The IIEST authorities have requested a platform of former students to raise funds from the alumni and explore corporate social responsibility (CSR) funding that could help improve the institute’s infrastructure.
Vasudev. K Atre, chairperson of the IIEST’s board of governors, appealed to the Global Alumni Association of Bengal Engineering and Science University (GAABESU) to tap potential alumni, says the activities report of the association during the period January to March that was uploaded on the website of the association on April 10.
The Shibpur institute was known as Besu before it became an Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology in 2014.
Sitansu Sekhar Ghosh, secretary of the alumni association, said improving the infrastructure was key as the IIEST’s ranking in an annual ranking exercise by the Union education ministry has been steadily sliding because of factors that include poor infrastructure.
IIEST had struggled especially because it did not get the largesse it had expected when it became a central government-run academic institute in 2014.
A purse of Rs 592 crore had been approved when the state-aided Besu became IIEST.
A section of members of the alumni association had met Atre in November to inform him that the institute had not received the money that Parliament had approved to upgrade and expand the institute’s infrastructure. The absence of funding, the alumni said, has led to deterioration of the already inadequate infrastructure.
Atre had invited the alumni on November 9 to meet him along with director Parthasarathi Chakrabarti and the deans. The former students flagged their concerns there.
Ghosh, who was part of the alumni team that met Atre and the director on Wednesday, said: “The fact that the funds that were committed are yet to arrive is at the heart of the infrastructure woes. The funds were supposed to be spent to develop academic complexes, hostels and advanced labs. The absence of infrastructure has hurt the institute where the intake has risen steadily.”
In March 2021, the director had announced work had started for the construction of a boys’ hostel that could accommodate 1,000 students.
“The construction that is likely to cost Rs 130 crore has hardly progressed for want of funds. This institute has been let down by false promises,” said Tapendu Mandal, secretary of the teachers’ association.
“Only Rs 13 crore for a new hostel has come so far. The condition of the existing hostels has worsened to the extent that chunks of concrete are falling off the ceiling”, said Mandal.
Calls and text messages to director Chakrabarti went unanswered.