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They could do with more

Does this campus require better living conditions and sports facilities?

education Updated: Jan 18, 2012 00:49 IST
Karan Deep Singh

A look at this three-storey building with ‘Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Institute of Engineering and Technology’ painted in bold letters makes you wonder if you’ve missed a turn. But small arrows painted on tin sheets direct you to the brand that every engineering student aspires to be a part of. As a BTech student of IIT-Indore says, “I feel bad that we don’t have a campus to call our own like other IITians. But at least I’m getting to do what I wanted to do.” About 250 students of the institute have been waiting to be a part of its permanent campus for which 525 acres of land was identified at Simrol, 25 kms from the city in 2009. The institute has been battling over the land it was promised by the centre and the state when its foundation stone was laid on February 17, 2009. In February 2011, the forest advisory committee rejected its proposal for diverting 80 acres of ‘good’ forest land for building the institute. Since then, the institute has not been re-allotted the land by the state government even though the forest ministry later gave a green signal.

When asked about his vision for the institute, director Pradeep Mathur, says, “We are yet to be established. We had recruited the top national brains with a promise that they will be part of the growth story of a new IIT. Our vision is to make IIT-Indore a world-class institute for which we hired a Chicago-based company to design our final master plan for a state-of-the-art campus. All we want is the land.”

When asked about sports and other facilities, a student says, “There is no time for recreation. If you want to swim, it is a 30-minute bus ride to the pool of Shishukunj International School. You can’t swim beyond 15 minutes because the bus leaves and takes 30 minutes to get back!”

“We don’t have good rooms.

I have been given a cold hall that I share with 13 others,” adds a BTech student. “I can’t study, sleep or concentrate on anything. The quality of food and the mess timings are other unresolved issues.”

However, Mathur and other faculties have worked tirelessly to make sure the students do not miss much on the academic front. On the ground floor, the institute has installed state-of-the-art research chemistry laboratory, a 400mghz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer that was installed recently, along with an advanced single crystal x-ray defraction facility. “We have attracted 100 research groups. We are carrying out research projects for BARC, Delhi University and IIT-Bombay. We’ve earned Rs 1 lakh from the projects,” says Mathur. However, the institute has not been able to install too much equipment due to lack of space.

Though some students feel changes are needed on campus, there are others who have decided to look beyond the shortcomings. “I love the attention I get here as an IITian, and the institute has still got a lot of eyeballs coming its way,” says a third year student.

Basic facts
* Classes began in July 2009
* Highest rank to gain entry this year in the general category: Around 1,500
* Lowest rank to gain entry this year in the general category: Around 2,400
* Seats: 120 seats each year, 180 took admission this year. 2 seats are vacant
* Faculty: 40 regular; 4 retired visiting faculty members
* Teacher-student ratio: 1:5

Infrastructure
* Two chemistry labs, research labs at both campuses: one at IET (DAVV) campus and others at Pithampur Auto Cluster Ltd building, Mhow road.
* Hostel facilities: Silver Springs, Narmada Hostel
* Messes: 2 messes Classrooms: 4 + 1 virtual classroom at IET campus, 6 classrooms at PACL campus
* The college has a training and placement cell. Companies contacted last year include IBM, Aisha Motors (Indore), Force Motors and Microsoft Student life
* Annual festival: Cultural fest, Fluxus had 1200 participants last yearurg. He has a BTech from NIT Surathkal.