The incredible Journey from 1 Computer & 4 Students to University and beyond-The spirit behind building institutions ranging from KG to PG to PhD
Mahbubul Hoque, the Chancellor of University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya and Chairman, Education Research and Development Foundation (ERDF), Guwahati is a visionary educationist and an avowed entrepreneur who has been able to carve a niche in the north-eastern region of India in the field of technical and higher education within a very short period. A winner of several outstanding awards, he has been able to win minds and hearts of many by virtue of his humility and simplicity with the strong belief that every citizen of this country has right to education and his undeterred mission to realise his dream.
EDUCATION & STRUGGLE
Born on December 1, 1973 in a rural family of a remote village Barcharra, Purbogool of PS Patharkandi,Dist Karimganj, Assam , Mahbubul Hoque had a turbulent life since his early childhood, he lost his parents and later his brother in a conspiracy. To maintain his study at a very early age, he started with tuitions of the young children in the vicinity and went to the extent of selling home grown vegetables in the local market. Inspite of all such difficulties he went on with his studies and secured 2nd rank in matriculation from Karimganj, did his 10+2 from GC College Silchar, B.Sc (Hons) with star marks and ultimately Masters in Computer Science (MCA) from prestigious oldest central university AMU in the year 2000 by securing 1st Class 2nd Rank.
HUMBLE BEGINNING AS EDUCATIONAL ENTREPRENEUR
Although he had lucrative job offers from multinationals within the country & abroad, after completing his Masters in Computer Science (MCA), he came back to his native place, started his career as an Educational Entrepreneur with a strong commitment to guide underprivileged rural talents and to contribute in the field of science and technology educational scenario of the North Eastern India.
With only one computer and four students carrying just Rs 85 in his pocket in February 2001, Mahbubul Hoque started a computer training centre under Manipal Group. He did assembling of computers and sold in the market to generate revenue for promotion of computer lab for the trainers. Within 5 years the centre became 2nd largest in the country and received Excellence Award in 5 consecutive times from Manipal. This is just beginning and after that he did not have to look back.
GROWTH & EXPANSION: BUILDING INSTITUTIONS FROM KG TO PG TO PHD
He continued his struggle and succeeded to achieve milestone one after another traversing several impediments to set up the institutions first in Assam and then in Meghalaya with allied educational activities in whole north east India. For further expansion he established Education Research and Development Foundation (ERDF) and under the foundation created a number of pioneer educational institutions in Meghalaya and Assam disseminating quality education from KG to PG to PhD having present enrollment of 7500+ students out of which 20% students belonging to poor meritorious who are getting free education.
HE IS THE FOUNDER OF FOLLOWING INSTITUTIONS:
· University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya
· Regional Institute of Science & Technology, 9th Mile affiliated to NEHU, Shillong & approved by AICTE, New Delhi
· Central Public School-Patharkandi, affiliated to CBSE, New Delhi
· Central Public School-Badrapur, affiliated to CBSE, New Delhi
· Khairun Nessa Begum Women’s College, Badarpur, affiliated to Assam University, Silchar.
· Prof Qoumrul Hoque School of Education, Meghalaya approved by NCTE, New Delhi
· University School of Law & Research, Meghalaya, approved by Bar Council of India, New Delhi
· School of Business Science, Meghalaya, approved by AICTE, New Delhi
· HOQUE-20 and FACC for Civil Service aspirants
· University College of Ayurveda & Research (Upcoming)
· University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Upcoming)
· PA Sangma International Medical College & Hospital (Upcoming)
RESERVATION FOR GIRLS AND FREE EDUCATION FOR POOR MERITORIOUS STUDENTS:
As Mr. Hoque himself was a victim of brutal poverty during his student life, he is always ready to extend his helping hand to the poor meritorious students of the underprivileged rural areas. In his all institutions 50% seats are reserved for girls, 20% seats for poor meritorious students in schools for free education and 15% in colleges and University . Altogether more than 900 students undergoing free/concessional education in its various institutions and they are showing excellent result in final examinations and becoming true alumni ambassador of ERDF. Beside proving free education to poor students, Hoque has taken the challenge of providing education to all Students of Meghalaya by giving 50% concession in the normal fees charged, so that not a single student have to go out of the State of Meghalaya or deprived of higher education.
PAY BACK ON CRACKING COMPETITIVE EXAM:
To encourage the students for competitive examinations, Mr Hoque has decided to return the entire fee from 1st semester to last semester including Admission Fees to the students who qualifies NET, GATE, SLET or any other top level competitive examinations conducted by State & Central Govt. Those who qualify IAS will get an amount of Rs 5,00,000/- (Rupees Five Lakhs) as cash award.
PRODUCING QUALITY and SKILLED HUMAN RESOURCES:Creation of Job Opportunities
He has created avenues of job opportunity for 800 quality manpower in his own institutions whereas another 500 skilled manpower are indirectly associated with different projects of the foundation. More than 20,000 students who passed out are either working in different organizations or doing some courses in different prestigious institutions for specialized studies.
PROMOTING SCIENCE & BUILD NATION: Addressed more than 5 Lakhs Students
He always instigates stakeholders to promote science for the country’s future development. He has developed the platform like Children Talent Fest, Winter Carnivals, Celebration of Science Day, Engineers Day etc only to provide a platform for showcasing the student’s talent and creating a competitive mindset among future students. These all programe have become guiding force for the student’s community ie promoting scientific mindset. Because of this contribution DST, Govt of India has extensively supported for DST Inspire programme for science students to be implement at USTM.
He has interacted more than 5 lakhs students in such occasions and in various schools during their annual festivals. More than 3000 science models have been developed by his institutions in various occasions and some are adopted by institutions like NIT Silchar.
QUALITY RURAL EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO MAKE A DEVELOPED COUNTRY:
Mr Hoque always emphasizes that until and unless rural education is not given the priority India cannot be a developed country as its more that 85% peoples are rural based. Therefore, he has established all his institutions in remote areas of backward district giving the facility of city like institutions and after evaluation it has been reflected that more that 80% students studying are from remote rural areas and getting the vision for NEW INDIA.
ADOPTION OF NEARBY VILLAGES OF USTM
Under Mr Hoque leadership, all the Departments of USTM have adopted a village in the vicinity of the University. The main objective of this unique initiative is to create awareness in issues related to education, health and economy. Special session for training and guidance specially for the village women are conducted by the depts. Many initiatives are taken by USTM to empower the rural folk through various entrepreneurship and skill development training.
I CAN I WILL ACADEMY for Specially Abled:
He has streamlined to set up academy for Physically Challenged boys and Girls of age above 14 years commencing from Boys section first to guide them for various job skills based on their strength. Very soon separate hostel for boys and girls will be established. 35 Boys have been selected to start the journey and 4 of them have been engaged in different department.
CANCER PATIENT HELP DESK at BBCI:
Taking care of distressed, patient and helpless people is the passion of Mr Hoque. Besides all coordination and financial cooperation when emergency arises for such needy people, he has set up linkage with all hospitals and organizations for on time services. He has established a permanent Patient Helpdesk Booth for cancer patients at B Barooah Cancer Institute , Guwahati for which land has been by offered by the institute where official and Social work students were deployed to guide d helpless patients in need. Always there is crowd in front of desk to get benefit out of it.
CONNECTING STUDENTS, CONNECTING SOCIETY
He is the first educational reformist from the region to provide a distinguished platform to all the graduates of the North East Region to voice their concerns and opinions freely by organizing a mega-event called North East Graduate Congress (NEGC) & now this event has attained the status of the largest annual event of youngsters in the entire North Eastern Region organized by USTM under his leadership where more than 10,000 students gathered for 3 days from various colleges to attend various life skill sessions.
Mr Hoque is the architect behind several other flagship events to connect teaching learning community to create a holistic environment like North East College Principals Conclave, North East Teachers Congress, ERDF Talent Fest, North East Law Graduates Conclave and North East Junior College Principals Meet, Talent Fest, Winter Carnivals, Gyan Darshan, Gyan Prabah, Gyan Charcha and ERDF Mobile Library etc. These Unique Events, Solely Conceptualized by Mr Hoque, have established a strong linkage with the institutions, teaching & learning community across the North East region and so stakeholders have designated USTM as a “People’s University”.
MOU SIGNED FOR COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH
It is his passion to promote R & D activities at University of Science & Technology Meghalaya through innovations and thus he took serious step to go for mutual collaborations with other originations/institutions since the inception of the university. On behalf of the university and the foundation he has signed MoU with a number of reputed national & international institutions & organizations such as IIT- Guwahati, JNU, New Delhi, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi, Tezpur University, Gauhati University, University of Dhaka, CSIR-NEIST, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), New Delhi, Uskudar University, Turkey, Faith Sultan Mehmet University, Turkey, Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, Turkey, Selcuk University, Konya, Turkey, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER), Guwahati, NIT, Silchar, National Institute Rural Development (NIRD), North East Space Application Centre (NESAC), Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI), Sri Sri University, Odisha (SSU), Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET), Guwahati, Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) etc.
SEMINARS, CONFERENCE & WORKSHOPS
More than 300 seminars, workshops, conferences, panel discussions and talks have been organized under his patronage to instill and instigate participants towards research which is the principal agenda to for empowerment & developed nation.
PUBLICATIONS: BOOKS AND RESEARCH JOURNALS
Under his patronage 7 research journals have been publishing namely Helix+, Spectra, Binary+, Biz Explorer, Vistas-de-Society, Academia and The Legal Frontier covering thrust areas of various sector of study and research. Number of books have been published so far under his guidance like “Governance for Development: Issues Concerning Northeast India”, “Challenges in Higher Education North East Perspectives”, “Genres of Belief from a Folkloristic Perspective”, “Customary Laws of North East India Practice and Prevalence”, “Challenges in Sustainable Resource Management and Way Forward”, “ Drug Discovery form Natural Products and Their Traditional Uses”, “ Emerging Issues in Business, Management and Economics”, “Turn Mirrors into Windows Rhetoric of Act East Policy and Beyond”, “Raise with East Vistas of Indian Cooperation with South East Asian Commerce, Culture Capacity and Connectivity”, “Emerging Trends in Business ion & Economic Development in India with Reference to north-Eastern Region” etc to name some.
EMINENT VISITORS on HIS REQUEST
Former President Late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, ISRO Chairman Dr AS Kiran Kumar, UGC Chairman Prof Ved Prakash, AICTE Chairman Prof SS Mantha, Association of Indian Universities Secretary General Prof Furqan Qamar, Governor of Meghalaya, Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal , Chief Ministers of Meghalaya and Assam, All Vice Chancellors of Universities of north East including JNU, University of Mumbai, BHU, Calcutta University , IIT Guwahati and several eminent Scientists and dignitaries of international repute have graced various important occasions/conferences on the invitation of Mr M Hoque. More than 2000 reputed academicians visited the campus to grace the seminar and other events. Everyone have appreciated and later extended their fullest cooperation for the growth of his dream university USTM. Today it has achieved the strength that USTM is the best self financed university in the whole region.
ALLIED WELFARE ACTIVITIES
In addition to the above, Mr Hoque has initiated numerous other welfare activities such as Scholarships, Endowment Funds to give shelter to widow lady/unmarried girls and to promote microfinance and entrepreneurship, Emergency medical treatment for weaker sections of society, Interest free Loans, Marriage Loans, Awareness Campaigns & Rallies/Street Plays, Relief drives etc.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS:
· Visionary Edupreneur 2017 Award bestowed on Mahbubul Hoque by Rethink India and which was handed over by Sri Manish Sisodia, the honourable Deputy Chief Minister of New Delhi in the presence of the former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. Sri Hoque has been the first person from the North East India to receive this honour.
· Received the prestigious "NEDFi Award 2015" from Shri B P Muktieh, the Chairman and Managing Director of NEDFi under Ministry of Finance on August 9, 2015.
· Maulana Azad Memorial Award 2016 bestowed on Mahbubul Hoque by Barak Education Society , Silchar
· KRITI SYLHETI Award 2016 was conferred on Mahbubul Hoque as recognition of his contribution for ushering harmonious co-existences of multiple cultures that prevails in all the institutions running under his chairmanship.
· Aligarh Movement Award – 2015 has been conferred to Mr. Mahbubul Hoque, Hon’ble Chancellor of the University of Science & Technology Meghalaya and Chairman, ERDF, on 19th Oct,2015 in a glittering function at India International Centre, New Delhi.
· Received Educlusion Award at Re-engineering India Summit-2014 held at Singapore from Prof. Thomas L Magnanti, President of Singapore University of Technology & Design on the occasion of Engineers’ Day.
· Felicitated at Chicago, USA by Federation of Aligarh Alumni Associations in their thirteenth convention
· Awarded with the prestigious “Edupreneur Award” by Engineering Watch from Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development at the Engineers’ Conclave 2013
· Received SMU Excellence Award from Cricket Capatain Anil Kumble when Central IT College was ranked 2nd in all over India for consecutive 5 years.
MISSION and VISION AHEAD: MEGHALAYA AS A GLOBAL DESTINATION OF EDUCATION
Mahbubul Hoque has a strong determination to continue his mission of spreading education to every nook and corner of the North Eastern region of India. Under the VISION 2025, the ERD Foundation has a plan of establishing a number of institutions for the uplift of education especially in the rural areas of Meghalaya and Assam, some of the upcoming projects includes 10 more CBSE affiliated schools in rural backward places, 5 B Ed colleges, Medical College & Hospital with all allied healthcare institutions and to materialize all plans ERDF will collaborate with likeminded persons and organisations on an ongoing basis.
He has set up milestones to make USTM as one of the best in the country by 2025 and by 2030 as World Class University facilitating state of Meghalaya as global education destination by attracting students and scholars from all over the world and nurturing local youths creating a global community.
ERD Foundation, ERDF Bhawan, Lalmati Road, Bhetapara, Guwahati-28
Present Residential Address: