A batch of students who graduated from Jadavpur University’s civil engineering department in 1997 raised funds that went into developing a smart seminar room at their alma mater.
The alumni have developed seminar room “C-3-10”, on the third floor of Prayukti Bhavan, at a cost of around Rs 16 lakh.
Last August, they had bought the department 20 new computers for Rs 10 lakh.
Eighty-five students from the batch, who had resolved to observe the silver jubilee of their graduation with not only a reunion but also by contributing to their alma mater, have so far raised Rs 40 lakh.
One of them, Debraj Kundu, said a classroom has been converted into a seminar room.
“Through innovative use of carpet tiles, sound-absorbing curtains and specialised audio soundboards, we have sought to ensure a world-class feel while ensuring relevant acoustics. A best-in-class projection system with an automated screen and a top-class audio solution will complement the quality of the seminars,” said Kundu, who works with Tata Consultancy Services.
Seminars have already been lined up in C-3-10, which was inaugurated on Tuesday by JU vice-chancellor Suranjan Das. The VC underscored the need for contribution from former students at a time state funding for academic institutions was on the decline.
JU finance officer Gourkrishna Pattanayak, who spoke on the occasion, said: “Since the university was against raising student fees for resource generation, contributions from the alumni could help in addressing the funds crunch to some extent.”
The finance officer had written in the university’s first newsletter published last September that JU was facing an acute dearth of resources and facilities for academic development and the only option left for “resource generation” was increasing the fees. Fees, Pattanayak had written, could be a powerful source of revenue.
VC Das told The Telegraph after the inauguration of the seminar room: “I am opposed to any fee hike in public institutions like JU because students from underprivileged families study here. Raising resources from the alumni is a global model. In Bengal, only IIT Kharagpur and St Xavier’s College have successfully implemented the model. We want this to happen at Jadavpur as well.”
“We have to raise resources to improve the infrastructure, particularly in science and engineering.”