The Teachers’ Association at IIEST Shibpur has written to the institute’s director, urging him to focus on augmenting classrooms, laboratories and infrastructure “to match an increase in (student) intake”.
The upgrade, the teachers have mentioned in the letter, is needed to stop the institute’s steady decline in an annual ranking exercise by the Union education ministry.
The institute has slid to the 40th position in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) from 27th in 2021. IIEST had ranked 21st and 19th in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Calls and text messages to director Parthasarathi Chakrabarti on Friday went unanswered.
The teachers have said in the letter to Chakrabarti that infrastructure facilities are so inadequate that classes of some batches are discontinued so the rooms can be used “for conducting the examination of some other batches”.
The NIRF ranking is based on a host of parameters, including infrastructure, peer perception and learning environment. The teachers have mentioned in the letter that the absence of adequate infrastructure and research facilities on the Shibpur campus was triggering a gradual decline of the IIEST in the NIRF ranking.
The teachers have said the absence of infrastructure was coming in the way of attracting bright students.
“As a part of our sustained and concerted effort to arrest the decline in NIRF, the Teachers’ Association attempted an internal assessment of the situation…. In the discussion, numerous key factors impeding this institute’s progress have been identified,” says the letter, signed by Tapendu Mandal, secretary of the association.
Among the facilities that need immediate improvement, the letters says, are “classrooms, hostels, laboratories”.
Mandal, a teacher of materials and material engineering, said the institute, which had been reeling under infrastructure shortcomings from the start, found it more difficult to cope with the situation resulting from a uptick in admission since 2019 following the introduction of the quota for the economically weaker section among the general category students.
“A Rs 592-crore corpus had been sanctioned by the Centre in 2014, when the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) started its journey. Only Rs 13 crore for a new hostel has come so far. The rest of the corpus has not reached the institute. The increase in student intake has only worsened the situation,” Mandal said.
“Unless adequate infrastructure is developed, the decline will continue”.