Undergraduate students will not be allowed to stay off-campus at IITs

The recent IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Council meeting with the Minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on August 23, 2016 led to many developments. One of these decisions was to allow students to stay off-campus to increase the intake of candidates across of all courses in the next four years. IITs are planning to increase their total number of students by about 30,000 till 2020, which will increase the total number of students from the current 72,000 to 1 lakh. For this purpose, the IIT Council, starting next year, intends to increase the number of students eligible to take the JEE Advanced every year.

PaGaLGuY spoke to Prof Devang Khakhar, Director, IIT Bombay, about this new change. “The Minister, Prakash Javadekar, has asked the institutes to take as many students the institute is capable of, based on their academic facilities. But hostels should not be a constraint for the number of students, as they can always stay outside.”

He continued, “This change is applicable to postgraduate and PhD students only, and no undergraduate students will be allowed to stay off-campus. Currently, there is no shortage of space, so I don’t think accommodating more students will be a major concern.”

While talking about ample amount of space at IIT-B, earlier this year some PhD students were asked to vacate the campus accommodation. The reason being shortage of rooms for BTech (Bachelors in Technology) students. On this matter Prof Khakhar added, “Only those PhD students who have completed their research studies were asked to vacate the room.” The proposed time for completing the research work is five years, after which scholars (exceptions are made where the research period can go above five years) have to vacate the hostels. IITs don’t provide any off-campus accommodation, postgraduate and PhD students might be asked manage their own place. 

Prof Sivakumar M Srinivasan, Dean of Student Affairs, IIT Madras, feels it is important for BTech students to stay on-campus for overall development. He said, “We are not talking about only academics, staying on-campus is essential for overall development. Students participate in sports, extra-curricular activities, for which they practice only in evenings, between 6 to 11 pm. It will be difficult for off-campus students to take part in such activities, and this could be a hindrance in their overall development.”