The new girls hostel at Panjab University (PU), to be named after Ashoka Chakra awardee Neerja Bhanot, will finally see the light of day after several missed deadlines when UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore inaugurates it on May 29. However, the fee structure of the girls’ hostel 10 is yet to be approved by the Senate. It is likely to be on the agenda for the upcoming Senate meeting on May 27 as the admissions for 2018-19 will begin soon.
The hostel will have the facility of rooms with attached washroom which will only be allotted to research scholars. There is a difference of Rs 2,000 in the proposed fee structure for the two types of rooms. If approved, residents of rooms without washrooms will have to pay Rs 3,500 per semester and those with washrooms will pay Rs 5,500 with a difference in rental, electricity, development fund and maintenance charges.
This hostel will resolve the accommodation issues on the campus as it has a capacity of 400 students. The Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC) has long demanded the completion of the work.
It was scheduled to open in April 2017, then in August 2017 and followed by December 2017, but none of the dates worked out.
The student council said the maps of the hostel were not approved till recently. In a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor and Executive Engineer (XEN) on April 19, the student council was assured prompt action over the issue.
“This will benefit 400 students of this university. Earlier, these students were forced to live in PGs that are comparatively more unsafe. I thank the authorities for looking into our request and taking this matter seriously,” said Vani Sood, secretary, PUCSC.
On August 20, 2017, the Syndicate approved the name of the girls’ hostel 10 as Neerja Bhanot hostel. The V-C, Prof Arun Kumar Grover, had suggested the name.
Bhanot, a flight purser, lost her life trying to save passengers aboard Pan Am Flight 73 that was hijacked by terrorists during a stopover in Karachi, Pakistan, in September 1986. Posthumously, she became the youngest recipient of the Ashoka Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry award.
The other nine girls’ hostels at PU are also named after eminent personalities such as Mata Gujri, Rani Laxmi Bai, Sarojini Naidu, Kasturba Gandhi, Savitri Bai Phule, Mother Teresa, Bebe Nanki, Florence Nightingale and Amrita Pritam.