Delhi

Teething troubles hit JNU engineering school

NEW DELHI, 23/10/2017: A view of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Administrative Block, in New Delhi on Monday.
Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

NEW DELHI, 23/10/2017: A view of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Administrative Block, in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

BTech students make do with ‘makeshift’ infrastructure

A section of BTech students from the newly opened School of Engineering at Jawaharlal Nehru University have alleged that despite the university charging over ₹60,000 per semester they are forced to deal with “makeshift” infrastructure and do not have facilities essential for their learning.

On condition of anonymity, the students alleged, “Our classes currently take place at the JNU Convention Centre, which is used for several other programmes every day. We have no dedicated labs and do not have computers allotted to us. Some of us have to rely on our personal devices.”

Library lacks books

They added that one of the problems most detrimental to their learning was the fact that the JNU Central Library does not have any books on engineering.

“The books are very expensive. Already for this semester we have spent ₹2,000-₹3,000 on books as there is no library and we will have to spend the same next semester as well. There is a book for environmental studies that costs ₹6,000. We are coping by downloading e-books,” said a student.

Another student said many of the students have started preparing for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) next year as the administration has not been able to give them a timeline on when the infrastructure will be in place.

Reacting to the allegations, Dean of School of Engineering Ramesh Kumar Agrawal expressed disbelief that the students had complained against the infrastructure provided.

Dean refutes charges

“Yes, there is temporary infrastructure but I met the students only this [on Tuesday] afternoon. None of them have ever raised these issue with me. We haeve scheduled meetings, in which students can come and speak about any grievances but nobody has made any complaint so far. Perhaps, the allegations were made by students from some other school,” he said.

The Dean added that the faculty at the school are PhD holders and that infrastructure at JNU, that includes labs, is perhaps better than many of the IIITs and NITs in the country.

JNUSU’s concerns

When JNU started the programme, the students’ union and many teachers had expressed concern on how the school could start without a building, hostels and funding. JNUSU president N. Sai Balaji said the union will back the students and ensure they get necessary facilities.

“Without proper infrastructure in place, the JNU administration has introduced this course in a hurry and in the process caused irreparable damage to the career of many students,” Mr. Balaji said.

The School of Engineering offers a five-year dual degree programme in two streams — Computer Science Engineering and Electronics and Communications — that began admitting students in July based on the rank in JEE (Main). There are currently 104 students at the school.

JNU had launched the course this year saying that with specialisation in social science/ humanities/ science/ technology, an engineering graduate will be able to perform better in the modern world, where understanding of various aspects of economics, commerce, history, politics and linguistic ability was becoming increasingly desirable for a successful career. It had hoped that students graduating with these unique programmes will have a competitive edge in their entrepreneurial skills as well as job opportunities.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 9:53:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/teething-troubles-hit-jnu-engineering-school/article25173490.ece

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