KSU not to allow College of Agriculture to function

NONGPOH:  Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) has decided not to allow the College of Agriculture (CoA), Kyrdem Kulai which was affiliated to Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal to function unless the Central Government did not meet its demand of setting up of a full-fledged Agricultural University.

Intensifying their protest, the KSU leaders and members along with the land owners and the local people of Umsning area on Friday visited the site where the CoA was being constructed at Kyrdem Kulai in Ri Bhoi District.

Sending a strong message to the Central Government, the Union members also deleted the word ‘college’ and ‘Imphal’ using colour spray from the existing signboard and erected its own signboard mentioning ‘Central Agricultural University, Kyrdem Kulai’.

Speaking to media persons on the issue, KSU General Secretary, Donald V Thabah said that for the interest of the people of the state and especially the student’s community, the Union will  not allow the CoA to function unless the Central Government set up a full-fledged Agricultural University as stated right from the time of handing over the land by the owners.

‘We do not want a college to be remote controlled from Imphal, but a University with its base and headquarter here in Kyrdem Kulai area is what the people of the state wants’ Thabah said, adding that there is no point of allowing this institute to function unless it benefits the people of the state.

Thabah also said the Union had earlier met Meghalaya’s Minister of Agriculture, Banteidor Lyngdoh and had informed him that the purpose of giving this land measuring more than 220 acres by the owner was meant for setting up of a University and not a College, adding that the Union had even faxed a letter to Union Minister of Agriculture in this regard.

‘We have seen the functions of the College of Post Graduate Studies at Umiam, which was controlled by the CAU, Imphal which has not much benefitted the people of the state, and that only two or three research scholars were from the state and that even when it comes to the employment aspect, only a few number of locals were employed whereas most of the employees were from outside the state, we do not want the same thing to happened again’ Thabah further said.

He also that the Union would not sit idle on this matter, and if the Central Government go ahead in inaugurating this CoA in the near future, a time will come when the Union will have no options but to shut it down.

Thabah further urged the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma to talk with the Union Government on this matter for setting up of a University as proposed earlier in 2010 before the land was handed over to the Government.

Mrs. Panora Kharsati, the land owner also said that the Government in a proposal while acquiring her land had stated that a University would be set up, therefore ‘in good faith I have sold my land at a very low rates because I know if such university comes up, new avenues and benefits will be for my people. “But it is sad to learnt now that they have fooled us and changed it into a college instead of a University,” Ms Kharsati said, adding that she fully supports the move of the Union and the people of state in protesting against this double standard and sudden move of the Central Government. 

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