Hundreds of NIT Srinagar students left the campus on Tuesday alleging poor facilities at India’s most prestigious engineering institution after IIT

DEHRADUN: Annoyed with the callousness of the government towards their demand of a campus, over 500 students of NIT Srinagar, who were on strike from past 20 days, left the institution on Tuesday morning. NIT Srinagar is functional since 2010 on a rented building and JEE pass-out students, who got enrolled in various branches of engineering and Phd, struggle for basic facilities here in this small town that doesn’t even have good libraries, hospitals and proper transportation facilities in case of emergencies.

Vikas Kumar a 4th year student of B.tech in NIT Srinagar and head of Council Of Students Activity (CSA) told TOI that almost 90% students of B.tech and M.tech have left the campus on early morning on Tuesday. He added that others too will leave the campus as soon they will get their reservations.

“Over 6 buses and 5 vans were used by the students to leave the campus on early morning on Tuesday. Only those are staying back who couldn’t get the reservations to their hometowns. But we all will leave the campus very soon,” he added.

The students shared the information about leaving the campus through an email marked to the President of India, PM, Chief Minister and governor of Uttarakhand, HRD ministry and other concerned authorities. They have mentioned that they are leaving the campus and will not return until they will be given a transit campus at a place which ensures safety, medical assurance, corporate exposure and accessibility to technological advancement as per norms.

Talking to TOI, RB Patel, Director-in-charge, NIT Srinagar confirmed that many students left the institution and their parents have been informed about the same.

“We will get to know how many students have left the campus only after 10 pm when the hostel wardens will count the number of absentees. But yes hundreds of students left early morning on Tuesday. I have already alerted their parents that this will be an academic loss to them. We are trying our best to solve the issue,” he said adding that NIT doesn’t have a campus and the institution is running in the hired terrace of government polytechnic in Srinagar.

Situated 560 meters above sea level on hills of Pauri Gharwal in Uttarakhand, the usually peaceful campus of National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar is burning with anger and resentment these days. Hundreds of JEE qualified students were on strike here since October 04 to protest against the inhuman treatment at country’s most prestigious engineering institutes after IIT, which is being run under a tin-shed here. Fed-up with the ‘interim arrangements’ existing since over a decade where six students are forced to live in and study in one 10×8 room and 1 washroom has to be shared by 50, many of the student here have shown severe depression symptoms and threatened to leave studies. But things came to a boil at the institute last week when Neelam, a girl student met with an accident near the institute—situated on the national highway— and is struggling for life and death.

Importantly, Neelam is not the first one to meet such fate at NIT which is situated right on the side of a busy national highway. Five students have met accidents while going to their labs from college here at NIT. Two of them are still recovering and others are now extremely cautious while walking on the road.

NIT, which started in 2010 presently has over 930 students in B.tech, M.Tech and PhD, who all passed exams like JRF and JEE. Ironically, since the institution came into existence, it couldn’t get a campus and forced to run within the premises of government polytechnic in Srinagar. Ideally, NIT must have land of atleast 250 acres whit world-class infrastructure. The students must have all facilities within the campus, similar to IITs.

For the authorities here, the students, who are capable of making robots and cars within a day, are struggling because of the casual approach of the government who has no time for them. The activity room for the B.Tech students runs under the security guard’s cabin of Polytechnic and the dispensary has just detol and first aid. The institute lacks hostel rooms and to manage that, the authorities have taken 7 hotels on rent where students of 3rd and 4th year are living. These hotels are almost 8 kilometers away from polytechnic campus. The teachers, who too are supposed to get accommodation within the campus of NIT, which must be built in 250 acres of land, are forced to live in rented houses in the Srinagar town.
“We got a land last year after the student’s protested for over a week but that too failed the geological tests and turned out to be earthquake prone. We wasted 5.5 crores in getting the land fenced and got the report later. Above all, 50% of the students here, who are not from mountains, shows severe depression symptoms as it’s difficult to adjust in mountains if someone is not use to,” says a teacher who wished not be named. He added that even faculty here resigns on a regular basis because the institution lacks even basic facilities.
The institution already has a corpus of Rs 75 crore for the building fund lying unused since the past decade as the state government has not provided them the land to build what they term as a “state of the art campus”. It is because of the lack of infrastructure and facilities; NIT has to reduce its seats as well. The institution which earlier has over 300 seats for B.tech now takes just 150 students in the same course.

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