With Delhi University set to expand its student intake by 10% this academic session, following the implementation of the EWS quota, the already existing campus accommodation crunch is going to be experienced far more acutely. While the university is opening its doors for more EWS students — whose household income is below Rs 8 lakh — it is not balanced out by living facilities to accommodate them.
“This will depend on the Centre releasing funds, which has not happened so far. Hopefully, by next year, some funds will have been received. But this year will be a stretch across the board,” said Dean, Students Welfare, Rajeev Gupta.
Nearly half of the varsity’s approximately 1.8 lakh strong student body comes from outside Delhi, and only a fraction are accommodated in hostels provided by the colleges or university. The rest depend on paying guest (PG) accommodations or rent apartments close to their colleges.
Gupta also said hostel accommodation in DU has been below optimum even prior to the expansion. “Hostel accommodation is anyway something that we have not been able to provide — only some 2-3% of admissions happen to hostels. The 54% student expansion, which was introduced with OBC reservation, has also not been accommodated. Only SC, ST and PWD students have been provided accommodation on a priority basis. As a result, we will not be able to prioritise the new group immediately,” he said.
College principals also said that as of now, there has been no movement towards accommodating the higher student intake. “It is not a simple exercise. Everybody is trying to work with the numbers, determine cut-offs and make it through the admission process. Accommodation is an issue and we are expecting that there will be a plan and resources to work on that. Colleges also have long-standing problems like shortage of space on campus. There are off-campus possibilities which can be explored, like the hostel for women students from the North East. But this will be looked into after admissions,” said Kirori Mal College principal Dr Vibha Chauhan.
With a student body of 5,000 — roughly half of which are women — the college has a men’s hostel with a capacity for 190.
Dr Manoj Khanna, principal of Ramjas College, said colleges will be better able to assess their requirements once this year’s admissions are completed and the new student intake is stabilised within the college.
The average cost of living in a PG in Kamla Nagar, North Campus’s student centre, is Rs 12,000. At the lower end of the spectrum are rooms for Rs 3,000, while at the other end are “luxury PGs” that cost over Rs 20,000.
Till last year, DU had 56,000 seats. But with the quota this year, the number of seats will increase to about 62,000.