Assam's Cotton University withdraws decision to lease property

Priyanka Chakrabarty

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Guwahati: The Cotton College State University authorities have withdrawn a May 13 notification about space allocation in the University premises with "immediate effect" after the state government's intervention.

A copy of the revocation notice, which has been approved by the Vice Chancellor, is available with Business North East. Cotton University in Assam had decided to lease its campus land to boost revenue generation amid financial challenges.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is also an alumnus of Cotton College, has firmly opposed the idea. “Cotton College University carries the rich legacy of Cotton College. The Assam Government will not allow outsourcing its properties to any private individuals or organisations. The University authority must stop any such exercise immediately," Sarma posted on X (formerly Twitter) as the news triggered a controversy.

Cotton College was established in 1901 by Sir Henry Stedman Cotton, Chief Commissioner of the former British province of Assam.

Former students, including Gopinath Bordoloi, Mahendra Mohan Chowdhury, Sarat Chandra Sinha, Jogendra Nath Hazarika, Hiteswar Saikia, and Bhumidhar Barman, have gone on to become Chief Ministers of the state. 

Meanwhile, opposition leader Akhil Gogoi expressed sadness over the university's financial struggles and raised concerns over the identity of the external parties involved in leasing the university land.

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Priyanka Chakrabarty