The Promoter: ERD Foundation
Education Research & Development Foundation (ERDF) was founded by Mahbubul Hoque in 2005 at Guwahati, Assam, India. Within a remarkably short period, the Foundation was able to establish several quality educational institutions, including the University of Science & Technology Meghalaya.ERDF emphasizes on the development of the weaker sections of the society through proper education targeted towards attainment of self reliance and self sufficiency. The focus is on education and its application towards societal development and uplift with emphasis on research orientation and application. The ERDF group of institutions now include one university - University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya (USTM), one engineering college namely Regional Institute of Science & Technology (approved by AICTE); one NCTE recognised B Ed College; one BCI approved Law College; one AICTE approved Business School; one University College of Physiotherapy; one Women's College; one Centre for Coaching & Guidance; one Education Rehabilitation Centre and two CBSE affiliated Schools.
With a mission of providing quality education from KG to PG and PhD, the ERDF institutions have currently students’ strength of 9,000 plus out of which more than 20 per cent come from underprivileged backward classes who avail free education in each of the institutions. There are more than 800 teaching fraternity as well as other human resources shouldering their responsibility as partners in progress for all the institutions to fulfil Mission ERDF. Nearly 11,000 students have so far passed out from the different ERDF institutions out of which more than 9,000 alumni are doing jobs or running their own business. At present, ERDF institutions have 63 courses, 36 Departments and 7 Research Journals.
Today, ERDF has emerged as a premier education network in North East India. In 2007, the Regional College of Higher Education was set up in Guwahati—the first college affiliated to the oldest Central University of the region, the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. It created a niche by excelling and getting top positions in all the examinations conducted by NEHU.
In 2008, a Central Public School with CBSE affiliation was established in Patharkandi, a rural border area of Karimganj district. This school is providing quality education to the deprived and underprivileged children of the rural areas at an affordable cost.
ERDF started a state of the art engineering college in 2009, named Regional Institute of Science & Technology (RIST). The college has been approved by AICTE, New Delhi and affiliated to NEHU, Shillong. It is located at 9th Mile, Baridua and offers B Tech courses in six branches. This institute has emerged as one of the very few institutions of the region with world class infrastructure and facilities.
On 21 January 2010, Sri R S Mooshahary, Hon’ble Governor of Meghalaya, inaugurated the Central Public School, Badarpur—another feather to the wings of ERDF. This is the 2nd CBSE affiliated school of ERD Foundation and has been set up in Umarpur, near the Badarpur town in Assam. It was in 2011 that the most ambitious project of ERDF, the University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) was set up in Ri-Bhoi District of Meghalaya. Established under the provisions of the University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya Act (No. 6 of 2008) enacted by Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya and notified vide Gazette Notification No LL(B)87/2008/21, dated 02.12.2008 of Government of Meghalaya, the University is empowered by the University Grants Commission to award degrees as specified by the UGC under section 22 of the UGC Act, 1956. USTM offers UG, PG courses & PhD under its different schools. The ‘Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Centre for Coaching and Guidance (FACC)’ and ‘HOQUE 20’ are initiatives of ERD Foundation towards capacity building of young graduates aspiring for IAS, Bank PO, GATE, NET & other competitive examinations conducted by UPSC and different Government agencies. In order to break the barriers in female education, especially for the downtrodden rural women from minority communities, ERD Foundation decided to set up Khairun Nessa Begum Women’s College at Badarpur in 2015. The College is affiliated to Assam University, Silchar and offers Degree Courses with major in English, Economics, Political Science, History and Bengali.
The Foundation has hosted a large number National and International Seminars, Conferences and Workshops on significant and relevant topics. For initiating different Research and Development activities, ERDF has already signed MoUs with different National and International organisations. ERDF also set up a Centre for Educational Rehabilitation to take care of different strife affected students irrespective of caste or community to bring about peace, unity and harmony through education.
Apart from these, the Foundation has initiated lots of other welfare activities such as free education to poor meritorious students, scholarships, endowment funds, fellowships, emergency treatment and medical assistance for poor, interest free loans, awareness campaigns and rallies, street plays, relief drives, etc.
ERDF has a strong determination to continue with its mission of spreading education to all nooks and corners of the region. It has a vision to establish number of institutions for the uplift of education especially in the rural areas. Some of the upcoming projects include, 10 more CBSE affiliated schools in rural backward places of the north-eastern region of India, five more B. Ed Colleges, a Medical College and Hospital with all Allied Health Colleges, one Educational TV Channel, one Newspaper with English and Bengali edition that would highlight education.