Its first batch is ready to graduate but the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Bhopal still has no dean, permanent faculty or a placement coordinator. The institute, which was set up in public-private-partnership (PPP) mode in 2017, does not have its own campus either, and functions from the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), Bhopal campus.
It is in support of these demands that over 200 students of the IIIT Bhopal have been protesting for over a week now. Things, however, has not moved with the institute even threatening to fail the protesting students in their exams.
The director of MANIT, Narendra Singh Raghuwanshi, has been appointed as the mentor of the institute and Jyoti Singhai, a professor at MANIT, was selected as nodal officer for the IIIT students.
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“We have studied under the temporary contractual teachers who teach for one year and the next year there is someone new. This kills consistency. We have no one to take our grievances too. We have approached MANIT director and our nodal officer (Singai) several times but they are not ready to help us,” said a third-year student who fears not landing a job after passing out.
The second and third-year students have boycotted classes and have been sitting in the corridors of the campus for six days. On Tuesday night, over 100 students were sitting at campus gates for a night-long protest.
When approached, Singhai refused to answer questions. The MANIT officials, however, claim that the recruitment of permanent staff comes under the ambit of the Centre. The institute has also sent messages to the parents of protesting students stating that their “ward is involved in in-disciplinary activities”. In another message to the parents, it warned that students will be given zero marks in their tests if they continue the protests.
Students claim that they would send some representatives to the HRD office, New Delhi if their demands are not met. “We cannot be trained, call companies to come and hold placements overnight. We need trained staff for that. When other IIITs have got IITs to mentor them, they have logo and campuses then why are we being discriminated against,” said a second-year student.
Apart from the on-campus protests. Students are also running online protests wherein they are tweeting under the #IIITBhopalcrisis on Twitter.
Dheeraj Agrawal, I/c Participating Institute for Admissions informed indianexpres.com that the issues of students are being followed up consistently and there is no reason for them to be worried. “We held a meeting to discuss the grievances of students. As a result, a notification has been released regarding the appointment of a training and placement executive for the institute under the contractual post, however, hiring a director is under the hands of the HRD,” said Aggarwal.
While students claim that they were insulted at the meeting as the officials told them that they “do not deserve any amenities as they are among the lowest scorers of JEE”, officials refused the claims.
“Since MANIT already has its placement and training executive the focus of the new recruit will be the IIIT-Bhopal students,” said Aggarwal.
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