Feb. 1. – Thanks to forthcoming Assembly elections, plans are afloat to grant recognition to the 225-year-old Calcutta Madrasah College. In the coming days, the state higher education minister is expected to make an announcement about granting university affiliation to the institution founded by Warren Hastings. The state government has also promised a sum of Rs 4,80,000 for modernisation of the institution, which begins its 225th anniversary celebrations from 14 February.
The college, until now languishing in neglect and government apathy, will seek recognition for its undergraduate courses from Calcutta University. With this recognition, the college will come to be governed under University Grants Commission rules and be entitled to funds from the Central funding agency.
The syllabus and curriculum will soon be updated. Undergraduate courses will run for a duration of three years instead of the current two-year course. Following CU rules, students will now study English, Bengali and environmental studies. Beside theological studies, students will be offered a choice of subjects ranging from Islamic history, philosophy and political science to economics. A computer centre will be set up to improve employment opportunities for students who pass out.
Existing teaching posts will be upgraded according to UGC guidelines and 16 new posts will be created to teach the undergraduate courses. The stalemate over recruitment for principal’s post will also be resolved. The school, which is on the college premises, will be shifted out. And Elliot Hostel, now under the control of Maulana Azad College, will be restored to Calcutta Madrasah. The state government has also promised to work on electrifying the school as students spent almost a year without any power supply in classrooms.
“Once recognised by CU, Calcutta Madrasah will be at par with other government colleges. The new governing body has taken steps to seek recognition and this will help sort out a host of other problems,” said a higher education official. However, students are keeping their fingers crossed. “We’re hoping it’s not just an election gimmick,” one of them said.
Anindita Chowdhury in Kolkata, The Statesman, Culcutta.