There have been several complaints against alleged irregularities in the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) including misuse and wasteful expenditure of funds in various projects and devices.
One such device being developed at huge costs from funds extracted from NEHU’s Design Incubation Centre is the development of large sized book chambers for sanitising the expensive library books.
The faculty involved in developing such devices is Dr. Sudip Paul from the Biomedical Engineering Department and Dr. Aseem Sinha from the BSSS Department along with support of NEHU Incubation Centre.
According to sources in NEHU, these chambers are working on the principle of high heat and air pressure blown through compressors.
“The total cost incurred for developing these chambers runs in lakhs of rupees wherein such chambers are already available in the market at much lower prices and developed by several researchers and industries already,” sources said.
“Such sanitisation chambers are set to be installed in the university library soon without any proper quality checks and approval from any certified body regarding their safety and long term usability,” the sources added.
Sources also said that instead of promoting original innovations, such doubtful works pass in the name of innovation.
“It has been found that due to high heat and pressure created in the chamber the plastic coating and cover of these expensive books could get damaged as paper quality of every book differs, the flash point of reaching desired temperature may be different,” the sources said.
Sources also said that the material employed for developing the chamber is found to be of inferior quality. Further, there is no solid evidence that the virus would be eliminated by putting these precious and expensive books in the developed sanitisation chamber.
It may be mentioned that the book sanitisation chamber was inaugurated today at the Central Library of NEHU here by Prof. S. K. Srivastava, Vice Chancellor of the university in the presence of officers, faculty and staff of the university.
According to a statement issued by NEHU, the project was sanctioned by the Incubation Centre of NEHU and the product was made ready along with its testing in a short period (nearly two and half months) particularly against extreme odds and challenges due to the pandemic situation, during the months of May to July this year. Training was also imparted to the Library staff to operate the machine.
NEHU claimed that the book sanitisation chamber is a safe and user friendly, cost-effective device, indigenously developed with a capacity to sanitise up to odd 150 books one cycle of about 45 minutes at a recurring cost of 20-30 paise per book. It also said that this sanitising machine functions in an auto-controlled mode to sanitise all kinds of reading materials without causing any kind of damage to the material.
Dr. Aseem Sinha, one of the members of the product development team presented the overview of the project followed by the live demonstration of the machine by Vinayak Majhi and Ashik K. Baruah.
Dr. F R Sumer, Librarian In-charge, NEHU, stated that such a device was felt necessary, about two months ago to manage the handling of the books and other reading materials, while in circulation among the students and other users, especially in the post lockdown situation.
He also said that the sole objective behind such thought is to keep a facility ready for Covid-free environment in the University Library for a safe use of the books under circulation.