Life in VTU as We Know It

NOTE: If you are not an engineering student from India or are not familiar with what VTU is, you may not be able to relate to everything in this post. But do read on if you want to find out for yourself either how horrid it is here or if I’m just exaggerating.

All our life we’ve been led to believe that college life is going to be the most cherished and wonderful time of our lives. We will meet the love of our life, our best friends for life, and secure a software engineering job. Well now that I’m older and wiser :p , I know not to believe everything I hear. Add to it the fact that I’m from a VTU (Visweswaraya Technological University) college – I can hear all you non-VTU students laughing your asses off – and you probably already know how wrong my perception was.

So let’s begin with the attendance criteria. VTU colleges have this absurd rule that we need to maintain 85% attendance (75% with medical certificate) to be eligible to write our semester exams. They are not concerned about the quality of the lectures – whether the lectures given by the teacher are beneficial or not – and this makes the rule highly unfair. Firstly, if the student has less than 75% attendance for any reason, this should not restrict their eligibility for the exam. They can instead reduce the severity of the punishment (for instance, mention the low attendance percentage on the marks card and have the prospective employers/postgrad universities decide what to make of it) or suggest a lower cutoff, say 50% attendance, for eligibility. Secondly, if they want to make this rule compulsory, they must ensure that every last teacher in each and every branch of all VTU institutes can deliver a satisfactory lecture and knows how to control the class well. If they cannot provide this, they shouldn’t expect the students to attend all the classes.

Next, let’s talk about the VTU syllabus. Most of the topics in our prescribed textbooks are majorly outdated. People aren’t ever going to ask us about them in our lives. But what we don’t learn about is the latest technology being used in the industry – topics that will actually benefit us. No, we have to pay for learning these topics from outside of college in our spare time, which is more or less imaginary for us VTU students.

GAAAAAAAHHH!! And that’s another issue!

Our end semester holidays only span out for about 3 weeks on average. This gives us barely enough time to do any internship. If we try and extend the internship to the first week of the semester, we lose 1 week’s worth of attendance, which accounts for about 5%. We can, however, attend some workshops during those 2-3 weeks, but we don’t get time to breathe after we do. To be fair, our colleges usually allow us to take on internships during the semester so long as we don’t miss our classes. Thus, we end up getting really stressed out and worked up, just for trying to do the right thing.

Autonomous colleges, however (VTU affiliated colleges in Karnataka that have their own rules and problems) have 2.5 months of summer vacation and 1 month for Christmas – similar to what they follow in most undergrad colleges worldwide. Thus, they can do something productive like take up internships/attend workshops and still have time to spend with their family and friends. But like I said, even they have their own problems – they cut down the academic score of the students depending on the number of classes missed. At least they have decent teachers, though.

Oh well, I only have to deal with this chaos for one more semester. I really pity my juniors, though.

To all my fellow VTU survivors, peace be unto thy soul.


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