The city-based University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE), which will celebrate its centenary next year, is staring at rudimentary issues that could scuttle its bid for autonomy. With the University Grants Commission (UGC), the apex regulator, asking this once-iconic institution to first secure an accreditation, the institute’s pain points will be up for scrutiny. And the poor faculty-student ratio will not be the college’s only worry.

Out of 175 sanctioned teaching posts, UVCE has only 99 on its rolls.The remaining 76 posts are held by the guest faculty. “This works out to a faculty-student ratio of 1:60 whereas he All India Council for Technical Education stipulates 1:15”, UVCE principal KR Venugopal admitted.

Getting itself accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council ( NAAC) and he National Board of Accreditation NBA) with such a faculty-student ratio, not to mention its visibly crumbling infrastructure, will mean bad news, the academic community fears.

Former Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University NR Shetty put t mildly when he said: “It won’t be straightforward. Securing NAAC’s A ‘ grade, the highest rating an institute can get, will be difficult.” Located on a 15-acre campus in the neighbourhood of the Vidhana Soudha, UVCE-founded by Sir M Visvesvaraya in 1917 -was India’s fifth engineering college, and counts some of the country’s finest scientists as its alumni.

The institution’s upkeep has, however, not matched its glowing legacy. Sample this: The mechanical engineering laboratory remains housed in a shed dating back to 1913. Little wonder that the cream of talent that clears the common entrance test is joining private colleges.

Last June, UVCE formally sought autonomous status to escape government regulations which, many believe, should be blamed for its current state. The college has repeatedly sought grants from the state government for construction and repair in vain

Old students who have gone places have stopped funding their alma mater as there is no system in place to restore confidence, said M Madhav, who heads the India chapter of the alumni-run UVCE Foundation. “We are ready to help but collective responsibility has to come from the government. And we no longer see UVCE having a conducive academic atmosphere like an IISc. So it needs to become autonomous soon” he said.

Source-Economic Times Report