KOCHI: There are problems galore at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat), right from the influence of external forces be it political or not to the incursion of anti-social elements. However, the university campus that attracted attention for all the wrong reasons is limping back to normalcy.
The BTech classes at the School of Engineering, which witnessed a fight between students and a group from outside the campus, will resume on Wednesday. The decision was taken at a meeting that was held at the university. According to Cusat Vice-Chancellor R Sasidharan, the meeting saw participation by the University officers, SOE principal, division heads, representatives of student organisations and PTA, security officer and the circle inspector of police.
“Various issues were discussed at the meeting. The prime one being security inside the campus. We have decided to hold a meeting with the PTA regarding steps needed to be taken to wean the students away from mitigating violence,” he said.
“It was also decided to carry out inspections at the hostels. The aim is to curb the use of alcohol and psychotropic drugs. We have to save our students and prevent those who have not strayed yet from taking the wrong path. For this, we have sought the help of the parents and the police,” he said. Awareness classes will be conducted at the university to make the students aware of the pitfalls of using drugs and other intoxicants, he added.
According to him, the recent incidents did leave a bad mark on the university’s reputation. “However, I don’t think it will have any effect on the NIRF rankings since they take into consideration the academic performance, the research works and also the number of papers being presented. But, yes the unrest has affected the academics. Since a lot of hours that could have been utilised to covering the portions and also other academic works have been lost,” he said.
“We don’t have any security at the campus. It is an open place with entry to all and sundry. This allows all sort of people to easily gain entrance and have contact with the students. We have been trying to get a compound wall built around the campus, but the locals always put a spoke in our moves,” he said.
The issue of the compound wall and the safety of the campus has been raised with the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and also the Minister for Higher Education K T Jaleel, he added.“We have been pointing out to all the previous governments how drug peddlers are making the campus their favourite roosting grounds. Until and unless the authorities help us build a fence or wall to enclose the campus, anti-social elements will continue to create trouble,” said the vice-chancellor.
Right lessons ahead
Awareness classes will be conducted at the university to make the students aware of the pitfalls of using drugs and other intoxicants