Gurugram’s first State university comes as boon to many

Gurugram University in sector 51 in Gurugram on Saturday.

Gurugram University in sector 51 in Gurugram on Saturday.  

While students complain of poor connectivity, the V-C says he has written to Haryana Roadways to start shuttle services from metro stations, bus stand

The opening of Gurugram University, the first Haryana government varsity in the district, has come as a boon for Shubham, a teenager from Rajendra Park here. He has enrolled in the five-year integrated Masters of Commerce programme.

“Before this University opened, the only option for students seeking admission in government-run higher education institutes was Dronacharya Government College on New Railway Road. It cannot cater to the growing number of students and does not enjoy a good reputation. Since getting into Delhi University is not easy either, the only option left was private universities that charge exorbitant fees,” said the 18-year-old.

His batchmate Priya felt the same. The Arjun Nagar resident said she had joined Gurugram University with high expectations and was largely satisfied in light of the fact that the institute was barely two-month-old.

Classes for different courses at Gurugram University started on August 16 at its makeshift campus at Rao Tula Ram College of Science and Commerce in Sector 51 here. Gurugram University’s campus will come up at Kakrola village in Sector 85. Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma had inaugurated the construction work in July.

Nikhil Sharma, who has enrolled in the five-year MBA (Integrated) programme, said classrooms did not have ACs and Wi-Fi services as promised. However, the 19-year-old said, the faculty was “good” and classes, which started a little late, were being held regularly. He said the mandatory 75% attendance forced students to be regular.

As of now, a majority of Gurugram University students come from rural areas, including Jharsa, Wazirabad, Rajender Nagar, Arjun Nagar and Panchgaon.

A few of them also belong to Delhi, and neighbouring Faridabad and Bahadurgarh.

Eighteen-year-old Shubhi, a first-year student of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, pointed out that poor connectivity remained a big issue for students like her, who travel long distances daily.

The Faridabad resident travels in the metro, taking a long detour through Delhi, to reach the university.

“I take an autorickshaw till the university from HUDA City Centre metro station. I shell out ₹540 daily on the journey from home to the university and back. My parents feel travelling by bus between Faridabad and Gurugram is unsafe,” she said.

Bachelors of Technology student Aditi faced the same difficulty. However, she decided to stay with relatives to avoid the daily hassle.

Bachelors of Pharmacy student Neha, a resident of Panchgaon, rued that she was not lucky to have relatives in Gurugram and the fact that hostel facilities at the university are yet to start.

“I am waiting for the hostel to open,” said Neha.

No place for recreation

A few students also pointed out that they did not have a designated space to spend time with friends since the canteen was non-functional. Claiming that regular faculty members had not been appointed, some students said all staff members were hired on contractual basis.

Vice-Chancellor Markanday Ahuja told The Hindu that the university has 30 sanctioned posts, including six professors, for regular faculty, but the recruitment process was put on hold after the Ministry of Human Resource Development filed a Special Leave Petition challenging the University Grants Commission’s new formula for calculating reservation in teaching positions.

UGC letter

“The process was put on hold after we received a letter from the UGC,” said Mr. Ahuja, adding that 28 resources persons have been hired on contract, including retired IAS officers.

The biggest challenge before him when he was appointed the V-C in March was to start classes this year, he said.

“Against all odds, we started the session on August 16. Some of our courses, such as Bachelors of Pharmacy, Bachelors of Physiotherapy, Masters of Commerce [Integrated] and Engineering, evoked a tremendous response. Intake for some of these courses was increased,” he said.

Conceding that connectivity was an issue, he said the university has written to Haryana Roadways to start shuttle services for students from metro stations and the bus stand. Mr. Ahuja added that the hostel — with 120 seats each for boys and girls — will start from the second semester.

“We had decided not to open the hostel in the first semester,” said Mr. Ahuja, who is also the V-C for Rewari’s Indira Gandhi University.

Stating that construction for Gurugram University’s campus was on track, he hoped that classes for the next session will be held on its own campus. Mr. Ahuja said the university was still in its infancy but he aimed to develop it into a “university with a difference”.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 11:13:59 AM |

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