BU rated best, but students
The questions whether Bangalore University deserves the ranking it got in the new survey and whether it needs to improve is a question best answered by its own students and faculty members.
A researcher and professor from the university told Deccan Herald: “The fact is, be it here or in IISc, money matters. Pay a few thousand rupees to the lab assistant and he will give you whatever you want for a whole month. As much as 70 per cent of the funds provided for purchasing lab equipment are pocketed by the staff. Even the remainder of the funds is used very business-like.”
Each department has its own set of problems. A chemistry student says: “We have to literally beg with the lab assistant. If the practical class is for three hours, then two hours is for begging the lab assistant to provide us the required materials.”
Deccan Herald also sought the opinion of the students on the Jnanabharathi campus. When asked about the quality of teachers, a biotechnology student said: “They are all right, okay.” After being assured anonymity, he said: “They are bad, real bad.”
Apart from a couple of teachers in the department, the remaining do not deserve to be in the university, says this second-year student. The responses were similar when students from the microbiology and four other departments were asked to give their opinions.
One student who was willing to come on record was Rohith U M, from the department of Electronics Science. He graduated from a private autonomous institution and rates the two thus; 8/10 for the autonomous institution and 4/10 for BU.
The mid-day meal programme is among many initiatives taken in 2011 by Vice-Chancellor N Prabhu Dev. But Rohith and many others ask a vital question. “Food is good, hygienic.
But how do you expect me to get there, eat and get back in time, as the lunch break is only for half-an-hour?” asks Rohith.
A second-year microbiology student said with the lunch break being from 1 pm to 1.30 pm and many departments being far away from the place where the mid-day meals are served, near the library, the students have a difficult time.
N Nandini, director of Students’ Welfare, says: “They are young people and can manage it. Environmental Science is the farthest department on the campus and it takes less than five minutes to go to the place where mid-day meals are served.”
Deccan Herald found the microbiology student right. It takes approximately nine minutes one way. Without an intra-campus vehicular commutation, it becomes very difficult for many students to make use of the mid-day meal facility. The ‘bicycle plan’ by BU is yet to be implemented.
“I don’t know what has happened with that programme. There is no progress. But if a few hundred cycles are placed at the entrance, or at different spots on the campus, students can make use of them,” says Nandini, who also heads the Environmental Science department.
The hostel in the city for boys, located behind the City Civil Court complex, is not good either. The rooms can accommodate only one person each, but five students are crammed in a room on an average. With 62 rooms and more than 250 students, it’s congested living for them. The walls and ceilings leak during rains.
One of the wardens said while BU’s decision to demolish the hostel has not been implemented, a new one needs to be built as soon as possible. The structure is more than 50 years old. The toilets do not have lights and students find it difficult to use them at night. If it is not rebuilt, at least the paintwork needs to be done in the hostel, say the students.