The future of hostel accommodation at IIT Bombay

When will you get a single room? InsIghT investigates. Will the transition in the next semester (Spring 2013) affect my accommodation, or my hostel GCs? To ascertain and vote, see below.

Click on the image to view the full infographic. Credits to Vikrant Raj.

Undoubtedly, what stands as the biggest problem on campus today for students is the problem of accommodation in our institute – about how we all have to live double in incredibly small single rooms, live in dormitories or even three people to a room. Our only hopes are the shining beacons in the form of H15 and 16. But when are these hostels even going to be ready? More importantly, once they come up, will they actually be able to rectify our current abysmal living conditions?

To state the obvious, the accommodation situation seems to be rather grave at the moment, with freshies being tripled up in certain hostels and final year students being denied single rooms. Not to mention the outrageous staying conditions in female hostels, where girls have previously been made to stay in the lounge and mess. The reason, as we all know, is the increased intake of students without the proportional increase in the infrastructure. The key questions now are:

1) How soon will H-15 and H-16 be completed?
2) How much impact will these 2 hostels have?
3) Are there any other alternatives?

A team from InsIghT went about seeking these answers and the findings were rather insightful!

What went wrong this year?

1)The HCU hadn’t officially announced single rooms for fifth year students. It was a mistake on the part of the Hostel G-Secs who announced that fifth year students would indeed get single rooms, which subsequently caused a lot of confusion and resentment.

2) The spot admissions (Direct M.Tech to PhD admissions without giving GATE) offered by departments were much higher than expected. Also, sponsored candidates were allotted hostel rooms initially.

This led to an acute shortage of rooms in the initial few days of the semester and fifth year students (who were then enjoying their single rooms) had to be paired up.

When will the new hostels be ready?

H-15 is expected to be ready for occupation by December 2012 and H – 16 by June 2013, according to Prof. N. Venkataramani, Dean Infrastructure Planning and Support.

Will the problem be solved once the new hostels come up?

The GSHA, Chandra Mouli, seemed optimistic about the situation easing out once the new hostels were up. On being asked why the institute could not lease buildings outside IIT and accommodate students there, he replied saying that discussions had taken place on those lines. It was however decided that it wasn’t possible given the location of the institute and that one whole building could not be given to IIT for lease. On Public Private Enterprises, as suggested by the HRD minister Mr. Kapil Sibal, he said that the cost of living would rise if an external player entered the system as their motive would be to make profits.

In order to ascertain the situation for ourselves, InsIghT obtained current accommodation data. We then did some math to see if the problem would really be resolved after the two new hostels came up –

A total 1630 people pass out, as 1780 people are expected to enter. Thus a total of 6619 students are to be accommodated next year.

After 15 and 16 come up, around 1800 male students will be accommodated there. Number of remaining students that have to be accommodated in the old hostels stands at 4819.

When all new entrants are accommodated in the new hostels:

For S single rooms and D double rooms, we have    S + D = 4366 and 2D + S = 4819

This gives around 453 double rooms and 3913 single rooms. 453 double rooms imply that 906 students will live in double rooms.

This means that all the second years will still be paired up.

However, third year onwards, all students will get single rooms starting the coming academic year (2013-14)


Official position on H-15/H-16 – Prof. Anindya Dutta, Chairperson of the Hostel Co-coordinating Unit (HCU)

The transition phase,  for the coming semester, spring 2013:

Prof. Dutta said that currently the plan was to make Hostel-15 a completely UG freshmen hostel. As of now, Hostel-15 is expected to be ready by late December. If that were to happen, a decision would have to be made about whether to shift UG freshmen or PGs living in Hostels 1-9 there in the middle of the academic year.

Plan A Plan B Your choice: Vote!
Shift all current UG Freshmen (JEE 2012 batch) to the new hostels in the coming semester (Spring 2013), impacts hostels 1-2-3-4. Changes the PAF and room retention dynamics of the hostel Shift all PG students from not residing in H12-13-14 to the new hostels. Has wider impact, affects H-5 to H-9 and H-1. Impacts the PAF and GC dynamics of the hostels

Prof Dutta’s own opinion was that it would be a better idea to shift PGs into Hostel 15 as it would ease pressure on all hostels from 1 to 9 as opposed to shifting only UG freshmen which would impact only Hostels 1,2,3 and 4.

The final scenario, as H – 16 gets ready by June 2013:

On being asked about how the final allotment for these new hostels would be done, he said that there are a lot of aspects and possible arrangements of students that must be considered before the final decision could be taken. For instance, whether to shift both UG freshmen and sophomores into Hostels 15 and 16 instead of PGs, is a decision that has massive consequences on everything ranging from senior-junior interaction to General Championships and PAFs and should be taken by consulting the student community at large. A committee comprising of the GSHA, ISHAs and the various hostel councils would be formed to deliberate on the issue.

Conclusion –

In the end, we’d like to conclude that things are definitely looking up as far as the hostel accommodation scene is concerned. Professor Dutta is hopeful (and our numbers confirm) that once Hostels 15 and 16 are up, the problem of hostel accommodation would pretty much be resolved. It is expected that all UGs 3rd year onwards would get single rooms. Also, the construction of a new Hostel 17, which would house another 1200 students, behind hostel 5 and 9 has been decided. So the day when UGs, once again shall have single rooms in IIT, might actually not be that far!