|JEC students participate at the rally in Jorhat on Monday. Picture by UB Photos
Jorhat, Sept. 16: The students of Jorhat Engineering College (JEC) hit the streets today, demanding more professors, better library facilities and infrastructure, especially increase in hostel seats.
They also submitted a memorandum to Jorhat dep-uty commissioner V. Solanki.
The JEC, established on January 7, 1959, was the second government engineering college to be set up in the state.
JEC students’ union general secretary Ratul Gogoi said the general condition of the engineering college was deplorable.
“Professors have not been recruited for several years. In a few courses, the professor-student ratio is 1:100 or 1:150 when it should be 1:15. We demand immediate recruitment of professors so that students do not suffer.”
Ratul said state education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had last year promised a digital library but this had not been done. While the existing books are outdated or torn and dog-eared, many important books are not available.
He said there were nine hostels, one of them for girls. Two houses have also been taken on rent and are known as extension girls’ hostels. “In the girls hostel, there are 39 rooms and provision for three beds in each room. However, in most rooms, which are quite small, four students are being accommodated.”
Pulak Basumatary, a fourth-year student, said around half the outstation students were paying a hefty price, living as paying guests or renting houses in groups, because of paucity of seats in the hostels. “There are about 700 seats in all the hostels and more than 1,400 students.”
Ratul said the government had promised subsidised gas for the hostels from January so that the mess dues remained low but this had not been done till date. “We get nine subsidised LPG cylinders and have to pay for the high cost of the rest. Many students cannot afford this. Each hostel requires between 20 to 25 cylinders a year,” he said. They also demanded proper security. “Laptops, phones and motorbikes have been stolen from hostels. There are chowkidars but they are actually muster roll workers who double as watchmen. They work 24 hours at a go,” he said.
Another grouse is payment of scholarships, “the selection system for which is not transparent,” and increase in the merit scholarships of Rs 720 a year.
They also demanded an anti-sexual harassment cell in the institute and repair of the road leading to the institution.
The students took out a procession from the college through Garali and up to the deputy commissioner’s office and shouted slogans.