Campus Crunch

NSIT Predicaments and the Road Ahead

By Ishan Nigam, Batch of 2014

ed7_opinionNSIT is one of the best engineering colleges in India. This is the opinion of companies which come to our college for recruitment and the media which regularly publishes statistics rating colleges across the country. But as students of this college, we understand what goes on beneath the tag of being a premier institution for higher studies in India.

The fact that the syllabus has not been revised for more than 2 decades in most of the branches is something that a student learns in the first few weeks of joining NSIT. However, a similar realisation about the faculty takes a few semesters to dawn on the students. Apart from a handful of teachers, faculty members mostly adopt traditional methodologies which should have been modified with evolving technology. Long term hands-on experience based internships in the industry would be a great opportunity for students to judge whether they wish to start working or go for higher education after they complete their graduation. The model being followed in the BITS institutions, where an entire semester is reserved for industrial training could be considered, or something along those lines could be worked into the curriculum.

The choices among the elective courses should be increased and made more relevant to the skills that students will require after graduation. Temporary faculty specialising in these electives may be hired for teaching these courses. Students should also be allowed to opt for electives irrespective of their branches. For example, if an Instrumentation student is interested in Computer Science, he or she may opt for an elective on Automata theory. A positive sign in this area is the initiative taken on the part of a few faculty members to teach specialized courses in the college. For example, Professor Rajeev Kumar taught a course on Data Structures to ICE 2nd year students last year. This was not part of the prescribed curriculum and was organized due to a request from the ICE students. Also, given the rising interest in management and finance amongst the student body, specialized electives in these areas could be added. These electives would be much more relevant towards the career choices of students. A few possible options for such electives would be introductions to public policy administration, game theory and international trading.

The attitude of the students and their indifference towards the state of affairs in the college has made the situation worse. However, students are increasingly becoming aware of their rights and are taking steps to improve the situation, or to atleast make their voices heard. A recent example of this has been the protest against the proposal to hike the college fees for all present students as well as the
incoming batch of students.

Learning for students has become restricted to just obtaining good grades. ‘Technical’ clubs must provide more opportunities, not only for students proficient in their respective fields, but also for the novices to learn and grow. A very good example of this is the NSIT Programming Group on Facebook which has turned out to be a huge success online. It would be beneficial for students if such initiatives could be extended to activities on the campus as well.

Everyone wants to play it safe. The beginning of the 3rd year of college in the COE and IT departments is greeted by an exponential rise in the number of students interested in programming. This rise is surprisingly close to the time period when companies start visiting the campus for interns. Another road commonly tread by students is opting for CAT coaching early on. This number has significantly gone up in the last 3 to 4 years. There is a lack of entrepreneurs in NSIT. Students considering alternate career paths are rare to find. A majority of them eventually give in to peer pressure and start targeting placements and management school admits early on, instead of considering alternate career choices.

cartoon1There are multiple development projects which have been proposed but have never been implemented in our college. A swimming pool exists on our campus according to the map near the workshops. But that map is all we have. An auditorium with a budget of more than Rs. 600 lacs was sanctioned a few years ago but the fact is that the inaugural board that was erected marking its location has been missing for quite some time now. What did come up instead of the auditorium is cultivated land in the centre of our college.

Infrastructural defects in our college include the pitiable state of hostels, the condition of classrooms and washrooms in the department blocks, arbitrary pricing of food items in the canteens, and the lack of facilities for promoting extra-curricular activities.

The lack of modern equipment in an engineering college’s laboratories is a clear indication of the state of affairs. There are limited collaborations between NSIT’s professors and research forces outside of NSIT. The major reasons due to which NSIT is still counted amongst the top engineering institutions of India is its very good placement record as well as the tag of being a part of Delhi University. However, for an engineering college to produce quality professionals in the long run, it is essential to have a very strong and stable base to the education and the co-curricular facilities provided.

We have the potential to do exceedingly well, and not just in the engineering domain. Budding engineers, entrepreneurs, and managers must be encouraged and facilities must be provided to allow them to pursue their interests. Things are definitely changing with Wi-Fi routers being set up on campus, an upgraded gym, and the TI Center being inaugurated recently. May this be the beginning of a positive phase in NSIT.

Taken from a popular FB page – Aap NSITian Hai

  1.  Agar aapke hostel ki makdiya bhi aapas me majaak udaakar kehti hai – “Bechaare World Wide Web ka soch ke aaye the, sirf WEB hi mil paaya… Toh kasam har makdi ke jaale ki Aap NSITian Hai!
  2. Agar aapke college mein practicals ke marks kissi bhi random order mein lage hue aate hai to kasam analog lab mein pade kharab breadboard ki Aap NSITian Hai!
  3. Agar aapke hostel me paani nahi, par baaki sab theek hai, toh Aap NSITian Hai!
  4. Agar limited infrastructure ke saath bhi aapke college ki seats har saal bad jaati hain to kasam us 608 lakh ke proposed Audi ki Aap NSITian Hai !
  5. Agar aap ko C/C++ language se zyada A/A++ companies ki knowledge hai to kasam MPAE aur BT ki tod placements ki Aap NSITian Hai!