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Govt ear to cradle crises

- Team to meet officials today

A BIT-Sindri delegation will meet top officials of the science and technology department in Ranchi on Tuesday in a bid to draw government attention to gnawing problems like teacher crunch at the lone state-run engineering institute of Jharkhand.

The meeting is the result of a visit of additional chief secretary (science and technology) Vinod Agarwal to BIT-Sindri on November 3.

Agarwal, who expressed concern about overcrowded hostels and shortage of teachers, assured the BIT-Sindri administration that he would take an initiative to address its problems. “We have high hopes from the meeting and expect positive steps towards the redress of our long-pending problems such as shortage of teachers,” BIT-Sindri director S.K. Singh told The Telegraph.

The response of the state department was a welcome step, as BIT-Sindri was facing problems for about a decade, he said, adding they would “discuss 24 issues including the possibility of increase in grants, besides shortage of teachers, laboratory staff and lack of hostels”.

BIT-Sindri has 80 teachers, just over 40 per cent of its sanctioned strength (195).

“Going by AICTE norms, which call for one teacher for every 15 undergraduates, the strength of teachers should be 200 as we have around 3,000 undergraduates,” Singh said.

Similarly, AICTE prescribes one teacher for every 10 postgraduates. “Thus, the number of teacher should be 15 as 150 students are pursuing MTech and PhD,” Singh said.

The director pointed out that the institute is also facing acute scarcity of space in hostels, with around six students sharing a 900sqft room in the first-year hostels. As many as 25 hostels have a capacity to accommodate 2,100 students, though the intake has gone up to nearly 3,000.

The BIT-Sindri team, led by Singh, will include training and placement cell in-charge Girijesh Kumar, head of mining engineering department U.K. Dey among other HoDs.

Discussion on an IT building project — left midway in 2009 by the contractor concerned over escalation of costs — is also likely at the meeting.


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