Thanks to the Maoist hotbed in West Midnapore district of Bengal, IIT Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) is going to tighten security from November.
The authorities are installing close circuit televisions (CCTV) all over the campus and hiring sniffer dogs on its 1,640-acre campus, the largest among all the IITs.
“The Mumbai terror attacks and especially the unrest prevailing in this region could make IIT-KGP a vulnerable area. Hence we are taking precautionary measures and tightening our security ring in and around the campus,” said D Gunashekharan, registrar of IIT-KGP.
Lalgarh, the nearest spot of Maoist activity, is about 60 kms away.
In fact, the need for improved security had been a concern for the authorities since December 2005, when the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore had come under terrorist attacks.
The security department has divided the entire campus into three zones – academic, campus, market and guest. To begin with CCTVs will be installed at 12 sensitive points like the main gates.
In the second phase CCTV’s will be installed in the hostels and residential areas. On every selected point four cameras will be installed in all the four directions. The security room will have the control panels and the output monitors.
“In order to ensure 24x7 monitoring we would be installing night vision cameras. The setup should be operational by the beginning of next month,” said Gunashekharan.
With each set of cameras costing around Rs 1.5 lakh the institute would be spending approximately Rs 50 lakh for the first phase of installation.
Three sniffer dogs would also be hired to help in the vigil.
The authorities may also have been compelled to take the help of technology as it is unable to make fresh recruitment of non-teaching staffs.
“As per the rule of the Human Resource Ministry for every two faculty members we can take three non teaching personnel. With the stringent quality control maintained for our faculty recruitment, teaching positions are remaining vacant. As a result, we are unable to recruite non teaching staff too,” explained Gunashekharan.
Currently IIT KGP has 526 faculty and as per rule there should be one faculty for every ten students. But it has 7,500 students on campus, which means the institute needs 750 teachers.
The security wing has 250 people outsourced from various security agencies and has 40 additional permanent personnel.
But the institute feels that this manpower is not enough to protect its vast campus and its residents.