are U.S. patents and some are licensed too. That means they have gone to the market. This is a very hard thing to achieve, but the most important thing is that the culture was not here earlier. I won’t tell that it has increased much. The statistics that you have shown is also true. We must create the awareness to fill the gap. Once again, I would like to repeat, what I have told earlier, that we have to erase out the thought that we can’t publish paper, if we apply for patent; that is not at all true.

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PJM: Sir, you have 8 patents till date?

MKC: Now, it may be more than 8; probably, 8 or 10.

Image courtesy : Sandhya Rani Gogoi & Amrita Deka

Image courtesy : Sandhya Rani Gogoi & Amrita Deka

PJM: Sir, we are proud of you because of this; maybe you are the single person still working in higher education institute of Assam even after achieving so much.

We would like to know, whether these inventions are actually sudden (accidental) achievements in your efforts or are the result of a well planned work?

MKC: I have told you one thing a little earlier. While I was very young, i.e. academically young; since then I had a dream that one day I will do such a thing which will be useful to a lot of people. And this will give me fame, maybe I will even earn some money too; these were the secondary things. But, the main aim was if I could do something…..! At that time, we had table lamps i.e. lanterns. On seeing these, the thought that came to my mind was that everybody has to use this, or to know how to use this. In laboratories, there is an item called Bunsen burner. This is in the name of Mr. Bunsen. At that time, I was thinking that, how intelligent he was; he invented that and now we are using this. Even it was named after him! So, things like what can be invented or how they could be were always striking my mind. When I started my research, initially that was only training. There was a guide and we had followed what the guide said, almost every time. Later, when I became an independent researcher, while doing anything, I always kept in mind if the work can be sent to any applied field or does it have the potential. Thus, it turned out to be like this.

PJM: And hard work is always there….

MKC:  There is no alternative to hard work. In any line. The work that you are doing now, from here you may go to Dibrugarh or some other place, may be that will give you another half page of information. Hard work is needed everywhere, there is no shortcut. Today, the world cup has ended; all of them worked very hard. Many good teams had lost even after trying hard, someone has won after that. In every line, there has to be hard work and honesty and another point is that there should be extensive thinking. In research, only studying something will not do, one must think over it. What is happening, how it can be improved further, how something else can also be found from this, etc. That’s why one should not talk baseless things. Whatever is required that much only need to be talked, not more; keep quiet and think. These are some clues of achievers. One should read extensively. You shouldn’t think ever, that he has published something and oh, what does he know! You shouldn’t think like that, never. You just read it; leave it if you do not like. If read seriously, something or the other can be learnt from every article. And, when great people speak, in any subject, not necessarily on chemistry, one should listen to their speech. One habit was like my hobby, it still is, but not regular now and that is to read autobiographies. I have been inspired a lot from autobiographies. Suppose any successful person, like a Nobel Laureate, you get to know at what stages they had to work hard; thus it can be realized that hard work is a must and has no alternatives.

PJM: You are serving as the VC of the university for the last 7 years. During this period, a very good academic atmosphere has developed in the university. Complete facilities are developed to conduct workshops, seminars etc. Everyone is surprised to experience such a good environment and aesthetics in a university located in Assam. This was even expressed by many renowned persons from abroad as well as from other parts of the country while visiting the university. Are the students of the university utilizing these facilities completely? Or whether they have become lazy? What is your opinion?

MKC: Most of them are utilizing the facilities. There are some, may be they are thinking that everywhere it works like this. That’s because, they have not seen other universities. Better or worse, they have not seen. We try to remind them repeatedly. In this university, the first thing that one should keep it in mind is that this is a special type of university. Its establishment itself is quite a different one. This has resulted from the Assam Movement. Yes, it has come from the Assam Movement – we must remember this fact. So many of our students at that time – their lives had spoiled, studies got wasted, jobs were at stake, some couldn’t study… I am just cutting short. After all those, this is a result. There are many other things too, but I don’t want to mention those. I always had this in my mind. When I took over the charge as VC here, this has revived within me. I thought, after so much contribution from them, what can we return? No doubt, we can’t give anything directly; what can be given indirectly? With our work? Then I thought, since it is a product of Assam Movement, whether we can transform it to a model university? Lot of funds is required to do that, government is also giving funds; but bringing funds is very hard. Don’t take it for granted that the money comes very easily; no, it needs a lot of struggle. Today itself, I have some deals of Crores; it comes and goes, again comes and goes like that. The fact is that, right from the beginning, I was sure about my target that why I came here? Further, it was also in my mind that since I have a job at IIT and I have not retired yet; so if I can’t perform well and don’t find it appealing, that’s fine then. There is no point that I should continue in that case. Whatever vision is in my mind or whatever mission I am coming with, if I can’t fulfill, then I will go back. I continued my work with that thought. Now, it’s up to you to judge, I don’t want to tell if it’s good or bad. I will tell that, I have worked hard, all my colleagues help me a lot, and they listen to me. If you stroll through the campus, you could learn this. There is discipline. Generally you won’t see someone smoking in public; may be some are doing without notice, it’s a personal thing and should not be objected. Or people chewing paan. We have many of them; it’s a common fact throughout Assam. But, you will not see spitting here and there inside the campus. All of them are our own people. Everybody has realized that this should not be done and is not a fair thing. That is the fact. As a whole, all our students are very good, very disciplined. And there is a reason too; we conduct our examinations timely and results are also declared within time. We also try hard for placement. It’s not that we are successful by 100%; but we try 100%. It’s not that we don’t have any disturbances. But, in my opinion, I am thankful to God, that we are at peace; for what we have come, we are doing that and most of the students are doing their works. That’s why, you will get to know that, number of students aspiring to take admission is increasing every year; good students are willing to come. These things give out the message; this shows that probably the university is doing well. But, this has to be told by people, I can’t tell that I am doing very good; in fact I will tell that me and my colleagues – we all are trying hard together. Judgment is all yours.

Professor-Mihir-Kanti-ChaudhuriPJM: What are your plans regarding the university?

MKC: Infrastructure, which is needed in the university for studying; because, now you can’t read under a tree, you need computer, computer centers, laboratories, libraries, equipment; these has to be renewed and you need to buy again after 2-3 years; buildings, water and 24 hour dedicated electricity facility etc. are also needed. Because, there are certain researches, especially in biological researches - if there is load shedding for 1 or 2 hours even, it may ruin 4-5-10 years of hard work instantly. Our entire infrastructure, I am not talking only about buildings, we have many things to accomplish. If we can’t finish constructing two more hostels within next two years, we will not be able to increase the number of students. In my opinion, there is still 35-40% of work left. Since, we teach courses with employment options, our strategy is somewhat different. The laboratories have to be very good; the chemicals need to be of high quality, teachers must be better and they have to be trained outside.

We have started an innovation center. Mr Uddhab Bharali, the renowned inventor, is the director. Every week, he comes to the university. He is a salaried director and he teaches our students. We will keep our innovations there. The President is supposed to come in November; we will exhibit our innovations for him and for the public. We are also constructing another hall.

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So, we have yet a lot to do. I don’t know how much I can complete, because I have less than three years of my term. But, I will try my best. But don’t think that works have completed, no, still there are works left.

PJM: Sir, you have told that you will be going after three years. Do you believe that, whatever good tradition or good environment you have created here will be maintained by the future generations in your absence?

MKC: I believe they will, but the sincerity has to be there. You are asking a very good question. It has been seen throughout the world, not only here, although a little higher in our country, many things are constructed for the namesake. Afterwards, we can’t maintain it; be it culture, some resource or be it a building. I am worried about that. But, still I believe, it will be ok. Let me tell you how – if people consider it as their own, think that they must keep it properly; that mentality must be there. Like your own home, you always try to keep it properly to the best of your ability. I am trying, won’t tell that this concept has not grown; but, yes, it’s not 100% - I have to be honest, because this is a public property. I am concerned about this.

We must completely believe that this is our property. Government will allot fund, but you have to spend it honestly, isn’t it? Only money will not speak! I am worried about that; we are imparting trainings too, good people come from outside too. My point is that, for example – IIT Kanpur, IISc, TIFR, TISS - directors changes in these institutions too. They don’t have vice chancellor, but there are directors. Someone goes, some other comes. But, there is a culture as a whole. You have told about IISc; today, it is better than what it was ten years ago; will be still better after ten years again. I believe, the same will happen here. That’s why I believe that the local people, I mean, people of Assam must be aware. There are so many good people in different places, they should come, they should lead us, and they should be the role model for us so that – if our Mr Saikia, Mr Deka can do this, I can too. This has to grow. People must be brought from outside for running this. Public must think that, we have a good thing; how can we maintain this? That’s not very easy. Our electricity bill is around 24 or 25 lakhs. I am not telling that there is misuse. You can’t stop this, we need 24 hr electricity; otherwise it will not work, how the students will study, how the labs will run? There are so many other things too. I think, it’s not impossible; but everyone must come forward. We all, you, the government, and the public – everyone has a responsibility towards this. In case, we may need to bring people from outside, but I believe, it’s better to have people from within, than we can have a different outlook, like sympathy.

PJM: Are you worried regarding our political atmosphere? Do you think that unnecessary concern towards this can harm students? Do you believe that students should be free from these?

MKC: Yes, they should be free. Students study, it enriches their thoughts; so, these definitely have some affects. As a teacher, as a VC, as a Dean, we must try to keep them away from these, because it’s the time to make their lives. They should be told that they should not be involved directly, but awareness has to be there. So, the academic administration must create an environment that they don’t get the chance to go there or they realize that it’s not the time to move in that direction. We know that we have the potential, but at first, we must develop ourselves; then only we can contribute somewhere. Otherwise, as I have told earlier – nothing will happen here or there. I think it’s better not to be involved directly. When we call bandhs or stage protests, whatever time is lost, that is too valuable; once gone never comes back. This has to be understood. Our lives are limited. No doubt, life span has increased now, but how much? At best 100 years? But, 100 years in this world is not at all a long period. It goes very quickly. Throughout this 100 years or 50 years or 60 years, whatever it is, everyday should be spent exactly as what it should be; and at least once in a week, if not daily, we must introspect what we have done this week, how much time I have spent in work, what I have given and what I have got? There should be a responsibility towards the society. In our university itself, approximately 10 lakhs of rupees is required per student. Science & technology is quite expensive. So, we have to spend these 10 lakhs against one student. Now, if you ask how much of is given by the guardians? Guardians give a very limited portion. So, where from the remaining amount comes? It comes from the government. Now, what the government is? Government gets it from the public! That means, it is contributed by the public. I am a VC, you are a reporter or researcher, whatever is given by your parents is not enough; if you think properly, you will realize that it is the public who is behind your progress. So, we have a responsibility towards them. We have got appointment after studying; it’s not only about money – but we have a responsibility to sympathize, to advice - to give good advice. This has to be understood. Patriotism – we must love our country, our state, our district. We will try to make our district better – this has to be there in mind.

Visitor’s Best University Award-Tezpur University-Union Human Resource Development-HRD-Minister Smt Smriti Zubin Irani-President Pranab Mukherjee-Vice Chancellor-Mihir K Chaudhuri

Tezpur University won the Visitor’s “Best University” award 2016 for its academic excellence and overall performance in the year 2015.
Prof. Mihir Kanti Chaudhuri receives the award from the Hon’ble President Shri Pranab Mukherjee in a function organized in the Rashtrapati Bhawan on the evening of March 14, 2016, in presence of Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani.
Image Courtesy: Media Cell, Tezpur University.

PJM: There is a concept that more examinations create stress in the minds of the students and that hampers the growth of their talents. Do you believe that?

MKC: No, I don’t believe this. Not only students, even we should also be kept under a little pressure. In the beginning, you have given my reference that I work for this many hours. I have to work for this many hours means that I am under some pressure. Whether, the pressure is given by the government, the public or by me that is a different matter. People can’t be disciplined, if not under pressure. Another thing is that, one should think properly before saying numbers of examinations are more or less. I think, this semester system, continuous evaluation etc., are helpful in self learning and self-thinking. When the semester ends and there is no tension, then they can go for internship, for part time jobs, for research in the free time; part-time jobs are possible in foreign nations. This is very good for discipline. If you ask students, initially they will tell that this is not good; because, they don’t have the ability to judge the good or bad. It’s our responsibility; we must make them understand why it is good. If someone is ill or have some family problems during examination, in continuous evaluation process, one examination can’t turn everything in a student’s life. A single examination has very less contribution. If, it is split in to seven, than one single test can’t have much effect. And think, if I am not a good student and I have not done well in six tests, then I can’t get first position by doing well in only one test. There remains a standard. Plus, you don’t have backlogs. Suppose, whatever is being taught in 10 days, if the test is conducted immediately; whatever has been taught, its test is over. Teacher’s responsibility is very high in continuous evaluation. They have to make the students ready by teaching. Accordingly, question paper has to be set, evaluation has to be done. There is another beauty in continuous evaluation and internal assessment. If for some reason, I have done badly in one test, that doesn’t spoil the entire examination. Throughout the semester, the examiner has found that the student is good enough; but had performed badly in this test, than he has the right to give him good grades. This doesn’t mean that others are being deprived. Other way round also, if a student always performs badly and suddenly does very well in one test, than the teacher can decide that no more marks can be given. But, there has to be honesty. And the teacher has to be very much alert. Actually, in this system, teachers have to work very hard. And, what students tell, that they are not getting time to think freely; that is a lie. Just make an assessment; how many hours they attend classes, how many hours they study for the class, how many hours are wasted in talking and in addas, for how many hours they sleep? Leave aside the sleeping time; that has to be given. What they are doing in other times? This question was done by our students, I have explained them – tell me, how many hours you attend classes, when you go to eat, how many hours do you sleep, play….. After that it has been seen that still 7 or 8 hours are left. If I want, I can give at least ten excuses. But you analyze scientifically, how they have spent their time? Then they were speechless. I have told them- this has been done for your good, you should not oppose this.

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This system has been used in other places and they are progressing. So, we should accept the good things. I am not telling that we will be importing everything from China or America. But, what is good, that should be brought, that should be applied. I am not telling that we have to adopt the German-system or American-system completely; you analyze that, understand that and then you make it a local one. Semester system, continuous evaluation – all are very good. Student’s load gets reduced, studies get better, and discipline improves. Examination is not a load, it’s fun. And, yes, they have to be smarter. What we did earlier will not work now. Half yearly will be there after six months, then after another six months annual will be there – that will not work. You have to get trained every day.

PJM: We would like to know some other things too. What do you do in your free time? Do you watch movies? What is your hobby? You have already told that you like reading autobiographies; what other books do you like to read?

MKC: No, I don’t watch movies. Mainly, I watch news in TV; and I read. I have no other hobbies apart from these. To talk about other books, yes I like to read good novels; but don’t get much time. And, I read review articles on any subject. For example – what will be the next winter dress, how the colour would be and why; I read this type of things on weekends. Moreover, what are the benefits of exercises, what we should do daily to keep ourselves fit and healthy – whatever can be done in home, why we should not consume anything intoxicating, if at all we take such things, what should be the limit – I read all these type of things. You get very good things to read in weekends on these subjects.

Tezpur University Ranked 5th-Ministry of Human Resource Development-MHRD-National Institutional Ranking Framework-NIRF-Smt Smriti Zubin Irani-Mihir Kanti Chaudhuri

Tezpur University was ranked 5th among the universities in an assessment of higher education institutions in India conducted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, through the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani handing over the certificate to Prof. Mihir K. Chaudhuri in New Delhi on April 4, 2016.
Image Courtesy: Media Cell, Tezpur University.

PJM: What is your advice to the younger generation and to the society as a whole?

MKC: I have only one thing to say – Work Hard.

And I have an appeal to the government, that is – there should be still more expenditure in Higher Education. Another thing, which should be done is – freedom with accountability. If you are assigning a task to me, I should be allowed freedom. You analyze before assigning – whether it will be given to me or some Mr. Yadav or Mr. Karim. When you assign someone, he should be given freedom. Freedom, with accountability, I mean, you must accomplish this within six months, that after one year, this after another three years. Strictly, means that has to be completed by any means. This has become very important now. And, yes; skill, attitude, aptitude.... I was in Guwahati, the day before yesterday; Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was also there. When I was told to speak something, I told about these things, what we need for our younger generation. The biggest irony of us is – you will get many educated, degree-holder youths here; and on the other side there are a lot of posts lying vacant. This people are not getting jobs and those are not giving jobs. Why is this happening? Suppose, you are doing this job, whenever you give this job to me, you must be assured of that this person can complete the job. It doesn’t matter, what degree I have. One minimum degree should be sufficient. We are lagging behind in this skill. This has to be improved; attitude, aptitude needs to be improved. Another thing, since we need to work internationally, that’s why emphasis should be given in learning English along with the mother tongue. Suppose, you have to communicate with a Chinese person, then we need a connecting language; so, this should be given due emphasis as far as possible, but that doesn’t mean mother tongue should be neglected. There are many resources in one’s mother tongue. Whatever is required for jobs, we must do that.  These things are very important and the government should consider these. There is another aspect – central universities, IITs, IIMs, IIITs or ISAC – we get the funds directly from the central government; some gets more, some less. Still, we get. But, now new programme has been launched for the state universities - RUSA, Rastriya Ucchatar Siksha Abhiyan. People should take its advantages; everyone - state governments, education sector planners, principal, concerned citizens – all need to ponder upon this and utilize its opportunities. Then, all state universities – like Guwahati or Dibrugarh, which are not central and all partially deficit colleges, for them central government has released some 222 or 225 Crores of INR. Especially, for North-East. We have another advantage. In other states, central government will provide 65% from RUSA and state government will provide the remaining 35%. But, in NE States, Central government will give 90% and remaining 10% will have to be given by the State Governments. This is the arithmetic part; but what is required is that, this 100% should be utilized properly. For example, as we are trying in our university to utilize more than 100%; that’s why what you have told today pleased us. So, what needs to be done is that for whatever purpose, the fund has been allocated; it has to be utilized for that only. If that happens, our future will be very bright.

Otherwise, you may be aware of that every year more than one lakh students go outside the state  after passing twelfth standard for study. Among them, 10-11% goes for Engineering and Management, a little portion of 3.5-4% goes for Medical Science, 7-8% goes for research and the remaining majority goes for Arts stream. This is an approximate estimate. Now, the question is why they go outside? And how many of them return after studying outside? I will answer the first question later; answer to the second question is only 5% of them comes back, 95% doesn’t. Why they go, why they don’t come back? The reasons are – unemployment, socio-political problem, and educational infrastructure. Because of these three main reasons, our students are draining outside and they don’t return. What happens as a result is that – every year more than 150 thousand Crores of Rupees are going outside if you consider Rs 5000 only per person! Ok, fine, money is going out from one part of the nation to another, it is still there within the nation. But, you need to consider the case more deeply. If the money stays within the state and doesn’t go anywhere, we could have more development, more employment options. For instance, in this university itself, because it is here, 50 or 100 people have got jobs in kitchens; some other person is getting the job of an assistant or good positions in the offices. So, if this university would have been established in some other places and the money would have been allocated to some other places, this growth would have not been here. This is an example only. Another fact is that – if we need development in this region, in this state; we need to have technical man power. When I am saying technical, I am do not mean only engineering; you are also a technical person, like you are recording now and will edit that later, I can’t do that. If technical man power doesn’t come back, how can we develop? We will be wherever we are now. And others will move forward. These things need to be thought upon critically. Government, society – everyone must think to make better arrangements here itself. I am not telling that 100% brain drain will be stopped, that is also not expected. Some people should go. But, not in this condition, that, we don’t have any opportunities here. What I believe is that, Government alone can’t do that and private sector should not be allowed to do that alone. If you see, government alone can’t do that, because it is highly expensive. And private sector should not be allowed to do it alone; because, I am do not mean everyone is bad, but they have a tendency – if you are investing Rs 5, you will definitely think that this Rs. 5 must come back, otherwise, how can I survive? If you add 2-3 rupees to that, that is ok; and I don’t consider it to be bad. But, you want to bring Rs 500 from Rs 5; that is not acceptable. There must be a stream; public-private partnership should be there, and if strict rules and regulations are there, I believe we can proceed. No one should take these points otherwise. Private parties are not to be considered as contractors, they should be considered as partners. Then there is a kind of respect, dignity and some kind of involvement. Only then, there will a thought that I am not working only for money. Of this PPP, I am also one P and I too have some name, it’s also a matter of my respect. I believe, works will be accomplished if we proceed like this. Do you know, what is above all for us, for the state – affection, planning and honesty; these have become scarce now…! People should not get offended by this. It may happen in my case too! But, it’s a truth!

PJM: Sir, we thank you on behalf of xahitya.org for sparing your valuable time for us. We wish your work life to become more and more perfect!

MKC: Thank you so much. I wish you a bright future. It was nice talking to you. I will tell only one thing – never be afraid of hard work. Then you will see no boundaries, no limits; sky is the only limit…………!!

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