The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) will not allow post-doctoral fellows and research associates to overstay on campus. Last week, HT wrote about space crunch at IIT-B that was driving these students to look for accommodation outside the campus. According to figures revealed by IIT-B officials, there are about 360 post-doctoral fellows on campus at present.
“These are students who have spent enough and more time on campus and we are now encouraging them to move out and find jobs. Henceforth, this will be the rule applicable to all students who are over doing their stay in the institute; no one can stay here indefinitely” said dean of student affairs, Soumyo Mukherji.
PhD students get a research scholarship for five years from the central government and this period is increased by one year by IIT-B. “But many students have pushed their stay for almost seven years on campus and only now are being asked to leave the campus,” said Mukherji.
While there is no official word on the deadline provided to students to vacate their hostel rooms, students have found out that they have time until mid-August to find accommodation outside the campus.
“The annual convocation is on August 13 and we’ve heard that the management will allow us time till then to look for accommodation elsewhere. We have no choice but to vacate our hostel rooms,” said one of the students.
Many who have already started hunting for accommodation around the campus said the rent is too steep and houses with cheaper rents are very far from the campus. Many students are working as RAs on campus and will have to visit the campus daily.
“Many of us have already submitted our thesis as well as completed the process of VIVA, which means we have six more months to publish our research papers in journals and we have the right to stay on campus. Thanks to this sudden decision, we are now forced to move out. The management should have given us a warning earlier,” said an RA, on condition of anonymity.
While IIT-B has made it very clear that research fellows will not be allowed to extend their stay indefinitely, some of the other IITs are making arrangement for their students on campus itself.
At IIT-Delhi, with only 5,200 rooms to accommodate over 7,000 students, the institute gives first preference to students from outside Delhi and request students from the city to avoid hostel accommodation.
“We have converted single rooms into double occupancy ones and double rooms into triple sharing rooms. While this can be difficult in the beginning, slowly students get used to the arrangement,” said Prof S K Gupta, dean student affairs, IIT-D. He added that research scholars, who usually get single rooms, are asked to share rooms with juniors or other students in case they end up staying longer than required to complete their course.