The Telegraph
Friday , March 14 , 2014

Free laptops lucrative, not with a price

The Patna University is planning to provide laptops to teachers and some non-teaching employees at zero per cent interest to improve the teaching-learning process in classrooms but most beneficiaries want it for free.

Patna University vice-chancellor Y.C. Simhadri on Wednesday said the university administration was ready to provide laptops at zero per cent interest to improve the quality of education. Teachers and non-teaching employees would have to pay the principal amount of laptops between Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000 in instalments. The interest amount would be borne by the university.

Some faculty members did not find the university administration’s initiative of providing laptops lucrative enough. A Patna College teacher said: “The university administration plans to provide laptops to teachers on zero interest rate is not alluring as many shops and laptop manufacturing companies try to woo customers with such schemes.”

The teacher added: “If ministers can get laptops and tablets free of cost, why not teachers? Laptops are more useful to us than ministers. In 2012, the science and technology department provided laptops to all the ministers.”

According to sources, the university would first seek the list of interested candidates (teachers and non-teaching staff) for the scheme. Based on the list, the university administration would procure the laptops in bulk and distribute them.

Sources said the scheme would be implemented before the new academic session starting from mid-July.

Welcoming the decision, Patna Science College teacher M.N. Sinha said: “The initiative is good because it would help in improving the teaching-learning process in classrooms.”

Sinha said merely providing laptops to teachers and non-teaching employees would not help improve the academic atmosphere as the university would also have to improve the infrastructure so that the processes can be implemented in a better way. Wi-fi connectivity on campus, installation of projectors and other measures would have to be taken to make the system more realistic.

Students seemed excited with the new move of the university. Vinit Kumar, a student of Patna College, said: “The vision of the vice-chancellor is exciting, as teachers would be able to teach new topics and chapters on the Internet.”

The university administration is also planning to start smart-classrooms aided with a computer with LCD screen, interactive boards and Wi-fi connectivity.

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