Yet another fee hike issue surfaced at IP College for Women as the administration issued the 2019-2020 hostel prospectus with the revised fee structure, which had a considerable rise. Hostel residents were distressed to find the 12,750 increase for new admissions and the semester wise re-admissions.
The college hostels, Kalavati Gupta hostel and the off-campus IP hostel with 280 and 180 seats respectively, boast one of the largest accommodational capacity of DU college hostels but the hike which was claimed as “unreasonable and exorbitant” by residents has put an excessive amount of pressure on the parents who prioritize the safe accommodation of their wards. “At the end of the day, we are forced to pay whatever the administration has put in the prospectus to keep our hostel seat. We really don’t have a choice except to cough up the extra amount for no added facilities,” said one resident on the condition of anonymity. The hostel fee which was 69,900 a semester last year has become 82,650 this year for new admissions and 74,550 from 61,900 for re-admission. IP college hostels already charge almost double the amount that other DU college hostels like Miranda House charge (32,190 for one semester) and this is why this hike has been called preposterous by the residents.
The residents are frequently plagued by numerous issues and the Hostel General Body meeting does more to humiliate the residents who bring up such problems than to amicably resolve them. The hostel seats are allotted based on merit for first years and 75% attendance for second and third years. Residents with low attendance are routinely singled out and their ‘privileges’ like the 10:30 p.m. late nights took away and the 8000 caution deposit forfeited. Requests of residents of the AC rooms, which sometimes becomes the last resort of students with low attendance and hence taken reluctantly, to shift to non-AC rooms upon the availability is also overlooked generally, even after improving their attendance. They have to pay 20,000 extra for the air-conditioning facility every semester, irrespective of the season or the actual usage.
Another predicament that the residents found themselves in was the rule to vacate the hostel exactly a day after the university exams end in April, even though they pay the fees for 11 months. Applications of some students who couldn’t book return tickets in time were not entertained and told they would be considered defaulters if they ‘overstay’.
The Hostel Union remains powerless in front of the administration, even issues like quality of drinking water have been dismissed baseless in the general body meetings by the administration. Many students who find it difficult to afford such high fees still prefer the college hostel just because of the safety concerns and this hike has made it even more difficult for them. The residents wonder why a government institution which should ideally provide affordable accommodation has such high fees in the first place, why there is no transparency and what is the necessity of this sudden unexplained 18% hike.