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: Details
Part III  -
1964 Batch Golden Reunion, Bokaro, Nov 22, 2014: Observation Details

 Observation Details of Individual Day

BIT AA Sindri Chapter Annual Alumni Meeting, November 23, 2014

~ 300 BIT Sindri Alumni were in attendance. Out of that 100+ were 1964 Batch Grand Reunion participants (65 BIT’ans plus ~ 40 spouses) assembled to celebrate their 50th year of graduation. That included Braj Kumar and I with our wives. Alumni annual meeting, in my opinion, was pretty good. There were lots of good food for breakfast and lunch. The meeting was mostly celebratory in nature. Scholarships including those sponsored by BITS AA of NA members were handed to the recipients. There were some speeches including a short one by me. I did raise some issues about the infrastructure and general deterioration of academic standards. As a representative of BITS AA of NA, my wife and I were presented with small gifts. That was nice of them.

Dr. Dey, the Director, did mention that two new hostels will be built shortly, and also talked about the increasing enrolment of students in post graduate classes.

I did not quite figure out who was the chief guest. Dr. Labh Singh, General Manager, BSNL Jharkhand, (TELEPHONE no is 0651-2211100) received the most attention. Sweta was virtually begging him, Sir please, please kuchh kijiye WiFi ke liye. May we should contact him also for the WiFi connection at BIT Sindri

Ms. Sweta Kumari was the organizer, MC and was definitely in command. She was ably supported by her husband (another BIT alumni) and Shashank Garuryar (Partner, BITS AA of NA).

I handed over personalized coffee cups with the inscription, Partner, BITS AA of North America to the following to the following individuals:

1.Dr. Girijesh Kumar, Registrar
2.Prof. D. K. Tanti, Treasurer
3.Prof. Ravi Shankar Prasad
4.Shri Shashank Garuryar

General Comments: There were a few commercial stalls. However two stalls that grabbed our attention were manned by student volunteers representing PRAYASS and SWATCHH BHARAT. Glad that now students are involved in community activities. I do not think in our time we did that, Shame on us.

BIT Sindri visit on November 24, 2014

We spent the whole day at the BIT campus. The following summarize our meetings with the Director, Head of the Departments, boys and girl students, and general observations of department buildings, hostels, Deshpande Auditorium, Alumni Building, roads, athletic field etc.

Dr. Girijesh Kumar, Registrar: We discussed in general the safety and sanitary/hygiene conditions, academic deterioration, issues/concerns related to BIT being upgraded to IIT, NIT etc. He agreed that the department buildings and hostels are not in optimum conditions, and also the academic standards have probably declined from those when we graduated. But, he said that still BIT Sindri is ranked 25th engineering college in the country by Outlook Group. It is hard to believe. But, I googled, and it checked out.

Dr. Kumar was our guide for hostel and campus tours. He lives in the same quarter where Dr. Rajendra Prasad, HoD, metallurgy in our time.

As regards to the upgrading the institute, he mentioned the resistance by the faculty members. But, If I remember correctly, the reason was that the reported untimely salary payments in NITs. He suggested in passing that we should look into the possibility of BIT being upgraded to IIEST (Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology).

I gathered the following information on Google. In 2014, Bengal College, Shibpur became the first to be upgraded to become IIEST. Other engineering colleges are scheduled to be upgraded to this level in the next year or so. They are as listed below:

1. Cochin Univ. of Science & Technology
2. Andhra Univ. College of Eng. Vizak
3. Osmania Univ. College of Eng. Hyderabad

You can find additional details on Google. 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.

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

Head of the Departments
The following Heads of the Departments were present during the meeting.

1. Dr. SC Roy - Mechanical
2. Dr. U. Prasad - Electrical
3. Dr. RK Srivastava - Production
4. Dr. R.N. Gupta - Metallurgy
5. Dr. V. Pandey - Civil
6. Sri Amar P Sinha - Electronics & Communication
7. Sri SC Dutta - Information Technology
8. Sri AGP Kujur - Computer Science & Engineering
9. Dr. G. Kumar - Geology

We had a very frank and open discussion on topics ranging from staff shortage, lab equipment not maintained properly, poor infrastructure, broken toilets and sewer lines in hostels, girls’ safety. They had varying opinions and priorities. Most agreed that students’ welfare including safety and poor hygiene are main concerns. Some thought lack of maintenance budget should be addressed, while some stated academic environment need improvement with better quality of teachers, and improvement in students/teacher ratio. There was also mention about improving the infrastructure/facilities at the institute for which the financial help is needed.

One mentioned once a while some grants are made available from time to time for the equipment maintenance. However, the grant is distributed to all departments. The distributed amount ends up being so small that not much can be done with that money. May be it would be better the whole sum be given to a specific department so that some meaningful maintenance work can be done. Next time it would be the turn of another department to receive the grant.

Lack of WiFi connectivity was also discussed. Shri SC Dutta will come up with an estimate of the cost involved related to laying the fiber optics. That will probably run into several crores of rupees.

One thing that stood out during the meeting was Dr. SC Roy of Mechanical statement that he had all machines and lab equipment in working conditions as they are regularly attended to. There was some resentment by a few present when he made that statement. I will call Dr. Roy to find out how he is able to do all this maintenance works done while others cannot.

Prof. Dr. Uttapal K. Dey, Director
We met him in his chamber. First order of business was to present him the personalized coffee cup and certificate for being elected as the Honorary Distinguished Alum of BITS AA of North America. He thanked us for honoring him in such a way.

First, Prof. Dey is a very humble, pleasant and straight forward person. He is a fellow BIT’an, 1980 Batch Mining graduate. I believe we can do business with him.

Prof. Dey was very candid about the need for improvements in various areas including academic standards, hostel overcrowding, infrastructure including hostels etc. He specifically sought our help in teaching assistance in the form of visiting lecturers. We suggested that lectures could be arranged via video conferencing. Of course, for that we need WI-FI connectivity.

He confirmed that for repairs and maintenance type of works, PWD involvement is not required. If money is there, we can do the work independently. He said BIT Sindri Chapter has done such work in the past, we can work through them. He also said that we do not necessarily have to work with BIT Sindri Chapter in order to get the work done. I will find out some additional details on what is involved if we decide to go this route.

Braj Kumar and his wife had to leave as they were driving back to Ranchi. Arun went to Metallurgy Department to sort out his volunteer teaching assignments starting in January.

DL Deshpande Auditorium
What a beautiful and large auditorium building! However, lack of maintenance is visible everywhere. Inside, at least 5% of chairs have either no seats or broken seats. In fact, I fell down in one of such chair. Mind you, this is an engineering college, even chairs cannot be fixed. Big bird droppings on large number of chairs were also seen. Men’s’ urinals tubes are just tangling over the holes. Significant amount of urines stay out, causing foul smell.

Boys Hostels (B Section, Shahrpura Road) Hostels 12 - 19 are situated at this site. Not a pleasant site, mostly broken window glasses, broken/dangling sewer lines, little or no grass, flowers/gardens. My wife and I decided to go inside Hostel 16, no faculty member present. Third year students reside in this hostel. There were only a few students. We asked why so few?

They told us that just ~ 1/2 hour before we came, the final year students came there and started ragging them. According them ragging was almost always physical, and it involves slapping sometimes as many as 20 -25 slaps. They said that in the past such slapping have resulted in damage to ear drums in a couple of cases. So, most of the Hostel 16 student residents of have run away when they saw final year student coming to their hostel. We were told students run away to Jharia and Dhanbad. Sometimes they will not return for days. We asked them that this way they would miss classes. We were surprised with the answer that as such they do not go to many classes as the lectures are not very useful.

The hostel warden must have gotten the wind. He was standing outside. We enquired about the ragging. He was aware of it. He said he had complained to higher ups, but nothing happens as nobody is willing to be the witness for fear of reprisal. (In front of Ad building there is poster that reads Ragging Free Campus, not entirely true).

Dr. Kumar informed us that ragging has been pretty much nonexistent in all of girls' hostels, and boys' hostels housing first year students because of high boundary walls and no visitors after 6 PM in girls’ hostels, and after 10 PM in first year boys’ hostels.

As that happened to be ~ 2 PM, the boys insisted that we should eat lunch. Radha and I eat the mess lunch. Not bad. It consisted of rice, dal, fish curry, aalu-gobi sabji and salad. The fish curry was yummy.

Other observations: Bath rooms in really bad shape, doors not closing, broken pipes, filth all over. Courtyard is all dirt, no grass or flowers. Two to a room meant for one. There is hardly a foot of space between two beds. Space for one small table and, broken window glass. Broken and exposed sewer lines. Similar broken/open sewer lines visible from outside in some of other hostels as well.

Girls Hostel No. 21
What a contrast to that of boys' hostel. 8 foot boundary walls, white cheerful paint outside, some well-dressed girls sitting outside but inside the boundary walls. This hostel houses third year students. A door man was there. Five girls to a room. Room is clean, neat beds. Girls complain that there are no book shelves, so books are on beds. They said other girl hostels 20 and 22 have book shelves in the rooms. Kitchen area appeared clean. Bath rooms clean as well, but some bath room doors do not close properly. Strong lock in the metal folding gate separating the main hostel from the mess. Girls complain about lack of WiFi, and frequent electricity cuts. Would like to have generator installed for back up. They thought safety was adequate. They walk at least two together. Not allowed to go out after 6 PM. Also, no visitor after 6 PM.

Football field looked good. We were told that there are no functioning tennis and badminton courts. No outdoor sports facilities exist for girls.

Department Buildings
Only building looking good from outside was the administrative building. It has nice garden in the front. All other department buildings looked not all that great, and are crying out for a fresh coat of paint.

Unfinished Computer Science Building
An unfinished computer science building, without doors and windows looks so ugly. Apparently the building remained incomplete due to a dispute between the contractor and the Jharkhand Government. This building is on the west side of the main approach road to the Administration Building. Nobody has any clue if this building will ever be completed.

Alumni Building
This is small building, not very impressive, with 8 finished rooms, some with American style toilets and some with Indian style. Rooms are maintained well. A suite is being built on the 2nd floor. Besides the Ad Building this is the only building that has well maintained garden in the front.

In general, we thought roads were in OK condition. The road from Ad Building to B Section hostels was barren. Some trees should be planted on sides.

Main Gate
It was sad to see so many small shops e.g. tea, pan, barber etc. have cropped up near the main gate. Not a pleasant site.

Kumar Arun P. Singh
In response to Prof. Dey call, Arun has volunteered to teach classes in Metallurgy Department starting in January, 2015. He has informed Prof. Dey and Dr. Kumar he has adopted BIT Sindri, and will do his level best to help BIT in whatever way he can. Arun has also agreed to be our eyes and years, and enforcer at BIT.

After the day long visit, Arun dropped us off at Dhanbad train station where we boarded the 7 O’clock evening train to my village Bariarpur, Munger.

Posted on: December 12, 2014