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The only government Industrial Training Institute (ITI) located in the Old City is crying for attention. Faced with a severe staff crunch as well as paucity of funds, the quality of training being imparted is severely affected. Adding to the woes is the disconcertment of the local residents towards the institute. The ITI Old City, setup in 1972 in Bahadurpura has for decades provided vocation training to several youngsters who could only complete matriculation. Secluded from the city until rampant urbanization became the norm, students at the institute learnt different trades in conducive environs.
But now staff crunch is a problem that threatens training imparted to the 600 odd students enrolled here. The institute has a sanctioned cadre of 65 staff members while only 36 are actually working. Until recently 16 of 19 sanctioned positions were vacant in assistant training officer (ATO) category. The ATOs are the ones mainly responsible for teaching the students. An acute fund crunch has also impeded the institute's development. The hostel building is an indication of this with walls badly in need of repairs with a fresh of coat of paint due for decades now. Surprisingly only four students have opted for accommodation in the hostel which has 36 rooms meant to lodge 250 students."The hostel is not occupied fully because only students from districts are given accommodation. We have very few students from surrounding districts," said P Nirmal Kumar, apprenticeship advisor, denying that deteriorating hostel quality had anything to do with the dip in number of students opting for hostel accommodation. However, by his admission, over 50 students had occupied the hostel in 1998 while in 2009 there were 36 students who stayed in the hostel rooms. This, in spite of the fact that Old City ITI is the only such institute among the six others present in the city, which has hostel facilities.Moreover, now the sprawling six acre campus stands vulnerable to opportune locals supported by local politicians who have allegedly prevented construction of a compound wall only to ensure uninterrupted encroachment of the land. "The college occupied more land than it does now. Slowly land is being eaten away by the locals. When attempts were made in the past to have a wall constructed, the local politicians ensured every time that it did not happen. We are concerned about the security of equipment here as there have been incidents of thefts," said a staff member. He added that though there is a guard allotted to them, it is close to impossible to ensure security without a boundary wall.Besides residential dwellings eating away land, a graveyard has extended into the institute premises and a government school has also come up on the land. Sans security, the campus has become a haven for antisocial activities. Staff members also point out that despite being located in the Old City, the percentage of locals enrolling has been abysmally low. "Until recently less than 15 percent of the students were from the Old City. In the last one year, the percentage has gone up as some efforts were put in by the principal to create awareness about the institute. As of now roughly 30 percent of the students are from the Old City areas," said one of the staff members. Hamid Khan, principal of the institute, informed that he has been making repeated efforts to draw the government's attention to the problems. "I have repeatedly written letters for getting a wall constructed around the institute. We are expecting a sanction of funds sometime soon. We have also requested additional staff. As of now we are making do with outsourced staff," he said. He admitted that the hostels are in dire need of maintenance but the funds in the yearly allocation made to them are insufficient for taking up repair works.
Courtesy: Times of India
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