Securing admission in an engineering institute that operates within a 2 storey building on the outskirts of a city is hardly the dream of a JEE aspirant. Students from the first batch of IIIT Vadodara (IIITV) recount their initial days at the campus: When they arrived at Gandhinagar, their orientation ceremony was held at a huge auditorium in the vicinity of the college campus. Their vivacity soared when the expanse of the auditorium gleamed in their eyes. That excitement soon died down when they stepped into their college campus – one that began and ended within a mile.
The inside of the two storey building of IIITV
IIITV campus building
Since the past 3 years, IIITV has only been able to offer basic teaching facilities to its students, despite having a funding of approximately Rs 16 crore. Designed on the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, it has received assistance from its mentor institute DAIICT regarding faculty and apparatus. However, the students still feel a crunch of space in the campus, since existing classrooms can only accommodate half their batch. The current building from which IIITV is functioning has only 6 classrooms: 2 large and 4 small. Imagine three batches of students from 2 streams each adjusting their lecture schedules according to the seating space available. One of the 2nd year students, Kenneth Tenny, says, “In the last two years, our lectures were scheduled at the convenience of DAIICT professors, and any academic queries were solved by these professors over email. Since most of our faculty is visiting and classrooms are few, a lot of time is spent in adjusting professor convenience and classroom availability.”
Amongst all the IIITs started under the PPP model in 2013, a majority are currently operating from a transit campus. For that matter, even newly launched IITs function from a temporary campus in their initial years. However, the unfortunate fact with IIITV is that in 3 years, no land has been allotted to the institute for its permanent campus. Most IIITs started in 2013 like IIIT Guwahati, IIIT Sri City, IIIT Kurnool, IIIT Srirangam, IIIT Kalyani and IIIT Lucknow have been allotted a permanent campus area as huge as 60-70 acres by the MHRD. In fact, these institutes have even commenced construction and plan to shift out of their transit campus by 2017.
IIITV registrar, C.P. Joglekar, says, “In 2013, we barely had 2 classrooms available for the first batch. In the 3 years since then, I have worked with the management towards acquiring more space in the same building.” The washrooms also happen to be in a shabby state, especially the only women’s washroom in the building doesn’t even have a lock from inside.
Two years back the institute had only one full time professor and a registrar as faculty. Over the years, this condition has improved (Read Here). With every new batch, the institute also revamps some of its facilities. Now, they have 8 experimental laboratories which are basic enough to conduct academic experiments only. According to Joglekar, “As per the MHRD criteria, IIIT professors need to have a PhD. However, which PhD candidate would want a career without any advanced research facilities?”
This may be one of the causes for faculty crunch in the institute, but students have lost their calm for now. However, the Registrar agrees that they still have a long way to go to achieve infrastructure at par with other older IIITs.