Education Minister assures Gorkhas of addressing its literary & educational issues
Assam Education Minister Dr. Ranoj Pegu with ANSS delegation.

Guwahati: The Assam government will look into the issues faced by the Nepali-speaking community of Assam, said Dr Ranoj Pegu, Minister of Education, Welfare of Plain Tribe & Backward Classes (non-BTC), Government of Assam

Pegu said this during a meeting with a delegation from the Assam Nepali Sahitya Sabha (ANSS) – the apex literary organisation of the Nepali-speaking Gorkha community of Assam. 

The Himanta Biswa Sarma-led Assam government is working with the motto of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Bikash and Sabka Biswas’, said Pegu. 

Gorkhas being an integral part of greater Assamese society, their issues are being resolved phase-wise: from the political issue of correction of D Voters of genuine Indian citizens to providing the protected class status and land rights in tribal belt and block as reserved in the Assam Land and Revenue Regulation Act 1886, said the ANSS. 

“We will resolve the educational and literary issues of Gorkhas as soon as possible,” Dr Pegu told the delegation as stated by Dr Chintamoni Sharma, Working President, ANSS.

ANSS has submitted a memorandum to all departments concerned of the government since 2013 to include Nepali in the State Eligibility Test (SET) by the State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) Commission. It is worth mentioning that the Nepali language (Gorkha Bhasa) has been included in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution since Aug 20, 1992, but this language has not got due recognition in comparison to those which are in the same schedule.

“Many posts of Assistant Professor in Nepali in colleges of Assam have fallen vacant owing to superannuation of teachers working in these posts but the candidates with a good result in M.A. in Nepali are not allowed to apply for the vacant position due to non-clearance of NET /SET. As students in other subjects get an opportunity to appear in SET but the same opportunity is not provided to students of NE states for Nepali subjects. This is sheer injustice to Gorkha students of North East’ said Bhabani Prasad Sarma, Vice President of ANSS. 

Madan Thapa, who was inducted as General Secretary of the organisation in the 4th central executive meeting of ANSS, said the education minister was appraised with the details about the long-standing issues of ANSS and after threadbare discussion with the delegates and the respective officials, Dr Ranoj Pegu assured of inclusion of Nepali Subject in SET by SLET Commission of N.E.Region (Assam) from 2023.

The ANSS delegation also appealed to the Education minister to incorporate Gorkha litterateurs of Assam in the ‘Sahityik’ (Literary) pension award who have immense contributions to the Nepali and Assamese literature. “In 2021-22, not a single litterateur belonging to the Gorkha community was enlisted for the award. ANSS delegation requested the education minister to include the members of this community in the coming years for the award to which Dr Ranoj Pegu assured the team that he would look into the matter seriously and reward the deserving ones,” said Durga Khatiwora president of ANSS while confirming developments. “Besides the above, we also emphasised that the vacant post of Assistant Professors in the Nepali language should be filled by giving fixed pay to the incumbents till they qualify SET in the subject’, asserted Khatiwora.

Also read | Mizoram and Assam to hold CM-level talks on border dispute

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