The Telegraph
Thursday , February 6 , 2014

Wi-fi hope for varsity woes

Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, will soon go Wi-fi.

The new vice-chancellor of the university, Pandit Prabhakar Palande, has hit upon an idea to equip colleges in remote areas and postgraduate departments with Wi-fi facility. In the absence of adequate teachers, the service would ensure classes in far-off colleges are conducted through videoconferencing.

Thirty-nine constituent colleges over north Bihar come under the Muzaffarpur university. Palande, who assumed office on Monday, was surprised to find the drawbacks at the university. To improve the academic atmosphere, the vice-chancellor has decided to link the constituent institutions and the 22 postgraduate departments at the university through Wi-fi at one go.

“Teachers in the postgraduate departments would be asked to take classes through videoconferencing for colleges where the strength of teachers is extremely low. The students enrolled in the colleges are the worst sufferers, as classes cannot be held because of teachers’ shortage,” said Palande, a former commerce teacher at Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Nashik.

Against 2,374 posts of teachers, 1,410 positions are vacant in colleges and the postgraduate departments under the university for several years. Palande’s move, officials said, would help tide over the crises plaguing the university.

A source said, at present, there are 912 teachers in the institutions. “A plan is afoot to engage teachers from reputable universities to take classes through videoconferencing. Two senior postgraduate teachers, A.K. Srivastava and Ajay Kumar, have been instructed to explore the feasibility of linking the institutions to the facility in within 10 days,” said the source.

Palande said: “Recently, the University Grants Commission had also directed the university to equip the departments and colleges with high-capacity broadband telecommunication services coupled with powerful computing processors. Talks are on with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited to finalise an agreement for equipping the university with high-speed telecommunication services. With a two-way telecommunication facility in place, the college principals can be given instructions through videoconferencing. The officials would no longer need to travel to the university headquarters in Muzaffarpur.”