In December last year, Jawaharlal Nehru University had approved setting up a School of Engineering. Within six months, it said it would start admissions. Declared one of the “major initiatives” by the administration this year, the project has been criticised by students who claim they are facing several infrastructural issues — including lack of a school building.
As of now, the school has 104 students enrolled in two programmes — Computer Science Engineering and Electronics and Communications. In May this year, Rector II Satish Garkoti in a statement had said admissions would begin in July and that there was “existing infrastructure”.
However, in absence of a building, students alleged that classes are being held at the Convention Centre — meant for cultural and academic events — and their lab work at the School of Computer & Systems Sciences. “We have a time-table, but teachers never follow it. We have to always be prepared because at any point, we get an SMS saying that a class will be held in an hour. Also, in our class, there are 31 students, but there are only 29 computers. The other two have been told to get their own laptops,” claimed a student.
Another student alleged that since the school was new, the JNU library does not have books on engineering, forcing them to buy new books every month: “We spend close to Rs 3,000 per semester on books alone…. We’re already paying over Rs 60,000 per semester — more than any other course — but what benefits are we getting?”
Students said they had raised the issue with the Dean, but to no avail.
Dean R K Agarwal, however, said he was not intimated of any problem. “I have been meeting the students, there’s no such issue that they have brought up. There’s no problem of labs or computers. Classes are taking place at the Convention Centre, because we don’t have classes big enough in any other School to accommodate so many students while the school is being built,” he said, adding that the “best faculty” with “expertise in their fields” were teaching the subject.
eduStudents also claimed they don’t have a hostel and have been staying in the Damodar Hostel, which is a dormitory. Caretaker Virendra Kumar did not respond to calls and texts by The Indian Express.