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BIT facelift on state agenda

BIT-Sindri, the lone state-run engineering institute that has never received the attention it deserves from the government, can expect its fortunes to finally look up.

The state science and technology department has started taking serious interest in the cradle’s growth and is bullish about its makeover. It also sought a comprehensive report on infrastructure that need to be upgraded and manpower requirement from the authorities, which was submitted last month.

Additional chief secretary, science and technology department, A.K. Pandey confirmed receiving the report. “Though I have not completely studied the plan sent by the institute, we will soon initiate steps to bring about overall development of the institute, including its infrastructure. We are committed to making BIT-Sindri a premier technical institute,” he said.

The government, which had so far been quite neglectful of BIT-Sindri’s needs, started acting after Neil Dwivedi Pundit, an alumnus of the cradle (1961 batch) and former Nasa scientist, called on Pandey on November 12 and chief minister Hemant Soren on November 13 in Ranchi.

Pundit, also the president of North America chapter of BIT-Sindri Alumni Association, raised the issue of his alma mater’s plight at the two meetings. He pointed out that BIT-Sindri, which used to be one of the best engineering colleges in the country during his time, was now a shadow of its former self.

The state government soon passed a resolution for the institute’s development at a cabinet meeting in November, after which the science and technology department sought the report from BIT-Sindri authorities.

“We sent the report as sought by the department on November 26. We requested for infrastructure development and more manpower. The students’ count has gone up from 1,442 in 2000-2001 to 3,344 this year, but the infrastructure remains the same — be it buildings, classrooms, labs or hostels. Similarly, we need more faculty members, technical staff and grade III staff,” said BIT-Sindri director S.K. Singh.

The cradle has also sought seven more hostels — five for boys and two for girls — with 300 beds each. The existing 26 hostels can only accommodate around 2,000 students. The administration somehow puts them up in the hostels, leading to overcrowding.

“We have also requested for separate buildings for departments like production engineering, electronics and communication and IT. The building meant for the IT department, which is incomplete, needs to be completed,” Singh added.

Also on the wish list are a centralised exam hall, a 1,000sqm community hall, a separate office for the training and placement cell, a sports complex, an additional library, another auditorium spread over 2,000sqm or having 1,000 seats and a centralised unit where technical instruments used by all departments can be kept.

As for the faculty members, the institute suggested an increase in the sanctioned strength from the existing 195 to 289. At present, there are only 79 teachers against the sanctioned strength of 195.

The report also urged the department to see to it that AICTE accreditation to all its 10 undergraduate engineering and five MTech courses was speeded up.