Published: 22nd April 2021
IIT BHU trying to brush off responsibility because this is PM Modi's constituency: Students refuse after admin asks them to leave
A students' organisation — Students For Change (SFC) — put out a statement against this "anti-student" decision and said that the PhD scholars do not want to vacate
The students of IIT BHU in Varanasi have been asked to vacate the hostels and go home immediately, owing to the second wave of COVID. Most state governments have given the order for institutions to be shut, while MHA guidelines are forthcoming.
But the students have been protesting and say that they would be safer inside and that they and their family would be exposed to the virus if they travel at this point. Some of the PhD scholars also said that they have to bear the brunt because the IIT is located in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency and the Director does not want to take the responsibility of letting them stay.
The administration on the other hand said that their focus is on keeping the student safe. "These instructions have been given for the safety and convenience of the students. As of yet no student has expressed any problem in this regard. If they find it difficult to vacate the hostel, the students' request will be considered," said the officials. "It is not that students who do not vacate hostels till will be forced. Protection of students is our main priority," added the administration.
A student from the Mechanical Engineering Department said that the Director has not been responsive at all and the administration just wants to wash the responsibilities off their hands. "This IIT has always been evasive of responsibilities because we are located in the PM's constituency. We get both the good and bad of it. Now, they are trying to evict everyone who is on campus. But there will be some who cannot leave because of travel restrictions but that number might be very less. They plan to let only a handful of students remain and try and evict everyone else. They are also asking the supervisors to call and pressurise the students' family to take them back," said the student on the condition of anonymity. "We are safe inside. If we have to travel now, we would be exposed to the virus. Not just that we have our parents and elderly people at home who would be exposed to the virus unnecessarily," he added.
A students' organisation — Students For Change (SFC) — put out a statement against this "anti-student" decision and said that the PhD scholars who are residing in the hostels do not want to vacate. "Instead of looking out for the welfare of its students, (the administration) is trying to get its hands away from responsibilities. We are all aware that the COVID pandemic situation is becoming worse in the country currently. In this scenario, why is it necessary that the students vacate the hostels in a forced way?" asked students. "We should keep in mind that only some batches of students from PhD and MTech are there in the hostels right now because they require labs for their research work. And we should also question the assumption that the hostels will spread the disease. It is hypocritical that professors who are still staying in their apartment homes on campus are ordering the PhD students to vacate their single rooms in hostels which are home to them," they added.
This copy has been updated with the IIT BHU administration's comments.