Not any more. A university has come up with a unique solution. A solution that is so simple that it’s unbelievable. Along with motivating students to score higher grades, this solution will also cut down on the university’s costs. And this university is none other than the West Bengal University of Technology (WBUT), the best university in the world (ok, maybe not now, but it’ll be very soon). Gopal Krishna Gokhale once said “What Bengal thinks today,
Founded in 2001, WBUT was the first university in
Anyway, coming back to taking tough decisions, WBUT has always been a pioneer in the country. For instance, they made a rule that IT students cannot enter the computer labs except during the lab periods. Now just think about the sheer brilliance of that decision. With one simple rule, they solved four problems.
- Cost cutting on electricity bills
- Students wasting their time in the lab
- ‘Wear and tear’ of the computers
- Students developing something innovative in their free time. By preventing this last one they significantly reduced the chance of brain drain.
Being a West Bengal Government owned university, the WBUT has always had to worry about funds. After all, it’s the only government which puts the welfare of the poor before the education of the rich. So obviously, the university cannot afford to have the kind of infrastructure and resident faculty that their ‘rich’ counterparts in corrupt states (like Andhra Pradesh) can. Then there’s also the conspiracy by the central government which has never allowed the West Bengal Government to do anything worthwhile. So how to solve this problem? Again, it’s the pure genius of the WBUT people that came up with a cheap yet high quality solution to the problem of the faculty. Now as everyone knows,
WBUT has come up with numerous such innovative plans and tested them on IIIT Calcutta (as that is the only college that is bound by its whims and fancies). Not setting up a LAN in the computer lab (actually the assistant registrar was not sure what ‘LAN’ meant and whether it was useful), strictly maintaining timings for the labs and libraries (why do they need it open whole night anyway?), discouraging students from meeting or even writing letters to the VC (Do you think he has no work?)… the list is endless.
But I digress. The issue at hand is how they came up with a novel method to motivate the five-to-eight pointers to get more marks, and cut costs at the same time. As I said, it is absurdly simple. They just announced that:
- Students from the 2005 and 2006 batches will have their convocation ceremony together, and
- Only the top ten students from each college are eligible to attend the convocations.
(Note the design of the web page. Being an amateur web designer myself, I simply love the way it is titled “Untitled Document”. Creative to say the least. Or did Brainware Consultancy run away due to lack of funds before they could come up with a title?)
Now isn’t this amazing? Having the convocation for two batches together will cut down the cost by half, spare everyone the trouble of finding out chief guests for two occasions, and promote fellow feeling between juniors and seniors. And calling only the top ten? That will teach a lesson to people like me, who score eight point somethings and are too pleased with themselves. And this motivation won’t stop when they start getting nine-point-somethings, because even then only the top ten will be wearing the gown. So the rat race will pull their scores higher and higher towards ten. Here’s what a friend had to say about this (Pardon the language; even I didn’t understand half of it, so I decided to paste it as it was):
“We are minuscule entities in the eyes of the dictatorial rulers of this so called coveted university. We can protest, cry or write voluminous articles against their partitionist behaviour. But their skin is thicker than the stiffest matter in world and they have deviated from their moral values. This is the first time in the whole history of academia that such kind of a convocation (where the college heads in the presence of respected dignitaries wish their departing students success in life and to carry the reputation of the university everywhere) will be held. This kind of gory act diminishes the confidence of the passing out students and hurts their pride, and puts a question in their mind, "Was I a part of that institute?" Shame on these administrators, they have no soul left, only the superficial blood and flesh, which is mortal.”
But I’m happy. I’m happy because although I wasted my four years of engineering in worrying about things like studying and understanding rather than scoring marks, the future students will not repeat my mistake. And I’m also happy because even after getting such dismal marks and being ineligible to attend the convocation, I can proudly say, “I’m a student of WBUT, the only university that cares about its students”