They have always been lucky when it comes to hot jobs. Now students of the Indian Institutes of Management may say the same for love. With the arrival of more women, older students and more liberal attitudes, IIM campuses are witnessing something that few talk about openly — live-in relationship in hostels.
“Officially, people cannot have a live-in relationship. But, in my second year, I pretty much shacked up in my girlfriend’s room,” said Ram Kumar, who earned a master’s in business administration from the top-ranking IIM, Ahmedabad, in 2002. Kumar now works for an investment bank in London.
Unlike campus housing in the West, when it comes to the opposite sex, Indian colleges and schools impose hostel curfews and all sorts of restrictions. IIMs are an exception, having decided to treat students as adults. “If students cannot manage their own lives, how do you expect them to become leaders?” asks Ashok Shah, spokesman for IIM, Ahmedabad.
At most IIM hostels, a student gets a room to him/herself. So live-in arrangements typically mean one partner heading back to his or her room in the morning to get ready for classes. Kumar says 50 to 70 per cent of the dating couples live together on campus, but do not talk about it.
In IIM, Bangalore, women are assigned to women-only floors though it’s impossible to demarcate where the boys’ section ends and the girls’ begins.