| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The key development and implementation steps can be easily seen in the chronology below:-
March 15, 2010
Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Tarun Gogoi declared to establish a Regional Institute of Co-operation and Management
March 31, 2010
Dr. R Zaman, IAS, then Secretary, Co-operation, notified as OSD
May 5, 2010
Hon’ble Chief Minister broadbased the concept and decided to set up the first University of Cooperative Management in the country by the name Assam Rajiv Gandhi University of Co-operative Management
July 17, 2010 University Bill passed by the Assam State Legislative Assembly
September 7, 2010 University Act notified in the official Assam Gazette
September 7, 2010 Govt. of Assam allotted 250 bighas of land at Dimow Pathar,
Sivasagar for the establishment of the University
Aug/Sep, 2010 MoU signed between Govt. of Assam and IIM-Ahmedabad for
developing strategic architecture and blueprint for a roadmap to
build the university as an Institution of Excellence
December 9, 2010 Land handed over to Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Assam
for the University
December 28, 2010 Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Tarun Gogoi laid the foundation stone
of the University at Sivasagar
December 26, 2011 First Vice Chancellor of Assam Rajiv Gandhi University of
Cooperative Management appointed
December 27, 2011 Dr. R.Zaman, IAS (Rtd) assumed charge as the first Vice
Chancellor of the University
February, 2012 UGC gave recognition to the university empowering to award
degrees under section 22 of UGC Act 1956
April 3, 2012 A team of IIM-A made the first presentation of strategic and
academic architecture of the University before the Hon’ble Chief
Minister of Assam
September 1, 2012 The first batch of faculty and non teaching staff appointed
September 10-25, First Faculty Development Programme (FDP) organised at
Sep 24, 2012 First National Conference on “Networking of Co-operative
Organisations for Education”organised at NEDFi convention centre,
October 3, 2012 Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Tarun Gogoi inaugurated the
temporary campus of the University at Sivasagar
Oct 4-6, 2012 First training programme on “Leadership and Change Management
in Co-operatives” organised in the temporary campus of the
July 1, 2013 The first undergraduate course on Cooperative Mnagement to award
degree of BBA(Cooperation) started with 32 students (22 boys and 10
Nov 13, 2013 First Students’ Body formed.
Nov 14-20, 2013 Varsity Week Started on November 14. The first ever
“Cooperative Run” with participation of institutions of Sivasagar
district started. Cultural and sports events organized during the week.
Nov16,2013 First ARGUCOM newsletter released.
Dec5, 2013 The First Industrial Exposure Visit to Borbam Tea Estate, Amguri
Mar 10, 2014 Dr. Asad Rahmani, director of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)
conducted a daylong workshop on ‘Bird Census: Techniques and
Mar 21, 2014 The first Students Exchange Programme organized at Indian
to Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.
April 4, 2014
Sep 9, 2014 The second Verghese Kurien quiz Competition was held.
Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana(RKVY) training for farmers in Cooperative Management, Accounts & Financial Literacy and Information Technology has been started in a big way since July, 2014. Around 3000 farmers are to be trained during 2014-2015 under RKVY.
Between July, 2014 and Mid Oct, 2014 altogether 507 no. of farmers, SHGs and youths have been trained under RKVY.
Second ARGUCOM newsletter released in Mid July, 2014.
On June, 2014, the University was awarded National Education Excellence Award 2014 by Planet Research (with partner World Education Foundation) as the best University of Cooperative Management at New Delhi.
On 8th Aug,2014 the university was presented special jury award for Government sector initiative in education at elects World Education Summit, 2014, New Delhi.(594 words)
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
On 9th Feb,2009, Dr. R. Zaman, IAS(Rtd) and present V.C. of Assam Rajiv Gandhi University of Co-operative Management joined as Secretary to GOA in the department of Co-operation. On careful study and analysis of various aspects of Co-operative movement in the state, he moved the idea of setting up of a regional institute of Co-operative Management in the region. The idea found acceptance not only in the department but also with Chief Minister of Assam who quickly decided to give initial grant of Rs.1crore for setting up the institute at Sivasagar in his budget speech on 15th March, 2010.
However, Dr. R. Zaman as Secretary took up the matter with Sri V.K.Pipersenia,IAS, Principal Secretary to the Department of Co-operation,Assam and decided to take up the matter with Chief Minister for setting up of a University instead of an institute. Chief Minister promptly accepted the idea and agreed.
Dr.R.Zaman was appointed as OSD(Officer on Special Duty) for the University in addition to his duty as Secretary Co-operation. Since then, Dr.Zaman took all the initiatives to prepare a Bill for the University within three and a half months. After lot of hard work, the Assam Legislative Assembly passed the Bill on 17th July,2010. The enactment of the Act of the University and its notification in September,2010 has opened up opportunities to render service to the stakeholders namely Co-operative leaders and farmers, officials acting as regulators and youths to be groomed as professional managers.
An institution cannot be built without the support and blessing of various stake holders. Political heads , officials, Cooperative society members, academicians, economist, social activist, women groups, etc.all supported the move. As a result, things moved very quickly.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
In an initiative of this kind, there is need to mobilize financial, technical and human resources from different sources. On financial front, Hon’ble Chief Minister being convinced provided Rs.1crore under Plan to initiate works for the institution in the budget of 2010-11 under Chief Minister’s innovative scheme. Subsequently, Rs.75lac in 2011-12 and Rs.1. 10crore in 2012-13 were provided under Plan by the State Government. Finance Department has indicated to provide Rs.1.34crore under Non-Plan through supplementary demand in December, 2012. Moreover, for infrastructure development in the allotted land at Sivasagar, a proposal of Rs.50crore has been sent to DoNER with State Government priority list. This fund is likely to come during 2012-13 in which case infrastructure development can be taken up soon.
For technical reasons for the initial works in the temporary rental campus and also at allotted land, Housefed has been roped in. This provided technical support. But in due course, University will set up its own technical wing.
To start with, the Vice-Chancellor has tapped the establishment of RCS for pooling officials to work for the University till regular incumbents can be taken. These tapped officials provide additional support in various works of the University.
One retired official of RCS establishment was also engaged for one year to work as Superintendent cum Cashier. Since new incumbent has been appointed, the retired official will be relieved on 31.12.2012.
Costs involved in mobilizing the resources are as follows:-
Financial- No cost is involved in this particular aspect as funds have been mobilized from the budget of Co-operation department.
Technical- Technical resources from Housefed involves 3% of the project cost. Upto this, A/A of Rs.68 lac to Housefed involves a consultation fee of Rs.2.04 lac i.e. Rs. 68 lac x 3%. Further, the Chief Engineer of Housefed whose services have been placed partially at the disposal of the University is paid Rs.2500 per month.
Human- The retired official engaged since 2nd January, 2012 upto 31.12.2012 has to be paid Rs. 20,000 per month. One computer typist and two peons have been borrowed from the establishment, they are paid some honorarium as follows:-
Computer typist- Rs. 800 per month
Peon (2) - Rs. 500 per month, per person
For organizing functions of the University, resources of RCS establishment and even that of Deputy Commissioner, Sivasagar can be pooled suitably. These mobilizations entail marginal costs.
Initially the university functioned at Guwahati. The temporary campus at Sivasagar, Assam was opened on 3rd Oct’2012. By then, core staff i.e. 6(six) faculties and one official were appointed.
At Sivasagar, one building (Second floor) was taken on rental basis for starting the temporary campus. Later on, hostels for boys and girls were arranged.
In 2014, works started at the permanent site of the university which is just 5.6 km from the Sivasagar town. For the permanent sites, funds from different sources are being pooled. For academic purposes, particularly for training, the university had received funds from National Fishery Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad and RKVY. (497 words)
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
5 concrete outputs- Success of initiation
(i) Earlier Cooperation comes just as a tail of Agriculture without any importance. Now all allied sectors in Assam realize the importance of Cooperation for better success of their schemes. Now Cooperation plays a pivotal role.
(ii) Management- Everybody understands Business management. All IIMs and management institutions produce managers. But the approach is individualistic. As a result, the students without sufficient capital find it difficult to be a professional entrepreneur. With the concept of cooperative management, students develop the mindset of working together. This greatly helps them in setting up enterprises through capital formation.
(iii) Open to farmers- This University by virtue of provisions in the Act of the university is open to farmers for learning. As a result, farmers can have direct interaction with the university. So far, the following number of farmers has been trained by the university.
1. Cooperators- 36 numbers- with participatory contribution from the farmers.
2. Fish farmers- 315 no.- with support from NFDB, Hyderabad.
3. Farmers- men and women/SHGs members/ cooperative members and non members/ youths etc.- 507 till 17th Oct’2014, with support from RKVY programme of Govt of India.
(iv) Co-operative movement- Entire north eastern region of India is weak in cooperative movement. Establishment of the university and its interaction at various levels with professional approach has helped in uplifting the cooperative movement in the region.
(v) Paradigm shift relating to the students/women- The main objective of the university in its regular courses is to create professional managers and entrepreneurs. Because of this prime objective, all students enrolled in Under Graduate course are fully aware that they will be leaders in the form of professional managers or professional entrepreneurs by setting up enterprises and become job creators. This paradigm shift from the concept of job seekers to job creators is significant and highly useful for the growth of the economy.
The success of the initiative has already been recognized The University has bagged the following two awards recently.
1. National education excellence award, 2014 Conferred by Planet Research (with partner World Education Foundation) in June, 2014 as the Best university of Cooperative Management at New Delhi.
2. On 8th Aug, 2014, the university was presented Special Jury award for government Sector Initiative in Education at elets World Education Summit, 2014, New Delhi.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
There are three main areas in a university. They are
For monitoring progress of these activities, there are different Councils and Bodies as specified in the Act of the university. They are Court/ Executive council/ Selection committee/ Legal committee/ Custodian committee, Development and maintenance committee, etc. for administrative activities. More committees like Strategic Perspective committee (SPC) to act as think-tank of the university and Grievance handling and disciplinary actions committee (GHDAC), etc are going to be formed.
For academic activities, we have Board of studies, Academic councils, Examination committee, etc.
For Accounts, we have Finance committee, Purchase Committee, etc.
For evaluation of implementation of strategy, there are standard established Regulatory bodies like UGC, National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC). Apart from that, since the academic architecture and road map of the university are designed by IIM- Ahmedabad, the university would be duty bound to get its strategy implementation evaluated by this premier institute from time to time.
These systems are already in place. Regular meetings of Academic Council, Executive Council & Purchase Committee are held to monitor progress and evaluate implementation of the strategy. (190 words)
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
There were few concerns in the process of establishment of the University:
Sustainability with corpus fund and lean structure
Interface with scholars and co-operators
Research for learning points
Flexibility to progressive courses
However, our conviction was very strong. Initially the greatest hurdle was to convince stakeholders to accept the beautiful idea of having the 1st University of Co-operative Management in the country. Victor Hugo said, ‘Nothing in the world is more powerful than an idea whose time has come’.
The time for University of Co-operative Management has indeed come and its relevance is because of
Long history of Cooperative and failed experience
No stress on education
Openness of economy led to stiff competition
Weaker sections marginalized
Need today is more to infuse cohesiveness among the weak to improve skills
Weak can take part in fast race only in groups and not individually, otherwise development for them will remain a far cry
Many village central activities need collective (legal or otherwise) approach for which they
Need motivation, training and skill development
Regular interface with academicians/scholars needed for the marginalized groups
Research needed to explore ideas/learning/develop modules best suited for cooperators/regulators and leaders-managers, etc.
Legal studies needed for removal of impediments in revamping of cooperative movement
All these obstacles were overcome by drafting of the Bill for the University in a unique way. Some prominent features are:-
Focused for Institution of Excellence
To grow in bits by giving
Stress on quality not quantity
Courses specially designed
Definite target groups like-
(iii) Professional leaders/managers
Collective and Cooperative attitude in all respects since everywhere focus is on individual but weaker sections can march only in groups. (300words)