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Space crunch stalls law cradle plans

Ranchi, Nov. 8: The pressure on National University for Study and Research in Law (NUSRL) to set up a new campus on the jinxed site in Nagri has mounted further with BIT-Mesra declining its request for more classrooms to accommodate a fresh batch of students in the next academic session.

NUSRL vice chancellor A.K. Koul said BIT-Mesra — the law university’s functions from the tech institute’s Polytechnic Campus — refused to offer additional classrooms citing space crunch.

Koul feared that with villagers continuing to stake claim over the disputed land in Nagri, having demolished a portion of a boundary wall of the proposed campus of NUSRL last week, they might have to halt admissions in 2013.

“We were hopeful that some infrastructure will be set up in Nagri by June 2013, but under the current scenario it seems a distant dream,” Koul, an acclaimed academic with teaching stints abroad, told The Telegraph.

Echoing him, dean of faculty of the university Alok Gupta said, “We had requested the BIT-Mesra authorities in October. If more classrooms are not made available, we will be forced to stop admissions for the 2013-14 session.”

NUSRL had sought at least four additional rooms to take in 100 students who are due to be admitted for the five-year integrated BA LLB (honours) programme.

So far, NUSRL has enrolled 248 students in three years, with a first batch of 48 in 2010, followed by successive batches of 100 each in 2011 and 2012.

As a stopgap measure, it has been allotted five classrooms, a small library and two other rooms that function as the administrative and vice chancellor’s offices at BIT-Mesra’s Polytechnic Campus.

The 22 faculty members lounge in two rooms that are open for the staff when no classes are held. Around 30 employees in administrative and accounts sections make do with one room.

“The students at present are forced to study in the corridors and near the gates as the library can accommodate only around 25 at a time,” Gupta added.

The university has also been allotted a block at Khelgaon, the National Games Housing Complex, that is being used as a boys’ hostel. A private apartment, Sarita Vihar, shelters girls.

When NUSRL was allotted land at Nagri in May 2011 followed by a foundation stone laying ceremony, the authorities felt a permanent campus would take shape in two to three years.

However, the only progress is a boundary wall, that too at a snail’s pace amid protests by villagers who vandalised a portion on November 1, seemingly in retaliation to a Jharkhand High Court fiat to deploy extra security personnel at the site a day earlier.

NUSRL has been allotted 63 acre of the 227-acre disputed plot in Nagri that is also slated to house new premises of Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) and IIM-Ranchi.

The law university admits students screened through the mandatory CLAT (common law admissions test). The admission process starts from December.

At the time of its inception, NUSRL authorities had aimed to gradually raise its seats per batch to 150, but the plan is also on hold.


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