Post-doctoral fellows and research associates (RAs) at Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), who were asked to vacate their rooms on the Powai campus, have started moving out.
With the management of the institute remaining firm on not allowing students to occupy hostel rooms ‘indefinitely’, the boarders have found accommodation across the city and some have also started applying for jobs, at the same time working on their research papers to complete their PhD. HT has reported about the shortage of residential space on campus that forced the institute to ask research students to clear out their rooms for freshers.
The senior students are not happy with the diktat. “Even after we submit our thesis and the Viva, we get about six to seven months to publish our research work in science journals. Most of us are working on just that at present, but clearly the institute thinks we are wasting their time and space,” said a student who also works as an RA at the institute.
Some post-doctoral fellows end up working with in-house professors on their projects during this time, but with all of them being asked to vacate their hostel rooms, students have no option but to find accommodation elsewhere.
HT had reported how these students pay Rs 1,100 to stay at any of the hostels on campus. Taking up accommodation anywhere in the vicinity of the institute will come to cost them between Rs 20,000 and Rs 22,000 for a one-room-kitchen flat. Some have now started moving towards areas with cheaper rentals like Kharghar, Kurla, Kandivli and Borivli to name a few. “Even though we’ll have to come to campus regularly for our work as RAs, some of us have found joint accommodations in Kharghar for now,” said another student.
IIT-B hosted their 54th convocation ceremony on August 13 where out of 2,515 students, 350 were PhDs alone. Figures shared by the institute shows that this has been the highest number of PhD students passing out of IIT-B. Last year 260 PhDs were conferred by the institute. “The process for our final doctorate degree will still take some time to complete , and in the meanwhile, some of us have already started looking for jobs. Once we get our degree, we will hopefully get jobs that we like and that is the only way to solve our rental woes,” said another senior student.