Published: 21st August 2019
In a bid to curb its space crunch in hostel, IIT Delhi to house students off-campus in OYOs and Airbnbs
IIT-Delhi has been facing a space crunch for the past few years and hostel rooms meant for a single student are, in many cases, being shared by two students
With substantial increase in its student intake and hostel space crunch, one of India's premier institutions the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has now planned to collaborate with space aggregators like the budget lodging platforms OYO and Airbnb for housing at least 500 students near the campus.
According to an official, who wanted to remain anonymous, IIT Delhi's hostel has been facing a space crunch for the past few years and specially for the past year owing to the increase in number of regular seats and seats for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota. Hostel rooms meant for a single student are, in several cases, being shared by two students while rooms meant for two are often allotted to three residents, the official said. "The number of admissions have been increasing every year. This will be the first time around 500 students will be accommodated outside the campus as the existing infrastructure is not sufficient. Construction is ongoing for more hostels which will only be complete next year, till then the off-campus accommodation facility will be provided to the students and the additional cost will be borne by the institute," he added.
The EWS category was added this year and the 10 per cent quota meant that the seats increased by 25 per cent. The supernumerary category for women students was added in 2018. This academic year, IIT-Delhi will also have a 10,000-strong student body for its B Tech, M Tech and PhD courses.
"We personally feel this off-campus system would not be a great idea for the students who will be living off-campus. Mostly, the MTech and PhD students will have to be provided accommodation outside. It will be a difficult for them as they won't be a part of the educationally enriched campus experience, would be deprived of the 24/7 library and lab facilities available on campus. Most importantly, transport would be a problem if students have to go back late after finishing class. It will be a greater hassle for girl students as it is not safe to travel at night," Aashi Agarwal, who is a BTech fourth year student told Edex.
She is also the Deputy General Secretary for the Board for Student Welfare (BSW) at IIT-Delhi. BSW consists of student representatives from each hostel and a few faculty members. This board has been constituted to help the students in the hour of need. Aashi also added that they will take up this matter with the administration and figure out a viable solution. "We will act as a bridge between the students and the administration so that their grievances are met," she added.
IIT- Delhi is not the only institution facing cash and hostel-crunch, recently Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) also converted its common spaces into dormitories in order to accommodate students. Complaints from students regarding the unclean hostels, lockers being provided instead of almirahs and cramping of as many as 10 students in one single hall without a cooler have begun emerging from the varsity.