UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY MEGHALAYA
Empowering Dreams, Shaping Futures
USTM is holding its 9th Convocation on August 31, 2023. Among others Shri Phagu Chauhan, Governor of Meghalaya; Visitor, USTM, Ministers from Meghalaya and Assam several Vice Chancellors of reputed Universities and top most educational institutions from different fields from North East and other parts of the country will be gracing the mega event.
By C K Nayak
Nestled at the foothills of Ri Bhoi, between Shillong and Guwahati, the University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM) is the first State Private University in the whole North Eastern region and also the largest one among the higher educational institutes. Within ten years of its functioning since 2011, USTM earned the esteemed accreditation rating of “A Grade”; by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council in 2021. It also gained recognition as one of the top 200 universities in India according to the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) in 2022 & 2023.
In January 2023, USTM was declared a “Centre of Excellence” by the Resource Centre for United Nations – NER. Established through the University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya Act, 2008, of the State Government, it was founded by Mahbubul Hoque, a visionary edupreneur. The University has many academic units, including the School of Biological Sciences, School of Applied Science, School of Social Science and Humanities, School of Technology and Management, School of Business Sciences, Prof. Qoumrul Hoque School of Education, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Allied Medical Sciences, University School of Law and Research, School of Language and Culture. Establishment of the unique “I Can I Will Academy” serves as a residential academy, meticulously designed to cultivate the abilities of differently-abled individuals. Here, they are equipped with essential job skills that align with their unique strengths.
Moreover, the academy extends its reach to those who excel in the realms of sports and culture, tailoring its curriculum to accommodate their demanding schedules. While the Shillong, Tura and Ri-Bhoi Medical Colleges were announced this month USTM has already started construction of a medical college and hospital within the university premises. The PA Sangma International Medical College and Hospital will have standardslike Apollo Hospital and there will be 50 percent charity beds for the poor. The university plans to accommodate full-strength students from the North Eastern states, especially Meghalaya, in the medical college. When completed it will be a grand success story and a milestone in the hill state, which enjoys 50 years of statehood.
The inception of IA Ayurvedic College and University Hospital of Ayurveda and Naturopathy is another crown added within the USTM campus. To promote research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and development activities, USTM has signed more than 300 MoUs with many reputed national and international institutions, industry, corporate, famous NGOs. This is to engage the university teaching- learning community in such a way so that they will be conversant to adopt any situations and overcome challenges in their academic, research, social and professional career through collaborative assignments.
Like all other fields, education has become a money spinner. But not USTM. USTM has a unique “Pay Back Policy”, which probably no other university has. The policy is practically paying back students their entire course fee if they clear national and state-level competitive exams like NET, GATE, SLET, Civil Services. In total so far Rs 1.3 crores have been returned to students as rewards under its payback policy—a best practice of USTM. Its neighbourhood outreach activities cover a nearly 30 km radius of the campus and the children of the area are getting free education at USTM. Each Department has adopted a village near the university. The idea behind such steps is aimed to make the students become more competitive and motivated. According to Chancellor Mahbubul Hoque, USTM is committed to its assurance that no brilliant student should be deprived of pursuing higher education only because of financial incapability.
Most of the top educationists and scientists have graced the USTM on some occasion or the other including the former President Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, ISRO Chairman Dr. A S Kiran Kumar, Governors and Chief Ministers of the North Eastern states. This reputed university is headed by Prof (Dr) Gauri Dutt Sharma, as the Vice Chancellor. A renowned educationist Dr Sharma is also now the President of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), the largest such association of universities in India.
As per results declared in 2023, as many as 64 students from the university have cleared top competitive examinations of UGC, CSIR NET, and SLET. NET-Forum is an integral component of its Centre for Competitive Examination and has been functioning successfully since 2017. The USTM’s successful journey has not gone unnoticed. Recently, inaugurating a block in the university in his name, veteran leader Dr D D Lapang said, “I recall that very day when this place resembled a desolate wasteland. Now it stands proudly as a thriving educational hub. Through his vision, unwavering determination and boundless ambition, a single individual has brought about this remarkable transformation,” the former Chief Minister said about the Chancellor.
The future roadmap of USTM encompasses Research and Extension activities focussing on rural education and achieving its milestones. These milestones have been set to make USTM one of the best in the country by 2025 and by 2030 a World Class university facilitating the state of Meghalaya as a global education destination by attracting students and scholars from across the world and nurturing local youths creating a global community.