Inefficiency in university administrative offices

As I am going about the procedure of submitting my thesis here in Sg, I was today thinking about how clear the entire protocol is and how efficient it is.

And I was comparing it to the times, I have had to do similar things in India and how much it annoyed and angered me.

Here, I know the exact office timings and I know when my form will be submitted and the work done. I know what exactly I have to submit and there is usually an online document stating what needs to be given where. I know I can call the office or meet them and ask what to do.

I was thinking of my days for submitting forms and documents in India.

University 1 was worse than University 2.

University 1 had different offices for submission and collection which were in different places which is dumb. Then they had this long row of counters, the people in the office are like behind bars and us students are on the other side. There are so many grills in between. Communication between people on either side of counters is very difficult. There were at least 12 counters and of course typical Indian government style, only 2 or 3 will be open at any given time. Often, the people serving the counter would walk off for tea any time they pleased leaving the queue waiting indefinitely. Outside there are tiny roadside stalls selling all the useless stuff the people are counter will insist is necessary and without which they will refuse to process your forms. You even have guys who will fill up your forms for you for a fee and tell you what you need to attach. Like this particular university would not accept forms and supporting documents which are stapled. They have to be tied with a thread which is dumb.And on top of that the thread has to be red and of particular specs. Who even would think of that? Go to the vendor right in front of the office and buy it from him. Then depending on your luck, the rules and things you need to submit change. The counters are closed at 11.30 though the lunch time is 12 – 1 PM and reopen only at 2 PM. If you were to come at 11.25 AM, they will find some fault or tell you to wait and then tell you to come back at 2 PM after lunch hours.

University 2 was better as all the office sections were in one location and I would often walk into the office when I knew standing in front of the counter did not help me. The lunch time thing was similar and once a lady at the counter made me wait for 25 minutes and then shut the counter on my face and told me to come back after lunch. Well, she could have informed me to come later instead of making me wait for so long. Again, different rules on different days coming from different people but having everything in one place and ease of going inside the office made things much easier and there was some semblance of rules and what to do.

Generally, I have been lucky to have to deal with minimal going to these university offices but some of my friends have been not. University 1 typed in y friend’s name wrongly on the marks certificate.

Whose fault was it? The people in the university office.

Who has to pay to get it corrected? – The student.

She had to go to the office every year to correct it and remind them not to repeat the mistake the following year and they did it every single year claiming that the centralized database was not corrected and they cannot access it. Some claim, they often do this to earn additional money from students.

I am sure and have heard of some inefficiency in administrative offices here but my experience has been positive overall and I never had to walk around not knowing what was required and having to please people to make them do their work.

Many offices in India are plagued by inefficiency, corruption and chock a block full of people who do not do their jobs and get offended when you tell them that.

I like having things done without having to run around and efficiently.


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