The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has collaborated with space aggregators, including the budget lodging platform OYO, to accommodate the increased number of students enrolled in the institute this year. With supernumerary seats for women, additional seats for foreign nationals in PhDs and newly introduced Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota, the IIT-Delhi has enrolled over 500 students in excess of its capacity.
“We were already facing a hostel crunch for which we have decided to set up two new hostels — one for males and the other for female students. While the construction for both hostels will be complete next summer, we will still be unable to accommodate all the students on campus. The number of admissions has been increasing every year,” said M Balakrishnan, deputy director, IIT-Delhi.
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Around 50 girls have been enrolled in supernumerary female-only quota, 100 students have enrolled in the undergraduate courses in the EWS quota. Additionally, the institute is also increasing its PhD students enrollment as a part of its Institute of Eminence status tag. Of the 200 PhD students at IIT-Delhi, 30 per cent are in from EWS category, informed the deputy director.
To accommodate the exponential increase, the institute is making ‘makeshift’ arrangements. “We have arranged out-of-campus accommodation for 550 boys in nearby areas. The female students have been accommodated inside the campus by utilising empty staff apartments, guest houses, etc,” explained Balakrishnan, adding, “This, however, is a temporary arrangement. We are looking for more permanent solutions.”
Due to its proximity (about 10km) to the Indira Gandhi International Airport, IIT-Delhi also faces limitations in terms of raising the space vertically. The institute has collaborated with many space aggregators to provide accommodation for students in the vicinity, such as OYO and Airbnb. The additional cost for off-campus accommodation is borne by the institute.
The IIT is not the only one facing cash and hostel-crunch, recently the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has also converted its common spaces into dormitories to accommodate students. Complaints regarding the cleanliness of hostels, lockers being provided instead of almirahs and cramping of as many as 10 students in one hall without a cooler have emerged from the varsity.