Among the most premier institutions in the country, the University Of Delhi has thousands of outstation students on its rolls, both at the undergraduate and at the postgraduate levels. Thus it was deemed necessary for the university to construct hostels to house these students.
From Assam to Afghanistan, Nagaland to Nepal, the University Of Delhi receives a significant number of outstation students every year. To accommodate this huge influx, the university has built numerous hostels in both the campuses. Besides that, many colleges have their own hostels for undergraduate students – St. Stephens’s College, Sri Venkateswara College, Hansraj College to name a few. Most of these hostels charge nominal fees, and since many students have financial constraints, the demand for rooms here is extremely high and allocation is usually merit – based. Students also prefer hostels due to the proximity to their place of study as well as for security reasons. We take a look at a few notable ones –
Situated in North Campus opposite Khalsa College, the Mansarovar Hostel was constructed in 1993. It has 167 seats and houses male post graduate and research students of the university. Amenities include a dining hall, gymnasium, air-conditioned reading room and a computer room. Located in a slightly secluded spot, the hostel provides a respite to its residents from the hustle and bustle of the campus. Though during DUSU elections, the hostel is usually considered a hotbed of political activity. “I have made countless memories while staying at Mansarovar, and the constant interaction with people from diverse backgrounds has helped me grow immensely as a person”, said Meraj Alam, a Ph.D researcher and resident.
Established in 2005, the Aravali Hostel, located on Benito Juarez Marg, provides accommodation to male post graduate and research scholars studying in South Campus, with a total of 76 seats. The hostel has facilities for table tennis and badminton, a dining hall and a recreation centre.
One of the newer additions to the list of university accommodations, the girls-only Geetanjali Hostel is located in South Campus and takes in post graduate and research scholars, with a total of 102 seats. The hostel has a computer centre, library, gym and sports facilities. The boarders also host an annual function “Mridang”.
With its sprawling lawns, rows of palm trees, huge arches and symmetrical corridors, one might mistake the Gwyer Hall for a colonial era monument at first glance. Among the most iconic and also the oldest hostel in the university, the Gwyer Hall has been a site of numerous historic events and produced a long list of illustrious alumni since its inception in 1938. Named after Sir Maurice Gwyer, a former Vice Chancellor of the university and the founder of Miranda House, the Hall is situated in North Campus, opposite the University Stadium and accommodates 158 post graduate and research students. “The years I spent at Gwyer Hall are the ones I cherish and remember the most. I often pay a visit once in a while to eat the canteen’s much loved meetha samosa”, quipped Pradeep Jain, a Delhi University professor and a former resident of the Hall. Indeed, the Gwyer Hall canteen, run by Pandit Ji, is famous for the unorthodox menu it has on offer – butterscotch lassi, butter masala Maggi and the flagship sweet samosa amongst others.
Located opposite the School Of Open Learning in North Campus and secluded from the main road by a canopy of trees, the girls-only Meghdoot Hostel was inaugurated in 1992. It houses full time post graduate and research students, with a capacity of 100 seats. The hostel is equipped with a computer lab, common room, dining hall, medical centre and sports facilities. Meghdoot is known for its strict administration and tight security– a curfew was imposed on the day of Holi in 2017, sparking controversy.
International Students House
Located beside Mansarovar Hostel and probably the first building which a person driving towards North Campus sees, the men-only International Students House was set up in 1964 with the efforts of the Indian Council For Cultural Relations to provide accommodation mainly to foreign students studying in the university. ISH has 98 seats in total, with 68 reserved for foreign students and the rest for Indian students. Currently students of more than 35 countries reside here, both undergraduates and postgraduates. The International Students House For Women is situated a few kilometres away in Mukherjee Nagar. ISH has been devoid of any notable controversy since its inception, a testament to the unity and harmony enjoyed by students from across the world living together.
Other notable hostels include – Jubilee Hall which was founded to commemorate the university’s silver jubilee in 1947, VKRV Rao Hostel which was founded in 1999 and houses research scholars from FMS and Delhi School Of Economics, Rajiv Gandhi Hostel For Girls which houses a large number of students from Northeast India, DS Kothari Hostel and the Ambedkar-Ganguly Students House.
The government should allocate funds to the University Of Delhi for construction of new hostels for both men and women keeping in mind the rising hostel: student ratio.
Image Credits – International Students House