Lone state-run engineering cradle BIT-Sindri’s wait for academic autonomy continues.
When an UGC team visited the institute in October last year, it came across opinions from students, teachers and non teaching staff who did not want autonomy for the cradle. However, another team is likely to visit the campus again next year for another round of interaction and also to inspect the infrastructure to pave the way for autonomy.
The majority of students and staff the UGC team led by the pro-vice chancellor of Guru Ghasidas University, Vilaspur, and comprising Sattar Hussain of Aligarh Muslim University; under secretary of UGC M.K. Rewari; deputy director of science and technology, government of Jharkhand, K.K. Sahu and P. Mahto, CCDC of Vinoba Bhave University interacted with, opposed the autonomy bid.
Teachers were of the opinion that they would be overburdened with work due to shortage of faculty members once the institute became autonomous. They feared they would be burdened with the task of conducting examinations and evaluating answer sheets.
The non-teaching staff felt the autonomy bid would affect their status as government employees and deprive them of facilities provided by the state government.
Students of the institute, meanwhile, expressed apprehensions that the autonomy would give teachers a free hand to act against them. They felt that in the absence of state intervention, the teachers could award harsh punishment for minor complaints and also reward fewer marks.
However, according to sources at the institute, the UGC team was satisfied with the infrastructure facilities like the sprawling campus spread over 450 acres, workshops, laboratories, classrooms besides the placement record, thus instead of rejecting the institute administration’s bid for autonomy, UGC was inclined to conduct another inspection next year. The next visit of the UGC team, however, will be conducted only after the report of the first visit was submitted.
When contacted, BIT-Sindri director S.K. Singh confirmed the proposed visit of the UGC team next year, but refused to speculate regarding the schedule of the visit. “There was some confusion among students, teachers and non teaching staff about the impact of autonomy during the last visit of the UGC team, but as all confusion has been cleared now we are expecting better response from them during the next visit,” he said.
Notably, Vinoba Bhave University, to which BIT-Sindri is at present affiliated, has already given its no objection certificate for the institute’s bid for academic autonomy more than two years ago, on December 16, 2012.
Academic autonomy would mean that the institute would be able to conduct examinations, set question papers, revise syllabus, launch new courses and change the nomenclature of existing courses on its own without the interference of the university.