800 Students are Fighting for Justice

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An Appeal 

We are on the face of a newer version of snatching, snatching of 6 years of serious academic studies of students not less than 800 in numbers. No Sir, it is not the story of any private institute run by a business concern. It is the fact with Gani Khan Chowdhury Institute of Engineering & Technology (GKCIET), a Central Funded Institute of Technology of Maldaha, West Bengal.

In 2010, the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development decided to establish a few Central Institutes of Technology under modular scheme. The entry and academic mechanism in such institutes were designed on modular as well as integrated manner. Any student after completion of his 10th Final may appear for the National Entrance Test. After admission, his academic endeavour will be as follows:
1. First Two years – Certificate equitable to ITI certificates
2. Second Two years – Diploma equitable to Polytechnic diploma
3. Last Two years – Degree equitable to B. Tech
So, a student after completion of his 10th Final may have a scope to get a B. Tech Degree after continuous study. Yes, one may leave the course after completion of the first or second level. In that case he will get the certificate or diploma, as applicable. Newer students may also be admitted at the second and third level.

The UMHRD decided to establish GKCIET as a CFIT under the mentorship of NIT, Durgapore. Certainly, a great step towards development.

Now, let us have a look at the series of developments:

1. In 2010 the-then Prime Minister Dr Monmohon Singh laid the foundation stone of GKCIET at Narayanpur, Maldaha. In the same year the authority conducted the GKCIET Entrance Test (GET – 2010) for induction into the entry level. The session started immediately..
2. In 2012, the first batch for Certificate level cleared their examination and was inducted into the diploma level.
3. In 2014, the same batch cleared their diploma-level examination and was inducted into the final level. Dr. Pranab Mukharjee, the-then President of India inaugurated the newly constructed building of the institute.
4. In 2016, the first batch passed their final examination to get the B. Tech degree. And at the expense of 6 years of continuous study, they learnt that the institute had no affiliation.
5. The same was the experience of the students who passed the degree level final examination in 2017.
6. At such the fraudulent experience, aggrieved students assorted to protest. Under their persuasion, in 2017, the UMHRD informed that NIT, Durgapore would take initiative towards granting of affiliation.
7. After a prolonged period of inaction, the NIT, Durgapore finally declined to grant affiliation in 2018.
8. Affected students had no other way but to resort to agitation once again. Under the pressure, the Government of West Bengal took some initiative and the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT) of Kolkata granted the affiliation.

What do you think? The story of deprivation has ended with this? No Sir. The MAKAUT granted the affiliation with prospective effect. There is no single word about the students who already entered the institute. So, what is the situation now?

1. The Degree provided to students in 2016 & 2017 are not bon-a-fide and is of no use.
2. The Diploma provided in 2014 to 2017 are not bon-a-fide and is of no use. Naturally students who cleared the diploma level in 2017 & 2018 are not allowed to get co-lateral entry into the degree level.
3. The certificates provided in 2012 to 2017 are also of no use. Even they are not entitled to enter into the diploma level.

Thus, these students are on the verge of a total collapse. Their effort, their study and the money provided by their parents is yielding into a big zero. No financial compensation can cover up this. Only a regularisation of the entire system or retrospective affiliation can save these wretched students.

So, once again they started their agitation. From 23rd of June, 2018 they assorted to hunger-strike. Most of the students could not sustain it under the scorching heat of the Bengal-summer and fell ill. Only then the district administration intervened. Under their assurance, students withdrew the hunger-strike on the 16th day i.e. on 8th of July, 2018.

But, to their shear surprise, no one is found to address the issue. The college-authority instead of feeling compassion is threatening the students. The district administration has shed off their responsibility. Neither the UMHRD nor the NIT, Durgapore is saying anything.

Under this situation, the students have started present course of agitation since 24th of July. Presently they are in a program of sit-in-demonstration in the college campus. It has already passed 72 hours.It is noteworthy that the authority has declared passed out students as outsiders and they are not allowed to enter into the college campus.

Who is responsible, may be unearthed later. But the prime need is to protect the interest of these students. Please, stand by these deserted students. 

- Sujan Bhattacharyya