The students of Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT)-Kalyani, West Bengal are on strike since last two weeks of January, 2019. The students are demanding for a permanent campus of the institute. Currently, IIIT-Kalyani is running at a temporary location. Initially, a private Engineering College (JIS college of Engineering) was used for conducting academic activities of the institute. Presently, Webel (Saltlake, Kolkata) campus is being used for the same. Although there are four years’ batches, the students are allotted only three classrooms. As a result, classes for each year’s batch cannot be held simultaneously. IIIT-Kalyani is a newly set-up institute by Government of India (MHRD), Government of West Bengal and industry partners on a “Not-for-profit” Public Private Partnership (N-PPP) basis having the stake-holding in the ratio of 50:35:15 respectively. IIIT Kalyani has been attributed the status of Institute of National Importance (INI) by the Government of India in March 2017. Additionally, the Government of West Bengal has allotted in papers 50 acres of land for setting up the permanent campus. However the construction of the new campus has not been started yet. The grievances and protest demonstrations of the students depicts the present real scenario of the institute.
Students of Kalyani based Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), pursuing BTech in Computer Science and Engineering have begun fast unto death protesting against the apathetic attitude of the Institute administration since it failed to come up with a assurance to shift them to a well equipped campus from the temporary one. It is important to mention that the students of IIIT-Kalyani are demanding to shift them to their mentor institute’s (IIT Kharagpur) campus temporarily until IIIT-Kalyani sets-up its own campus in fully functional order. The major demands of the protesting students are shortlisted as follows:
- Sufficient infrastructure to support the student strength in terms of classes and events
- Availability of buildings and equipments for co-curricular activities
- Better timing of transportation from hostel to campus and vice-versa
- Medical facility at all times
- Proper security for the hostel residents
- Resolution to issues caused due to menace of the locals
The students are in protest and demonstration since several years for permanent campus and proper academic facilities, faculties and hostel and accommodation facilities. The agitation reached its peak in last two weeks of January, 2019. The students were in strike and academic halt. The fasting students include 29 boys and 6 girls, whereas around 350 more students meanwhile continued to demonstrate round the clock at the Webel IT park premise, where classes are being held temporarily. Few of the protesting students were also taken to JNM Hospital Kalyani for their deteriorating health condition. The officials and Director from IIIT-Kalyani and mentor institute IIT Kharagpur met with the students but failed to meet their demands satisfactorily. The Major stakeholder of IIT-Kalyani, ie, MHRD, remained silent about the ongoing burning event demonstrated by the protesting students of IIIT-Kalyani. In this regard, COSTISA condemns MHRD’s dangerous, deceiving and populist trend of making institutes without proper infrastructure, which undermines scholar student’s future prosperity and scientific progress of the youth and stands in solidarity with the protesting students of IIIT-Kalyani for their genuine and legitimate demand.
Coordination of Science and Technology Institutes’ Student Association (COSTISA)
[COSTISA is a coordination between progressive and democratic student organizations of IIT Madras, IIT Bombay, IIT BHU, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Kanpur, IIT Gandhinagar, IMS BHU and other Science & Technology institutes.]