Published: 17th June 2022
IIIT Basara protests: Lack of faculty, inadequate infra, poor hostel facilities and everything else that plagues students
While the poor quality of the food has been reported as the main reason for the students' protest, the institution is plagued by several other problems like lack of adequate faculty
Through the main gate of the heavily fortified campus of Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge and Technologies (RGUKT), also known as IIIT Basara, a 17-year-old student Jyothi (name changed) walks out with her backpack with tiredness and frustration writ large on her face.
Jyothi, a first-year student pursuing a Pre-University Course (PUC), has been witness to the indefinite protest happening in the university that began on Tuesday. She decided to leave the campus on Thursday, as there is a stalemate between the administration and the students who are demanding better amenities in their institution.
While the poor quality of the food has been reported as the main reason for the students' protest, the institution is plagued by several other problems like lack of adequate faculty, which forced the students to launch an indefinite strike. Jyothi is reconsidering whether she has to go back to her institution.
"I gave up all other options and joined this institution. In less than a month we have exams but because there are not enough faculty members, much of our portions have not been covered. I wonder if I should join some corporate college and complete my studies."
Jyothy is sore over the present faculty as they do not take classes on a regular basis. "There is an acute shortage of faculty for Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry. During online classes, some of the teachers sent pre-recorded educational videos instead of teaching directly. There was no way we could clear our doubts."
Students allege that the faculty-student ratio is completely skewed, impacting their academic career. "Forget the faculty-student ratio, the existing faculty here are also leaving when they get better opportunities. To fill the gap, the administration has been temporarily hiring guest faculty who are also untrained," alleges G Prashanth Reddy, a representative of the newly elected Students Governing Council (SGC).
Prashanth Reddy said that the students are not getting jobs during placements as a result of this. "Students are under-performing in the campus placements. If you take the previous recruitment drive, the average CTC offered to the students was around Rs 3 lakh," he said.
Crammed into rooms like sardines
The institution has increased the intake of PUC students from 1,000 to 1,500 but the facilities and faculty had increased commensurate with it. A student rued, "In hostel rooms meant for two persons, four to five students are being crammed."
The protesting students also complain that the institution has failed to provide them with laptops — an essential prerequisite for their studies.
The girl students complain that the university's health centre does not have the medicines that they need. "This campus has around 60 per cent of female students. Yet, medicines like iron tablets or even basic medicine are not available. Moreover, there is no female physical education teacher for girls," a female student said.
The other demands of the students include posting of a regular Vice-Chancellor, filling all other vacant posts such as director, finance officer, hiring faculty in proportion to the number of students, renovating with hostels, improve the basic amenities.