BIT Sindri News - BIT Sindri Alumni News

Visit to BIT Sindri on November 23-24, and Bokaro on November 22, 2014 -- A Report

By Dr Anil K Singh

Dr Anil Singh is a 1964 MET graduate of BIT Sindri, a distinguished alum and the Chairperson, Advisory Board of BITSAA of North America. As a representative of BIT Sindri Alumni Association of North America, Dr Singh recently participated in the Alumni Meet at BIT Sindri, and the Grand Reunion of 1964 batch at Bokaro to celebrate 50 years of graduation. He also went around BIT Sindri campus and interacted with the staff and students. He has submitted a report on his visit to the BITSAA of North America which has already been published on their website . This report is being republished here...

Click the above thumbnails to enlarge photographs and see descriptions

I visited BIT Sindri on November 23, 2014 to participate in BIT AA Sindri Chapter Annual Alumni Meeting, and then again on November 24, 2014 to meet with students, faculty members, and tour of the girls and boys hostels, department buildings and look-around of general infrastructure. On both days I was accompanied by my wife Radha, Braj Kumar Singh (life member of BITS AA of NA) and his wife Indrani, and Kumar Arun Singh (Honorary Distinguished Alum of BITS AA of NA). On November 22, we had a Grand Reunion at Bokaro of our 1964 batch mates to celebrate our 50 year of graduation from Sindri.

Part I    - Summary of Observations
Part II   -
Alumni Meet/BIT Sindri campus visit, Nov 23-24, 2014: Observation Details
Part III  - 1964 Batch Golden Reunion, Bokaro, Nov 22, 2014: Observation Details


Below is the summary of what we observed at Sindri. Amongst all the gloom and doom that we have heard in the past I found some good news. I will share those with you first, and then the items requiring improvements.

Good News
1. Girls Safety: Based on our conversations with scores of girls, we gathered that girls feel safe in their hostels, and in and around the campus. They walk in groups, a minimum of two together. They do not go out of hostels after 6 PM, and no visitors are allowed in hostels after 6 PM. (This may not sound good from Western standard). The girl hostels boundary walls are 8/10 foot high. There is a doorman in each girl hostel.

2. May 2014 incident when a boy attempted to molest a girl on way to her department, they feel, was an aberration.

3. The girl students were smart and well dressed, and looked very professional. I wish I could say the same about my spices.

4. Drinking Water: Water filtration system has been installed in hostels. This addressed the drinking water issue.

5. Ragging: Ragging of the first year boy students, and girls is no longer a common occurrence. First year boy student hostels have also an 8-foot boundary walls, and gates are closed after 10 PM. However, final year students are involved in ragging the third year students, and the ragging is usually physical in nature such as slapping. The administrations must bring this issue under control. In the front garden of the Admin Building there is sign that reads Ragging Free Campus”, not entirely true.

6. Lab Equipment: Dr. SC Roy, HOD of Mechanical Engineering, claimed that he has been able to fix all lab equipment and machines in his department, and they all are in running condition. He also indicated that he could help other departments to do that. Administration should take up on his offer and get the project going in other departments to fix the lab equipment.

7. Students indicated that the faculty members are available after class hours to if students do seek help.

8. Students Involvement in Community Issues: We saw two booths manned by students during the alumni annual meeting on November 23. The first one was the Prayass. We all are familiar with their good works especially coaching the poor neighborhood children after school hours. The other one was Swatchh Bharat (not sure about the name). The students belonging to this group wanted to put trash cans on the side of campus roads for trash. This one was probably in response to the call by the Prime Minister Modi for clean India.

9. New Director: Prof Dey is the new Director of the institute. He is a fellow BIT’an, a graduate of 1980 Batch. We found him very engaging, well aware of the issues and very willing to work with alumni for betterment of BIT. We can do business with him.

Items Needing Improvements
1. Hostels: Toilets and bath rooms in the hostels, both for boys and girls are in very bad shape, and so are the sewer lines. These create unhygienic conditions and health hazards. This requires immediate attention. All buildings including hostels, auditorium and department buildings should be inspected, and made fixes as needed.

2. Hostels: Broken glasses in majority of windows were observed in B Section boys hostels, creating safety hazards.This requires immediate attention.

3. Over Crowded Hostels: Presently 3200 students are living in hostels with 2200 capacity. Girls are living 5/6 to a room, they stay that way even in the final year. Boys are living two to a room that was meant for one student. Hardly one foot of space in between the two beds, creating safety hazards. Was told that two new hostels will be built shortly. That may not ease significantly the overcrowding.

4. No Bookshelves in Girls Hostel 21: There were no bookshelves in rooms in this hostel. Books were kept on beds and on the floors creating safety hazards. We were told that rooms in other hostels have bookshelves. This requires immediate attention.

5. Power Failure: Girls in hostel 21 complained that when power fails there is no back- up plan, and requested that generators should be installed in hostels so that their studies are not interrupted. This should be looked into. By the way, entirely on a different situation, power situation in Bihar has significantly improved. Since October this year even villages get round the clock electricity. This is due to new power plants coming online, and increased production in existing power plants.

6. Sports Facility: There are no outdoor sport facilities for girls. Such facilities should be provided to girls; will require significant funds.

7. Deshpande Auditorium: ~ 5% chairs have no seats, creating safety hazard. In fact, I fell down while trying to sit down on one as that chair had a missing seat. Also, bird droppings were observed on several chairs. Should be repaired and/or cleaned as soon as possible.

8. Shortage of Faculty Members: Teaching faculty members number ~ 80 against the sanctioned 290. This amounts a teacher/ students ratio of 1:40. This is not conducive to proper teaching. This ratio has to be better, may be 1:10 in order to improve the academic standards.

9. WiFi Connectivity: Students do not have WiFi connectivity in their hostels as well as in many other buildings. It is hard to imagine any students these days especially engineering students without internet access. IT department HOD thinks fiber optic cable should be laid out for the WiFi connectivity. This may cost several crores of rupees. In contrast, some of NA chapter members have earlier said this could be done by erecting the replacement tower that was damaged by lightening a few years ago. And this this would cost only a few lacs of rupees. Dr. Labh Singh, General Manager, BSNL Jharkhand, (TELEPHONE no is 0651-2211100) attended the Alumni Annual Meeting on November 23. May be some smart IT guy amongst us should get in touch with him, and see if erecting will do the trick.

10. Almost all the hostels, department buildings and all facilities buildings need repairs, renovation, facelift, and are crying out loud for a fresh coat of paint.

11. Encroachments: At the main entrance gate lots of small shops have cropped up. The gate does not look impressive.

12. B Section hostels looked barren. More trees and garden needs to be planted.

 General Comments

1. Massive infusion of funds will be required to address several of items listed above. I do not think Jharkhand Government will be able to come up with such funds in near future. In that case, only option is that BIT being selected to become a central government controlled institution such as IIT or NIT. Jharkhand already has an NIT, and IIT (ISM just became IIT). I believe there could be one of these types of institution in a state.

There is another type of centrally funded technical institute namely Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology (IIEST). This type of institution is ranked below IIT but above NIT. This is meant for taking over of the established engineering colleges such as BIT.

Bengal Engineering College, Shibpur became the first to be upgraded to become IIEST in 2014. Other three engineering colleges are scheduled to be upgraded to this level in the next year or so.

They are as listed below:

-- Cochin Univ. of Science & Technology
-- Andhra Univ. College of Eng., Vizak
-- Osmania Univ. College of Eng. Hyderabad

2. BIT Sindri may have a shot. But, the State Govt. and the Central Govt. have to work together to make it happen. That is where strong lobby effort is needed.

3. I learnt that the central govt. provides for 5 years close to $ 800 million for infrastructure, and $500 million for general funding. We need this level of funding to make BIT of our dream.

4. (I know many will say that we have gone through this path before. But, I do not see any other way if we want BIT to become a top notch engineering college in India). It needs a “sugar daddy”.

5. If for some reason we do not want to work with BIT Sindri Chapter for repairs/innovation work, BIT Administration including the Director said that we can do that independently.

6. Dr. Dey sought our help in teaching some classes as visiting lecturers.

7. Kumar Arun Singh, an Honorary Distinguished Alum of BITS AA of NA, has agreed to be our eyes and years, and enforcer at Sindri. Starting January 2015, he has volunteered to take classes in Metallurgy Department.

Posted on: December 12, 2014