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VTU subscribing to expensive e-journals, colleges claim

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Deccan Herald | Prashanth G N, September 21, 2015, DHNS |

The Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) has been accused of subscribing to highly expensive e-journals for students even though the usage of such journals is not high, the Association of Engineering Colleges in Karnataka has claimed.
The Association, in a letter to the VTU, a copy of which is with Deccan Herald, has stated that the VTU has called for a subscription of Rs 7.62 lakh for e-journals per year for undergraduate colleges, Rs 12.71 lakh for the PG institutions and Rs 14.67 lakh for the autonomous colleges, in all amounting to Rs 35 lakh per year. The amount needs to be paid against the current dollar value which is around Rs 65 a dollar. The Association claims that not more than 10 per cent of the students and staff have been using the e-journal facility, and in some colleges, staff and students were not even aware of the existence of these journals. “When this is the case, why are officials in the university so interested in making it compulsory?” The Association states that “in today’s world, those colleges which wish to attract good students will naturally have to subscribe to e-journals, but it can be left to the colleges to decide what journals to subscribe to. You may advise the best journals, but you cannot force and need not force. Today, market forces will push colleges to give good education,” the Association has said. VTU Registrar K E Prakash made it clear that there has been no financial wastage from the university. “E-journals are a common requirement all over the world. Now, everything is done on computer, tablet and laptops. We have made it convenient for students to access the best journals from all over the world.”

The money charged would be higher if you subscribe as an individual, but if you go as a consortium, the rates are lesser.  “Because we went as a consortium of colleges, we got a very good concession for the subscription. It has been very good for PG students who have used it for project work and by research students who have followed up on their research. UG students too refer to the journals too. Overall its usage is fairly good,” the VTU registrar told Deccan Herald. Students can’t say no to e-journals in this digital age. Also, storing hundreds of books in a library will be difficult. Students no more need to go to the libraries – they can access the journals at their hostel rooms or home itself. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) itself has recommended e-journals to students. So where is the question of us spending more money? the VTU Registrar sought to know. –Courtesy


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