Sandeep Dash
on 03 June, 2014

Lovely But Unprofessional University

Two days back I got a call from two of my friends at 2 PM in the afternoon to tell a tale of two students. As I realized later, unfortunately those two students were the callers themselves.

Meet Sunny Mehta and Dhruv Sharma, disillusioned friends of mine who in their quest of making their parents dream to get their children to the IITs come true, joined the most premiere IIT coaching institute in Mumbai, “FACE”- ucked academy for competitive exams. Oh did I miss something there? In FACE, life was a bomb, they say. Girls sported excellent masculine moustaches, but were so modest that never accepted a compliment. The guys were either eaten up to skeleton or needed some feminine accessory to hold it. So life was pretty fun in FACE.

2 years post JEE preparation, my friends scored 12 and 16 marks out of 360 in the exam respectively . They were ecstatic, “Ab ghanta koi engineering college me milega!”. But all was not over for their parents who wouldn’t let their children become artists or do BMS, “Log kya kahenge?”.

JEE was over, then came a series of exams like BITS, VIT and my friends just about managed to avoid the left of the number line. Victory was almost theirs; Engineering could be the dream and only that, but not. The giant killer was yet to come.

In the last half decade there has been a surge in the number of private colleges in India, one of which is cutely named “Lovely Professional University”. Apart from a huge campus in Punjab, they also have students and professors . So these parents realized that they could make their children study at LPU at least.

LPU has a huge campus, a huge gym and orgasmic infrastructure. You must have seen their advertisements on TV, they are a beautiful place. They have an official FB page but the page “Lovely girls at Lovely Professional University” is more followed. The huge gym is occupied more than the classrooms, there is a 24*7 Lassi counter and I am not kidding.

About 50% students are Sikh and the rest come from various North Indians states. Every non Sikh can also be recognized looking like Virat Kohli, swearing like one and also dating like one. Not kidding again. Life is biking, swearing and some random exams in LPU - basically a 4 year long vacation in the guise of Engineering. Not to mention, the fees at LPU is a bomb.

So my friends and their parents thrilled by the number of courses LPU had to offer (150 in number) applied for its entrance exam. By far, among all other entrance exams, LPU had the most decorated hall ticket and everything looked ultra professional. And the date arrived for the entrance exam, what happened next is what my two friends told me over the phone.

The LPU entrance test was scheduled in a suburban station in Mumbai called Dadar. My friends reached the venue but found no such place where a computer test could be held. All their hall ticket suggested was the place they stood at.  Things had started to become funny, it was 8.30 already - the starting time for the test and there was no sign of a test centre or students. My friends- confused beyond imagination stood there until an old man walked up to them and asked if they had come to give the exam. Dhruv said Yes. The man opened the door to his cyber cafe. The exam was to be held at his Cyber cafe. Again, I’m not at all kidding. Further, the number of candidates from Mumbai city for the exam was two in numbers. Needless to say who they were, we go ahead. The exam started and by then my friends were wondering if it was real. The got done with the exam at 10 AM and got their call letters for the college at 10.30 AM. That quick guys, that quick. Then followed repeated calls, as many as 10 in a day to take admission in LPU. They even offered my friends’ scholarships. WOW.

The soaring number of private universities in India has made the number of students pursuing contemporary courses a majority. Almost anybody can get into such colleges. With excellent Infrastructure and facilities, these colleges attract a wide range of students - rich, disillusioned, good for nothing or my friends. The problem with these colleges is that they have great teachers and facilities, but not the students who have the acumen to pursue such a course.

Meaning no offense to any student, I wish to ask a question.

Are we going the right way to technical education in India and are the “number” of colleges in India offering technical education a good reason to believe that we are a sophisticated country for higher education?

As for both my friends, they say that “LPU is our last resort. Pun on the word resort.”

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Sandeep Dash

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