Patna: Bihar's six
government-run engineering colleges have fewer than 40 teachers,
including principals, to cater to over 4,000 students, triggering
resentment among them and forcing thousands of others to study in
The acute shortage of teachers in six colleges can be gauged from
the fact that there are over 300 vacancies for teachers, according
to college authorities.
Principals of all six engineering colleges say they have been
managing everything with the help of guest faculty members, but
repeated protests and hunger strikes in recent months by students
to highlight their plight belie the claims.
Students of these colleges in Bihar are regretting their decision
to stay and study in their own state, given the acute shortage of
teachers that badly hit laboratory and workshop activities.
"I simply curse my fate for opting to stay back in Bihar, instead
of going outside to study engineering like thousands of other
students from the state," said Surya Prakash, a fourth year
student of the engineering college in Motihari.
"We will be passing engineering without doing anything in the lab
or workshop," he said.
Rajesh Kumar, another student of the same college, expressed
"I was selected for three engineering colleges in West Bengal,
Karnataka and Orissa but decided to stay in Bihar. It was a
blunder on my part," he said.
The two are among thousands of engineering students who are
unhappy with lack of facilities, including shortage of teachers
and unavailability of basic infrastructure in six engineering
The problem is long-standing.
Last year, the Nitish Kumar government was embarrassed when the
opposition raised the issue that polytechnic faculty have been
deputed as teachers for taking classes in the four new engineering
colleges opened four years ago by the government.
However, the officials concerned downplay the problems.
"We manage everything with the help of a guest faculty," said S.N.
Ojha, principal of the Motihari Engineering College.
The college has only seven permanent teachers to teach its 750
The Chandi engineering college also has only seven teachers, and
the same situation persists in the Gaya and Darbhanga engineering
colleges also, according to college authorities.
"Students have been completing engineering courses virtually
without lab and workshop work in Motihari and Chandi. Sometimes,
the students were taken to other colleges for lab work," admitted
a senior official of the state science and technology department,
which oversees the engineering colleges.
Angry over the pathetic condition of engineering colleges and the
government's apathy in resolving the issues, the students of four
new engineering colleges, set up by the Nitish Kumar government,
began an indefinite hunger strike in Patna Oct 18.
The students, however, called off their protest following the
government's assurances to provide them the necessary facilities
in their engineering colleges.
According to an estimate, more than 200,000 students from Bihar
have been stydying in engineering colleges, both government and
private, outside the state, including the Indian Institutes of
Technology (IITs), the National Institutes of Technology (NITs)
and in hundreds of other colleges in Bangalore, Chennai, New
Delhi, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Jaipur and even those in Imphal
(Imran Khan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)