BIT Sindri News - BIT Sindri Alumni News
Anil Singh (1964 Met) Visits BIT Sindri, and Meets Alumni Members at Delhi, Bokaro, Ranchi and Rourkela
By Dr Anil K Singh, 1964 Metallurgy
Treasurer, BIT Sindri Alumni Association of North America
Anil K Singh (1964 alumnus of BIT Sindri & Treasurer, BITSAA of North America) and his wife, Radha Singh, were in India (February 12 – March 6) on vacation. They took time off from their vacation, and visited BIT Sindri to talk with the administration, faculty members and students on February 25. In addition they met BIT Sindri alumni members in Delhi, Bokaro, Ranchi and Rourkela (Odisha) respectively on February 12, 25, 26 and 28. Shri Rajendra Choudhary 77 Mech, President of BIT Sindri Ranchi Chapter was with them for their meetings at BIT, Bokaro, Ranchi and Rourkela. Shri Navin Parmar, 77 Civil, Retired Chief Engineer, PHED, Jharkhand attended the meetings at Sindri, Bokaro and Ranchi. Narain Lal, 64 Mechanical was present in Sindri and Bokaro meetings.
Part I - General comments on BIT Sindri Campus Visits
Part II - Meetings with BIT Sindri Faculty and Students
Part III - Meetings with BIT Sindri Alumni
Part IV - Inspection of Toilets at Bariarpur Girls Middle School
Meetings with BIT Sindri Faculty and Students
Meetings with BIT Sindri Registrar, Faculty and Students, Feb. 25, 2016
Meeting with BIT administration
The meeting was held in the Director’s office. Dr. Girijesh Kumar, Registrar and four faculty members were also present. Dr. Dey, Director could not join us as he was out of town. We discussed the following items.
Notes in Italics are my comments.
Toilet Renovation/Upgrade: Dr. Kumar stated that the toilet renovation/upgrade will be in the scope of work to be completed under the Infrastructure Improvements Projects funded by the Jharkhand Government. And, therefore, funding by BITS AA of NA for this purpose is not required. Instead such funds should be used for other projects such as renovations/upgrades of laboratories in various departments. List of projects not receiving government funding will be prepared by BIT Sindri administration in consultation with BIT Sindri Alumni Association.
Members present in the meeting thought that the BIT Administration proposal deserves favorable consideration by the Alumni Association.
Infrastructure Improvement Project: Jharkhand Govt. has allocated Rupees 156 crores for infrastructure improvements at the BIT Sindri campus. The projects will include, among other things, upgrade of department and auxiliary buildings, boys and girls hostels including toilets, construction of new hostels and roads. Dr. Kumar will provide us a list of projects that are included in the infrastructure projects being funded by the Jharkhand Government. Jharkhand Government has selected EPIL (Engineering Projects India Ltd.) to manage the BIT Sindri the infrastructure improvements projects bypassing the PWD. EPIL is a Delhi based company that provides industrial construction and contracting services.
It is definitely a good sign that PWD is being kept out of the infrastructure improvement project, and the government had selected a reputable private company to manage the project.
Autonomy: BIT administration and faculty staff expressed significant reservations about the autonomy. They feel that this is something that is being imposed on them from outside without receiving inputs from them. They stated that they have not yet seen the “autonomy proposal”. Staff members are concerned about the financial implications in terms of their salaries and benefits. They said that they knew that when Bengal Engineering College Shibpur became an autonomous institute under the state government, salary payments were significantly delayed. Also, they mentioned that before we think about full autonomy, we should first discuss how the “academic” autonomy will be achieved in the light of the severe shortage of the teaching staff and inadequate laboratories.
Earlier I had sent to Dr. Kumar the relevant section of the proposed document on autonomy that dealt with salary and benefit structure of the present and the future employees. It appeared that he had neither read nor circulated the document to staff members. As regards to the staff shortage I stated that the principal secretary of the higher and technical education, Shri Singh has promised to expedite the hiring process to alleviated this issue.
I also told them that presently the autonomy proposal is with the Shri Ajay Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary of Higher and Technical Education. As soon he finishes reviewing it, the document will be sent to BIT administration and faculty for their comments/inputs. The final document hopefully will have concurrence of all parties including the staff.
In order to address the concerns of the BIT administration and staff members and to secure their co-operation, I believe we need to do a better job, and keep them in the loop. I recommend that once the reviewed autonomy document comes out of the Principal Secretary office, Dr. B.N. Mishra, the author of the autonomy proposal document, and a representative of BITS AA of NA should visit the BIT Campus to interface with the administration and faculty members to address their concerns and fears.
Sports Facilities in Girls’ Hostels: We asked about the lack of sports facilities in girls’ hostels. Dr. Kumar stated that the BIT Administration will built the badminton and volleyball grass courts in each of the girls’ hostels from its own funds, and no funding is needed from the outside sources. He instructed Dr. Tanti, Superintendent of girls’ hostels, to complete the construction of the above sport facilities in each of girls’ hostels within fifteen days.
I told Dr. Kumar that we would check with him after one month if badminton and volleyball courts have been built in the girls hostels.
Lack of Bookcases in Girls Hostel # 21: When I had visited girl’s hostel #21 in November 2014, students complained that in that hostel there are no book cases in their rooms and they had to keep their books on the floor. Dr. Kumar told us he would discuss with the Director, and he would let us know the outcome. He thought that no outside funding would be needed for such a small project.
Visiting Professors: As we know there is extreme shortage of teaching staff at BIT. For example, Dr. Dey, Director, is the sole staff member in the Mining Department. BIT Sindri has made some arrangements with a few professors from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, who come to teach at Sindri. But, much more needs to be done. And, he sought help from alumni members.
In 2014, my friend Shri Kumar Arun Prasad Singh, (64 Met, Retired Board Member Steel Authority of India, Bokaro resident) volunteered to teach (unpaid) metallurgy course. He quit after teaching a semester due to lack of interest in parts of students and administration. In spite of this bad experience by Arun, I believe we should encourage our alumni members to make themselves available for part time teaching positions at BIT Sindri.
Video Conferencing: We enquired whether video conferencing facility exists at the campus. The answer was yes. Dr. Kumar took us to a large size room in the administrative building that had a ~ 50” TV, a VCR and a few VCR tapes.
I do not think that the present facility is adequate for the video conferencing. But, the facility can definitely be developed.
Meeting with students at Girls Hostel No. 20
Meeting with girl students: We went to girls’ hostel #20. Third year students reside there. We talked with them at length on various issues of their concerns. The issues as to congestions (5/6 students to a room), no privacy, lack of sports facilities, non-functional toilets and bath rooms, frequent electrical outages especially during examination times etc., that I had observed during my 2014 November visit also, are still there unresolved. The students mentioned a few additional items as below.
We floated the idea of having bunk beds in the room to address the congestions. Girls were open to this
-- The students mentioned that since there are no screens on windows, during electrical outages, and especially in summer, they have to keep windows closed to keep insects/bugs out. That causes them unable to sleep due to extreme heat and humidity.
-- In dining hall, where food is served, water from the upper floor bath room was leaking. They said sometimes, while standing with trays to collect the food, dirty water would drip onto the trays.
Students eating afternoon snacks. Bus in the background probably used by us in 1960 -1964. Begs decent burial
-- On weekends, they sometimes go to Jharia and/or Dhanbad either for shopping or to attend training classes. They are forced to use either crowded taxis or takers, many times have to share these vehicles with the rowdy people who misbehave. They said that they are willing to pay Rupees 50 or 100 per trip if a minibus can be arranged exclusively for the BIT students over the weekend.
Shri Rajendra Choudhary will contact the transportation authority to look into the possibility to have the minibus service for students over the weekends.
-- There is a large flat land adjacent to the girls’ hostel #20. They wanted that land to be developed as the athletic field for them. They wanted BIT Alumni Association to bring this to the attention of the BIT administration, and if needed provide the funding.
-- Many students told us that when they come for lunch after classes (12 – 2 PM), rowdy people (not students, but outsiders) do chhera-khani, and sometimes snatch their purses. Students requested that at those hours there should be increased police patrolling.
Rajendra Choudhary volunteered to contact the Dhanbad Superintendent of Police, and request additional patrolling.
-- Girls also complained that even though outside goons create problems/bothers them, the girls are the ones who are "punished" by the administration by subjecting them to more restriction e.g. not being allowed to go out of their hostels after certain after hours not even to the library. They think that, instead of the administration treating them as guilty party, steps should be taken by the administration to stop the unruly persons to harass them.
There should be more police patrolling to protect girl students. Rajendra Choudhary to contact the Dhanbad SP on this matter.
-- We observed significant amount of continuous water over flow from two overhead tanks in Hostel #20 whereas we were told that there was water shortage in adjoining girls’ hostels.
-- We also head complaints that we alumni during our visits on several occasions have promised that certain things would be done to address their concerns. But, to date, nothing concrete has happened.
I could not give them any satisfactory answer.
Posted on: April 9, 2016