GUWAHATI, 28 September, 2018: With the objective to work together in the field of literature, culture, heritage, diversity and ethnicity in the north-eastern region and carry documentation and research work on indigenous languages, the Asam Sahitya Sabha, the apax literary body of Assam signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) at Guwahati today. The MoU was signed by Dr Paramananda Rajbongshi, President of Asom Sahitya Sabha and Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor of USTM. A host of literary and academic personalities, including former Asam Sahitya Sabha president Dr Dhruba Jyoti Borah, Prof Nirmal Kumar Choudhury, former Vice Chancellor of Gauhati University, RS Mooshahary, former Governor of Meghalaya and prominent litterateurs and members of Sabha as well as academicians from USTM.
Signing the MoU, USTM Chancellor Mahbubul Hoque said that the University has a social commitment and is keen to work for establishing harmony, brotherhood and integrity among different sections of society. “We are determined to contribute to the language and culture of the region and want to offer fellowships to do research work on 20 former presidents of Asam Sahitya Sabha. The MoU with Assam’s largest and oldest socio-literary organization will pave the path to reach our objectives which will further nurture unity in diversity of the north-eastern states, especially Assam and Meghalaya”, he said. On this occasion, 100 USTM employees became members of Asam Sahitya Sabha for lifetime. This will be followed by another 500 membership from USTM, said Hoque.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Paramananda Rajbongshi, President of Asam Sahitya Sabha said that by contributing to the protection of language and culture, USTM can assume a significant place among the universities of the world. He also said that Assam needs a language policy and support of the Government for the intellectual development of the region is very important. According to the MoU, the Sabha and USTM will jointly organize Workshops, Seminars, Symposia on language, literature and culture on mutual consultation and will honour literary stalwarts and achievers from time to time to encourage and inculcate literary culture among the future generations.
Addressing the august gathering, Meghalaya Governor RS Mooshahary said that USTM is a growing and happening university and will be reckoned as one of the best universities in the future. Former Asam Sahitya Sabha president Dhruba Jyoti Borah said, “Today’s MoU signing is a significant moment in the history of USTM and Asam Sahitya Sabha. The University is creating a research environment and we really appreciate it.”
A significant decision taken in the MoU is that, USTM will offer two fellowships for researchers at the initial stage to carry out research on the life of two literary stalwarts of Assam—Dr Maheswar Neog and Syed Abdul Malik. The Fellowships may also be extended for further research leading to award of Ph.D degree.
According to the MoU, special importance will be given to Char areas, the Barak Valley and other economically underdeveloped areas, including some areas of Meghalaya where the two organisations will take up developmental activities within their capacity. Villages will be adopted by both the organisations to promote educational activities including literature and culture. The initial target will be to adopt two villages on mutual consultation.
It was agreed that both the organisations will strive for protection and preservation of ethnic languages in the region, specially the endangered languages and find out ways and means to revive and promote such language and culture. To take it further, USTM will create a Directorate of Language and Cultural Studies where the Sabha will provide necessary inputs, expertise for various compilation and research. Different diploma and certificate courses will be launched and Sabha will help in preparing the Syllabus, Course Design and Training of Trainers Module. Authorised persons of both the organisations will avail the facilities and infrastructure including library as and when required.
USTM and Asam Sahitya Sabha will jointly organize a North East Writers’ Conclave or Literary Fest from time to time to promote literature and culture from the region by providing a broad platform. It was also agreed that both the organisations will jointly work for publication of Books, Journals etc. Earlier, the welcome address was made by Padma Rajkhowa, General Secretary, Asam Sahitya Sabha while the vote of thanks was delivered by Dr Sanjib Kumar Sharma, Secretary, Asam Sahiya Sabha Guwahati.