Published: 20th August 2020
Pondicherry University gets Rs 206 crore funding to construct new hostels, revamp infrastructure
This grant will be utilised for the development of Pondicherry Main campus, Karaikal and Andaman campuses
In a much-needed infusion of funds, Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA), MHRD has sanctioned a sum of Rs 206.94 crore for construction of new buildings and add-on buildings for academic departments, lecture hall complex, hostels for men and women students, research centres, staff quarters, etc, to name a few. In addition, the UGC has also requested Pondicherry University to submit proposals to HEFA for additional grants to a tune of Rs 90 crore for the construction of new buildings for Departments of Food Science, Performing Arts, Lecture Hall complex for community college, Students Amenity Centre-cum-Internet Access Centre, and for campus development like repairing and maintenance of roads, academic buildings, compound walls, etc. and upgrading of the existing infrastructure.
This grant will be utilised for the development of Pondicherry Main campus, Karaikal and Andaman campuses. In the Pondicherry University main campus, existing buildings will be strengthened with additional space, additional boys and girls hostels, additional staff quarters and state of the art Animal House Facility. In Karaikal campus, a new hostel will be added. In Andaman campus also, a men’s New hostel will be added, the varsity said in an official press release.
The Vice-Chancellor of PU Prof Gurmeet Singh stated that in line with the New Education Policy 2020, "The syllabi for all the academic programmes are being revised as per New Curriculum guidelines are given by UGC, duly updating and making industry-friendly. Also, steps are being taken to introduce online academic programs for those who could not enrol in on-campus programmes, whereby more number of student fraternity will get benefitted by this offline academic programmes."
The students though are not too pleased or assured that this will help them. Parichay Yadav, President of the PU Students' Council said, "The 206.94 crore grant should be spent on knowledge dissemination and not just brick and mortar to make money out of it."
At present, nearly 50,000 students are applying for the on-campus programmes, out of which only 3000 students are being admitted every year. Already, in a first in India, PU successfully implemented the Student Academic Management System (SAMS) and Research Scholars Academic Management System (RAMS) whereby all academic and administrative processes are totally operated using online means, in an integrated manner with efficient and time-bound processes. He also added that steps were being taken to provide at least two smart classrooms for each department-fitted with cameras and mike to telecast lectures live in the University’s website and also be recorded for future reference, by coordinating with the School of Media and communication of this University.
This will benefit the university in two ways – enabling students anytime and anywhere to produce better learning outcomes and creating a large academic database for online teaching and archives. To upgrade the campus to international standards, more MoUs with foreign universities and institutes are being envisaged for student and faculty exchange programs, research extension activities, etc.