USTM Adopts Holistic Approach for Social Transformation
GUWAHATI, 5 July 2018: The University of Science & Technology Meghalaya today honoured media personalities from the region recognising their contribution in the field of News Media giving legitimacy to people’s voice and augmenting the role of media as the “Fourth Estate”. The Awards were conferred today on the occasion of USTM PR Day-2018 held in a glorious function presided over by Prof Nirmal Kumar Chaudhury, former Vice Chancellor of Gauhati University while the Chief Guest of the event was former Meghalaya Governor Shri R S Mooshahary. A galaxy of media persons and dignitaries from the region, including Mr PJ Baruah, Executive Editor, The Assam Tribune and Dr PK Goswami, Vice Chancellor, USTM has graced the occasion.
This year’s USTM Media Excellence Award went to four media stalwarts of the region:
Mr Zarir Hussain, Chief Managing Editor, News Live Television; Mr Dileep Chandan, Editor, Asom Bani; Mr Samudra Gupta Kashyap, veteran journalist & author and Ms Maini Mahanta, Editor, Nandini. The USTM Media Achiever Award-2018 went to eight senior journalists from the region. They are: Mr Sujit Chakraborty, Special Correspondent, IANS, Tripura; Mr Satyanarayan Misra, Staff Reporter, Dainik Purvoday; Mr Imtiaz Ahmed, Senior Reporter, The Telegraph, Guwahati; Ms Monmoromi Mahanta, Journalist, Prag Channel; Mr Mridul Haloi, Sub Editor, Dainik Janambhumi; Mr Aafaque Hussain, Staff Reporter, The Shillong Times; Ms Tinakali Sumi, Senior Sub Editor, Nagaland Post and Ms Evanjoplin Dkhar, Senior Reporter, Meghalaya Guardian, Shillong. The awards were handed over to the recipients by the eminent dignitaries.
Delivering his keynote address on “Role of Universities in Outreach Activities”, Padma Shri Manas Chaudhuri, Managing Director, The Shillong Times, said that universities have immense responsibility in shaping the future of a generation by community engagement, public service and knowledge exchange, apart from its main areas of teaching and research.Another keynote speaker on the occasion was, Shri Prasanta Rajguru, Editor, Amar Asom. Delivering a lecture on “Role of Universities in Socio-Political Awareness”, Shri Rajguru said that educational institutions are temple of knowledge and universities being the highest level of educational institution, have a great deal of responsibility in creating social and political awareness among the people.
Addressing the gathering, Shri RS Mooshahary, former Governor of Meghalaya said that there are very few private universities that have seen such level of growth within few years of their establishment as USTM has experienced. Delivering the media awards, Shri Mooshahary said that media too has its social responsibilities and it can play a positive or negative role in the society. He urged all media persons to contribute positively to the society and the country as a whole.
Shri Mahbubul Hoque, the Chancellor of USTM, stated that it has been a challenging journey for USTM which began with only six students in 2011 and now the University takes pride to have more than 5,000 students. The University has adopted a holistic approach for social development, besides its consistent mission towards development of individuals and the society in the field of education. The University’s outreach programmes and activities are gradually being expanded to reach those areas and people requiring support and assistance. “We are placing the University Progress Report in front of media and other dignitaries in this USTM PR Day”, he said.
It must be mentioned here that USTM is the number one private university in the region – the “people’s university” as it is known—and has been putting its full efforts to stand in its true sense. USTM has generously opened the door for the poor and underprivileged meritorious students of the society to continue higher studies in this University with the provision of “Free Education” thus not letting poverty to be a hindrance in education for the deserving candidates. The provision is also applicable for the children of the media fraternity as they hardly receive such support. The University has adopted a “Pay Back Policy” to encourage the students to qualify the prestigious competitive examinations. USTM has also introduced Pay Back Policy to return entire course fees to students who qualify the NET/SLET examinations to encourage the students and to create the competitive mood among the students.
Another significant outreach programme of the University is that, each department of USTM is entrusted to adopt one village and students/faculty help the villagers to help themselves by linking them up with agencies, banks & enabling them to articulate and solve their problems. The programme has received good response so far. Again, USTM has a Community Bank from which 50% of the profit goes to emergency help from time to time.
In the health sector, USTM has been trying its best to reach the society in its own capacity by establishing Help Desk in Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute, by organizing numerous Blood Donation and Free Health Check up Camps. In its effort to help the differently abled people of the region, the University has started work to establish an institution for them where the physically challenged ones can avail free academic and vocational education that would help them to make a livelihood. The NSS cell of USTM has organized many rural educational camps in different locations of the North East.
USTM has always been in the front row whenever the subject of women empowerment comes. One of such projects has been the “USTM Driving School for Women” which aims at empowering women, especially those who are economically weak, school dropouts, widows, single mothers and the like by enabling them to earn a living by taking driving as a profession. USTM also announced several media fellowships for journalists of the region. The call for the fellowships will take place towards the end of this month. In 2011, the University opened the International Centre for Gandhian Studies (ICGS) with the purpose of conducting research activities and nurturing the basic philosophy of Gandhiji.
The holistic nature of the approach of USTM is also reflected in the University’s association with the Bachpan Bachao Andolan of Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi who was given a platform to launch the Meghalaya lap of his Bharat Yatra. For the benefit of the students from the region, the University is engaged in regular interaction with media and has been arranging interface of media with academia through educational programmes like “Gyan Darshan” in Pratidin Times, “Gyan Prabah” in Prag Channel and “Gyan Charcha” in Doordarshan Kendra. Moreover, the University has signed different MoUs with premier Universities and Institutions of Eminence from within and outside the nation to encourage faculty development and facilitate students to face real life situation better.
Since its inception in 2011, the University has organized several talks by nationally and internationally acclaimed stalwarts. The annual academic memorial lecture in the memory of APJ Abdul Kalam gives the students an opportunity to listen to top personalities in significant fields. The University has conducted more than 20 National Seminars while more than 400 research papers have been published in various national and international journals. Apart from holding the North East College Principal’s Conclave, USTM has provided career guidance to more than 10,000 students from the North East during its annual flagship event for youth called North East Graduate Congress. More than 10 national level counseling sessions on career opportunities have been organized by USTM for the benefit of students.