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Vikash Sharma

Well-equipped infrastructure with state-of-the-art tools is the first thing that comes to one’s minds when one thinks of a modern classroom at any premier educational institute. However, a photograph of a group of students from the iconic Ravenshaw University in Cuttack attending classes while squatting on the floor presented a different tale at a time when the Odisha government claims to have ramped up the education sector with the introduction of smart classrooms at schools in the State.

The picture recently went viral on social media. In the picture, several students of Rural Development department at the Ravenshaw University were seen attending physical mode of teaching by sitting on the floor. Reason: lack of adequate benches and tables to accommodate the students.

The incident sparked off a row, prompting authorities at the century old premier educational institution of the State to issue a clarification. Registrar of the University, Bhakta Charan Pradhan on Tuesday termed the happenings as ‘unfortunate.’

“Tables and benches in the classroom have been damaged. The concerned Head of the Department did not bring the matter to our notice. We have already issued a supply order for the procurement of new benches and tables,” he said.

A student said, “We did not know about the incident. The picture of students attending classes by sitting on the floor is really unfortunate. We never thought we would face such an embarrassing situation at the premier institution of the State where foreign students are also studying.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the students of the Rural Development department had earlier informed the varsity officials about the crumbling benches after the institute reopened for physical mode of teaching in August this year.

Earlier, the Rural Development department was functioning from two rooms of the Economics department in the Commerce block.

In January, the concerned department was shifted to the old MBA department near the Vice-Chancellor’s office. Students alleged that the all the required furniture was shifted to the MBA department block and broken benches and furniture was allotted to the Rural Development department.

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