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Delhi seems like a Distant Dream for students post corona pandemic

The very first thing that we hear from a normal teenager from Northeast today, what do you want to do? Few will have a proper idea, although most will be clear with one thing in their minds – the desire to pursue their higher education such as graduation or post-graduation from Delhi. The heart of the National Capital engulfed with viability from all fronts such as quality education, the style, the charm and basically the geographical reach has ensured spike or upsurge of students from all corners of the country going there to continue their Higher education. Most want to make build their nest there and settle down eventually. Yet the other crux of the sum and substance is that most of the students want a taste of that dream, which they perceieve from the stories they see of other people, mostly their seniors.

However, things now have turned topsy- turvy as the students are in a dilemma all around the globe. In India, many of the major exams or national entrances are scheduled to be conducted in June and July this year. Most of the students still have to appear for some of the subjects of their board examination and there is undoubtedly a cloud of uncertainty looming over which has without an ‘iota of doubt’ made the students anxious, tensed etc which is normal in the current situation. The famous Persian proverb’Hunuz Dilli door dst’ which means Delhi is far away had a historical connotation in the earlier days but now it is used to refer to something which seems to be far away. And yes that exactly is the situation prevailing right now.

The shift from the status quo

The University Grants Commission (UGC) is a statutory parent body, which is a central body under whose ambit the educational institutions in this country operate. There is no doubt a provision for college to college transfer which can be seen with some of the students, usually, some opt for a transfer for various reasons whatsoever. But right now we have to shift the thrust or there will have to be a paradigm shift in the attitude while approaching the educational institutes of Northeast, for example, let us take the example of premier institutes of Guwahati. The first name that appears on everyone’s mouth is Cotton College State University apart from it B Barooah, Pragjyotish college, Handique girls college to name a few. So the natives of Guwhahti usually prefer to migrate to various metros cities across India and abroad to pursue their higher education. And students from various parts of both upper and lower Assam take admissions in the institutes aforementioned which have been a general trend from quite a few decades. One of the reasons could be because of the quality of the institutes, the glamour of living in the metro etc. This year Cotton college State University has opened up various new departments such as Masters in Law(LLM), Sociology department to name a few and have also pulled in adjunct faculties which sends a message loud and clear that the authorities have realized that due to lack of such courses in our institutes the students were compelled to migrate, sometimes out of choice or out of chance.  Apart from that infrastructural changes and enhancement of lab facilities in colleges such as seen in Pragjyotish College has been a sign of positivity and an attempt to revive and make sure that the brightest of minds stay back in their homeland and further turn into future assets for the state as well as for the country. But the problem lies in the very fact that the seats are limited as most of the colleges are very much within the periphery of the city and there is very less scope of further expansion. How to adjust and manage the new admissions and the existing academic sessions will be subject to the prevailing situation. The situation has turned into a stock market situation wherein everything is subject to changing markets and there is a contingency involved, similar is the trauma inflicted by COVID.

Going forward

The mammoth task would be how to go about right from social distancing and hygiene issues while taking admissions, to sitting arrangements keeping in mind the safety, canteen, library access these issues are more than enough to get anybody ‘grey hair’. The authorities should form think tanks, pilot committees to deal with the Catch-22 situation and at least form the committees at the earliest because leaving it for the last moment will invite further tension and chaos. Hopefully, the authorities come up with a solution because youth is the backbone of the nation and this issue should be prioritized, just like efficient ad hoc or interim measures such as online classes, tests, swayam courses are being offered, let us hope for the best and fingers crossed for the future contingencies.   

About the author: He is currently practising as an Advocate in Gauhati High Court, completed graduation in law from National Law University and Judicial Academy Assam. He is also a contributor wirter for Inside Northeast. Interests are playing football, badminton, interested in cooking, discovering new places and going for trekking and into social work.

The views expressed are that of the author

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