The five-day old BJP government of Pema Khandu in Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday decided to table a proposal in the state assembly’s budget session to remove the Rajiv Gandhi tag from the state’s first university and rechristen it as Arunachal University. The first cabinet meeting that took place on Wednesday after the PPA government converted into a BJP government in the state on Saturday, referred the matter of renaming the Rajiv Gandhi University to its original nomenclature to the ensuing budget session for discussion, a government press release issued in Itanagar said.
Established as Arunachal University after then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi laid its foundation stone at Rono Hills near Itanagar in 1984, the first university of the frontier state was renamed as Rajiv Gandhi University in 2005. In 2007 it was converted into a central university. While there have been demands on several occasions to rename it as Arunachal University, the latest demand came from the students’ union of the university itself, which, in a memorandum to chief minister Pema Khandu on August 22, 2016 pressed for restoring its original name.
“The University has its own history and uniqueness with collective reflection of harmony, and the people of Arunachal Pradesh have historical and emotional connectivity with the name Arunachal University,” the students’ union had said.