AC rooms, pantries: IIMs to prioritise student comfort

  • Rozelle Laha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 27, 2016 11:23 IST
Students will be able to cook their own meals in most new IIM hostels. (istock)

Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Trichy, which will move into its new campus by October 2016 from its transit campus at NIT Trichy, plans to build air-conditioned single-seater hostels.

“We want to create a global education hub. So, we are trying to create facilities that you usually find in Western hostels – there will be a pantry room on every floor. If some of them, especially international students, aren’t comfortable with spicy Indian food, they can cook their own food,” says Professor Prafulla Agnihotri, director, IIM Trichy.

IIM Udaipur, too, plans to have fully loaded pantries with microwave ovens, toasters, induction stoves, utensils and refrigerators. Such units will be available at each floor of the new campus at Balicha in all the hostels, which are likely to open by October 2016.

Read more: Why students don’t feel at home in IIMs

In fact, most of the new IIMs, including Udaipur and Raipur, plan to have air-conditioned hostels in their new hostels, unlike most of their older counterparts, including IIMs Ahmedabad (which has just a few air conditioned dormitories for students of short-term and PGPX programmes), Bangalore, Calcutta and Lucknow.

IIM Visakhapatnam already has air-conditioned hostels.

A student at IIM Calcutta says that “Kolkata is hottest during the summers and we can avoid the heat as we are usually out of campus during internships. It starts raining from June and the climate cools down considerably so ACs are not required then.”

Whether Bengaluru, with its reasonably cool climate, actually needs air conditioned hostels is open to debate, but there’s no denying that most parts of India remain hot and humid in the summer months.

Read more: IITs, IIMs think beyond govt funds and tuition fee

A senior IIM source on conditions of anonymity says that it is the human resource development ministry’s responsibility to allocate funds for specific reasons even as directors envision how they want to develop their institutes. So, if the directors approach the ministry with a proper vision report they are usually never denied funds.

Agreeing with him, another source at an IIM says, “The IIM hostels can be more state-of-the-art and have air conditioning as most parts of India are hot and humid. Some institutes have air coolers that are rented to the students for a nominal charge. Why can’t they take funds and make their campuses world-class and ultra-modern? IIMs, especially the old ones, should no longer be looking at India as their vision; they need to look at the world as the market. Let’s create India as a market for education, next only to the United States. Let’s give students the same quality of education, the same infrastructure.”

Most new IIMs are doing well because they take in high-caliber students who will get placed easily. Those at the helm in newer IIMs will have to develop a vision and ensure that they build top class institutes in the long run,, say the sources.

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