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Updated: January 9, 2014 00:43 IST

Manuu campus is now Wi-Fi enabled

J. S. Ifthekhar
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On the eve of its 16 foundation day, the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (Manuu) has gone hitech with the entire campus becoming Wi-Fi-enabled. It is one of the few central varsities to install a secured data network at its premises.

However, the huge expenditure involved – about Rs. 7 crore – is raising eyebrows in many quarters. While the amount was spent for providing connectivity to a 200-acre campus, the University of Hyderabad (UoH) had spent a similar sum for its 2,000-acre campus. Moreover, the National Informatics Centre (NIC), which executed the project, took more than a year to install Wi-Fi, faculty members claimed on condition of anonymity.

The purchase order was issued by Manuu on January 23, 2013 and NIC was supposed to complete the project within 90 days from the date of receipt of the order. But it is only recently that the Wi-Fi installation was completed, they allege. However, Abdul Wahid, who heads Manuu’s IT cell, said the expenditure incurred by the university was as per the rate quoted by NIC, a government agency.

“Moreover, MANUU has gone for WiFi-Wimax technology, which is advanced and connects building to building. The UoH doesn’t have this kind of technology,” Dr. Wahid explained.

While admitting the inordinate delay in completion of the project, he claimed Manuu had levied penalty on the NIC for not sticking to the deadline.

Privacy breach?

With Wi-Fi in place, Manuu has issued guidelines for staff and students on the use of internet. As per the new internet policy, one has to sign a declaration form before January 10 to obtain the username and password.

The guidelines, which contain a long list of ‘illegal activities’, have apparently irked many of the staff. “There is no privacy now in the use of computers, including email,” a professor said. To this, Dr. Wahid said it was the university’s prerogative to monitor internet activity. “The facility is for enhancing teaching skills and knowledge. But the university reserves the right to monitor all computer and internet activity.”

More In: Hyderabad

Campus WiFi is absolutely essential in modern-day higher education. Students must
be able to remain connected to the Internet in order to conduct essential research,
interact with their professors, keep in contact with home and, of course, organize
and socialize. I laud India's universities for their efforts.

from:  Daniel Kurz
Posted on: Jan 9, 2014 at 18:40 IST

I think WiFi is not that much costly and for 200 Acres 7 crores spending creates doubts in the minds that all is not well and there is no transparency in the system. The MANUU administration should clear the doubts of the people.

from:  Mudassir
Posted on: Jan 9, 2014 at 17:07 IST

Is WiFi was needed to our Institution which has all ready internet connectivity in the whole campus is a matter of question. The cost of WiFi connectivity is at least 10 times higher compare to UOH where is students are denied the right dues - Lets Think About It.

from:  Akbar
Posted on: Jan 9, 2014 at 16:56 IST

It is good that MANUU has become wifi but at the much higher cost denying the utility of the use of internet by putting restriction on the use of internet. By ending the privacy fruits cannot be reaped

from:  sanaismail
Posted on: Jan 9, 2014 at 16:48 IST

I'm happy to see this news that MANUU has become WiFi but the expenses comparable to other universities are a matter of worry that requires some probe and the curbing of privacy of the internet users is against the fundamental freedom of expression.

from:  Ramiz Talha Dani
Posted on: Jan 9, 2014 at 16:41 IST
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