The head of the electronics and telecommunication engineering department of Jadavpur University has written to former students for “substantial funding” because the department is struggling to maintain and upgrade its laboratories owing to a decline in support from the state and the central governments.
The head, Manotosh Biswas, said they need to upgrade their computers and other facilities as the world of communication has witnessed a sea change following the emergence of advanced technologies.
If the students are not trained in using the latest equipment and software, they will struggle to find jobs, he said.
“The intent is to equip our students with cutting-edge knowledge and practical skills, producing a consistent stream of highly trained manpower to fuel India’s semiconductor revolution. However, such an initiative requires substantial funding,” Biswas has written to the alumni.
“We are reaching out to you….”
The letter has been addressed to the Global Jadavpur University Alumni Foundation, based in California, US.
The foundation has posted the appeal on its Facebook page.
“The equipment in our undergraduate laboratories has worn out. The funds we get from the state government under contingency is not enough to run the laboratories. The support from the central government is also inadequate. It is not possible for the department to buy new equipment with Rs 1.5 lakh or Rs 2 lakh that we get annually from the university,” Biswas told The Telegraph.
A teacher in the department said they want to buy equipment like digital storage oscilloscopes, cathode-ray oscilloscopes, computers and latest software. The department has 24 laboratories.
For the upgrade of the labs, the department needs around Rs 5 crore, Biswas said.
“Our fees are paltry. The state government is not in a position to provide adequate support. Our finance officer has advised us to reach out to former students seeking support for upgrading labs,” a teacher of the department said.
Gour Krishna Pattanayak, finance officer of JU, had written in the university first newsletter in September last year that fees at the university were the “lowest across all universities and institutes in the country” and had remained the same since 2000.
A JU official said that as JU is opposed to increasing fees and the state and central governments have curbed financial support, the departments have been told to approach former students for funds.