The student body met the Director, Dean of Student Affairs and the HCU Chairman in a packed IRCC auditorium at 6pm on 21st January, where the authorities responded to student concerns. InsIghT presents to you a gist of the discussions:
Q: Why this move to suddenly relocate students from old H10?
A: Old H-10 needs to be immediately demolished and the construction for new H10 needs to commence. This is keeping in mind future accommodation needs.
Q: Why cannot this be delayed until the end of this semester?
A: The accepted tender has a validity period- till March, 2013. Delaying the demolition post that would make the contract null and void and the whole tendering process would have to be restarted, resulting not only in financial losses of up to INR 8 crores, but also pushing back construction of new H10 by over a year.
Q: If that is so, why was the tendering process scheduled at all to such a date?
A: H15 was supposed to be up by July 2011. As per initial plans, girls from the old wing of H 10 would have been accommodated in one wing H15 until new H10 was constructed. However, the inordinate delay in H15 has pinched us and has led to these measures. This is a one-off case, and it is not something we expected. We need to face it together.
Q: Students are rarely consulted in such decisions. What is the point of having elected student representatives if they are never taken into confidence by the authorities? The Helipads for the PM, the TumTum rerouting and the current accommodation plans for girls were all taken without consulting the student body.
A: Most of these instances are exceptional circumstances, in most cases, students are already party to most decisions.Either way we agree, in principle. Students will be taken into confidence in such decisions in the future, it may however not be possible to include them in all institute committees.
Q: H-8 was promised that when one of its wings was given to H11, it will be returned back to H-8 in three years. Now there are rumors of H8 becoming a girls hostel.
A: H-8 was promised that its wing will be returned when the accommodation crisis ends. We will stick to that promise. Unfortunately, the crisis has exceeded the initial projection of three years due to the H15 delay.
Q: We have heard that you plan to convert H8 into a girls’ hostel rather than give one wing of H15 to the girls while new H10 is being constructed. Why are you doing this, especially when you have previously promised to us, in writing that the D wing of H8 will be returned to us? Also, we have spoken to female representatives from H10 and 11, and they would rather prefer to move to H 15 than H8.
A: There are security issues with moving girls to H15, especially in lieu of the on-going construction of H16 which will not be over by the time girls would move into H15. If girls prefer moving to H15, rather than H8, we will ensure that we provide them adequate safety in H15 and we will not convert H8.
Q: (Married students): We live outside the campus premises. How do you expect us to pay a rent of INR 18000 from a stipend of INR 15000?
A: From 13th Jan 2013 with retrospective effect, such students will be paid House Rent Allowance (HRA).
Q: (by the Institute Girls Sports Nominee) In the new plans for H10, there are no grounds whatsoever for play. This will most certainly kill the sports culture in the hostel. This was pointed out time and again earlier by the Hostel G.Sec., to which the response is that the terrace will be converted for the same. Safety concerns don’t allow it, how can we play on marble flooring on a terrace?
A: We will look into alternative arrangements like allowing use of the KV Grounds after hours to H10 students.
The Mess Refund issue was also brought up. The institute had earlier agreed to refund 3000 per student in hostels with Govt. run messes, in October last year. Students pay 6000 rs as hostel subsidy in their fees, out of which 3000 was agreed to be refunded. The Director took stock of the issue and promised to look into it with the Deputy Director (Finance & Ext. Affairs).