In Loni, colleges work overtime to wind up syllabus

Pravara Rural Engineering College runs from 8am to 5:30pm with a one-hour lunch break and 2 fifteen minute breaks

Loni, a remote village in Ahmednagar, may not ring a bell for many. But all the old timers of Maharashtra will remember it as the premier educational hub near Shirdi. One of the oldest educational societies in Maharashtra founded by Late Padmashri Dr Vithalrao Vikhe Patil, Pravara Rural Education Society has issued instructions to all its colleges to wind up their course as early as possible. Reason: Loni is facing a severe drought.

"Over a 100 institutes working under PRES. And over 50 are in and around Loni. In November we had meetings with principals of various institutes to discuss the drought. It was decided by the management that the colleges will work extra time and complete the syllabus so that students can go home and prepare for exams," said Shashikant R Pattan, Principal, Pravara Rural College of Pharmacy. The pharmacy college has cancelled the Saturday and Sunday offs, and casual leaves of teachers and takes classes from 9am to 6pm so that the course is completed by first week of March, said Pattan.

Pravara Rural Engineering College started the second semester for all classes on December 17. But instead of running the college from 7.45am to 2.15pm, the college runs from 8am to 5:30pm with a one-hour lunch break and 2 fifteen-minute breaks. "Around 3,000 students study in this college of which 50 per cent stays in 6 hostels. There is an acute water shortage. We are rationing water and the situation is bound to deteriorate. We are taking extra classes to complete the syllabus before March 8," said SM Kelo, Principal, PREC on January 18.

Except a law college, courses from KG to PG are run under PES in Loni. "We have 6,000 students on this campus and half of them stay in hostels. We are getting only one-third of the water requirement," said Braja Bandhu Das, Director, PIREN's Technical Campus, Institute of Business Management and Administration.

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