50% UVCE faculty posts are vacant

The University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE)  — one of India’s oldest technical institutions — is struggling hard to meet the standards set by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE).

The century-old college has one professor, six associate professors and 73 assistant professors for its 4,000 students. As a result, the students are relying more on seniors for notes. The only professor in UVCE is in the mechanical engineering department, whose sanctioned strength is six.

The sanctioned faculty for the six departments — civil, mechanical, electrical, computer science, electronics and communication, and architecture — is 177. Of them, 97 are vacant.

A recent AICTE notification asked affiliate-colleges to maintain a teacher-pupil ratio of 1:20 for quality engineering education. At UVCE — one of the first engineering colleges in India and named after Sir M Visvesvaraya — the ratio is an abysmal 1:50 “We are struggling because core subjects, too, lack faculty members. We make own notes or source them from seniors,” said a secondyear civil engineering student. Irked by having to learn from visiting faculty members, a mechanical engineering student said, “Guest faculty members have a six-month tenure. When they change, the routine of teaching and learning is affected, and we struggle to complete the syllabus.”

About 50% faculty vacancies, Bangalore University vice-chancellor KR Venugopal said, “We are aware of the situation at UVCE, and the issue was brought up at a recent syndicate meeting. A proposal has been sent to the government for appointment of the faculty. They are likely to be appointed in 2-3 months.” Sources said Bangalore University requires Rs 100-crore funds to renovate and revamp UVCE and then send recommendation for its deemed-university status.

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