This is a narrative of dissent, dissatisfaction, and a culture of resistance.

On a sunny winter morning, five young women sit on the bricked steps of Miranda House (MH) with a single tiffin in their hands. Inside the tiffin are meagre portions of flaxen Lauki and three stiff rotis. This is food they have collected from the hostel mess, and it is food, they decide, that must be served to the college principal. Not out of the graciousness of their hearts but out of an overwrought sense of frustration that they allege has been building up since their first semester at the Miranda House hostel.

Dissent runs rampant in the history of the hostel. The Pinjra Tod movement arrived at its gates in 2018. Demands for the removal of curfews were initially met with a pity extension of 30 minutes. Today, the MH hostel stands as one of the only DU hostels that does not lock up its women at night. The strain of resistance that went into this achievement belongs solely to its residents. Today, however, it has been reduced to a tussle for basic necessities.

Food. It is truly as basic as it gets. The major grievances put forward by the hostel residents include two-pronged complaints of quality and quantity. General complaints of food quality have now pervaded the hostel for quite some time, with instances of people falling ill after having consumed the mess food. In one instance of the burner supposedly having broken down, the residents claim to have been served partially cooked chicken, paneer, and later burned food. On the other hand, I am told that food getting over before the end of meal times is a regular occurrence.

Even as I write this piece, a message circulates in the hostel WhatsApp groups about “uncooked aloo” having been served for dinner. At night, under the lofty palm trees that feature vibrantly in every single equally vibrant photograph of the illustrious institution, residents sit and compare the circumferential edibility of the rotis. Some claim to have stopped eating in the mess altogether.

These grievances are met with rationalisations on the part of the authorities, which residents cite as ranging from “taste is subjective” to, at times, blatant denial. While the gallows-humour approach adopted by the residents is indeed laudable, what of those who cannot afford to eat outside? Must they be punished for entrusting reliance on promised subsidised food and quality residence? A second-year resident aptly asks,

After such a competition to get a seat in the hostel, why do we have to face issues regarding basic things on a regular basis?

Hostellers claim that they are reminded, upon complaints, that they are paying less and hence should learn to adjust. While a comparative analysis of hostel fees in the North Campus domain confirms the assertion that the 27000 (rough per semester standardisation) being paid by Miranda Hostellers is indeed moderate, whether nominal fees are justification enough for compromise on basic tenets of existence is left to the discretion of the reader.

To track the quality of water, some residents recounted a diarrhoea outbreak in the month of January. Such an account is provided with the backdrop of the NAAC visit in mind.

In doing so, residents recall the Student Federation of India’s (SFI) threat to protest in front of the NAAC delegation should their needs remain unmet. The memorandum containing the same was said to have been signed overnight. This raises another point of contention on the part of the hostellers, wherein the authorities are credited with being responsive to concerns, but only after the residents have reached a point of saturation, which only precipitates dissent.

An analysis of this point of contention rings true, as one observes that UV filters have been installed since the last few months had featured reports of illnesses and mass mailing. Rat holes were filled, and hair strands in Dal were addressed with plastic caps for the mess workers. The fact that authorities address issues only in the face of dissent is perhaps emblematic of larger, more systematic problems.

The hostel union, for instance, consists of third- and second-year residents. As a medium of communication between the administration and the residents, the existence of a student body makes complete and perfect sense. What does not, however, make sense is the delegation of responsibilities for looking after the hostel to the students, who are also burdened with their hefty academic degrees, which is what ex-union members allege has been happening. This has led more than once to multiple resignations, even, at one point in time, the dissolution of the union, as well as an unwillingness on the part of the residents to be part of the hostel’s students’ bodies.

It is easy to dismiss these grievances with the refrain of ‘controlled expectations’ from all things ‘Sarkari’. In doing so, however, we reward structural and governmental complacency. Resistance thus has a degree of inflated importance within the walls of the hostel because things are scarcely resolved without it. As residents grapple with the resolution of basic necessities, it only makes sense that they uphold the legacy of the hostel, as they appear to have been doing: the letter accompanying the tiffin calls it “a signal of distress.”

Read Also : Miranda House Students Protest for Removal of Curfew – DU Beat – Delhi University’s Independent Student Newspaper

Featured Image Credits: Telegraph India

Deevya Deo
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A first-year resident of the LSR hostel suffered major injuries when the ceiling of a bathroom stall collapsed. Students raised concern over the safety measures of the hostel and expressed their frustrations over the college’s lack of accountability. The incident occurred among previous allegations against the functionality of the hostel, such as food poisoning, irregular water supply, obsolete infrastructure, and a lack of air conditioning facilities.

On March 27, at around 8:15 in the morning, a first-year resident at the Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) hostel was severely injured when the ceiling of the bathroom stall disintegrated and collapsed on top of her. The student was immediately hospitalised due to debilitating injuries to her arms and legs. The incident has raised several concerns regarding the safety precautions and the obsolete infrastructure of the hostel.

When the incident occurred, the students heard a loud crashing noise emerging from the bathroom cubicles and a screaming noise. The injured student was trapped inside the bathroom and was unable to unlock the bathroom door due to her injuries. The nearby students immediately notified the superintendent of the hostel, who lives right opposite the bathroom and allegedly had not heard the collapse of the ceiling or the wailing of the injured student.

The superintendent was unable to push through the bathroom door without further injuring the student. Immediately, four men were called, and they assisted the student and accompanied her to her room. However, adequate support was delayed, and the student did not receive immediate care due to the technicalities of the hostel administration.

“They had first taken the student to her room and offered her tea. She did not get medical attention immediately, which is very weird, and they were saying that they needed a legal guardian for her to be taken to the hospital, which did not happen eventually. They ended up taking her themselves to the Moolchand Hospital. The hostel did pay for her because it was the hostel’s fault that this happened.” – A student and resident of the LSR hostel

The bathroom stall had been immediately closed and placed under supervision for further maintenance. Later, at 7 p.m., the head and assistant warden of the hostel organised a meeting to discuss the incident. They blamed the occurrence of the accident on the debilitating infrastructure of the hostel. Apparently, the hostel required constant maintenance, and the most recent repairs were made around September 2022. However, several students raised concerns regarding the quality of such renovations.

“Renovation of the building is not enough because the foundation of the building itself is not concrete. The architecture is very old, and the pipelines are iron, so they have rusted. The ceilings also have issues. It’s a problem with the infrastructure. Whenever we tell the warden, we are given the same response: that the hostel is a very old building, and Delhi University (DU) does not give any funds. To fully renovate the hostel, at least a year is required, and in that case, they cannot offer the facilities of the hostel for an entire year.” – LSR student and hostel resident who was present in the meeting

In the meeting, it was also stated that starting the following day, checks will be administered in all the bathrooms to ensure safety precautions. However, students are raising concerns over the safety measures of the hostel, as the bathroom stall where the incident occurred is considered to be one of the “safe” stalls. When the students expressed their frustrations over the lack of accountability on behalf of the college, the administration warned the students to vacate the hostel if they were dissatisfied with the facilities offered by the hostel.

“It felt like they were threatening us by saying they will close the hostel. They were saying that if we want proper renovations, they will need to tear down the building and the students will be required to vacate the hostel. This is, of course, not feasible for many students, who will not be able to find such accommodations on such short notice. They also said that if we want renovations with more qualified people, they will increase our fees, and the next year students will blame us for the increase in fees.” – LSR student and hostel resident

The parents of the injured student visited the premises to accompany their daughter to their hometown. The student will remain in her hometown for a few weeks to recover from her injuries.

Read also: LSR Invites Controversial Politician Anurag Thakur as Guest, Students Raise Objection

Featured Image Credits: Lady Shri Ram College Website

During the lockdown, Delhi University students have been asked to vacate the Northeastern Students House for Women in Dhaka Complex, North Campus, and out of many that have left, 13 are left stranded in the hostel, with nowhere go.

Amid COVID-19 lockdown, Provost Rita Singh had asked students residing in the North Eastern Students House for Women in Dhaka Complex to vacate the hostel. Many students have left, however 13 are stranded in the hostel with no way to reach their homes in remote areas. The authorities stated the expiry of mess contract as the reason.

Christina Ering, President of Student Welfare Association stated, “This is mental harassment of students. In the past, she passed derogatory comments on Northeastern girls. Most of them are from the Northeast and finding a place to stay in Delhi is difficult for them otherwise. The hostel is the safest place for girls.” She also added that other hostels within the university such as Rajiv Gandhi Hostel and International Hostel for Women are functional.

Kholneikim Cindy Haokip, a resident of the hostel stated,“The last email from the Provost was on 8th May, where she said that the mess would function only till 31st May. She asked us to leave and arrange alternative accommodation. Whoever leaves must pack their valuables and move the rest of their belongings to another room and submit the key which is just unacceptable.”

The Provost responded by denying the allegations and stated that the students were not forced to vacate immediately. Mess workers had refused to come to work, and the authorities had asked the students to prepare themselves in case inter-state transport became functional.

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh took to Twitter and stated that the issue regarding Northeastern students’ eviction has been sorted out and they need not vacate hostels as he has spoken to the Vice-Chancellor. In addition to this, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a notice on receiving a complaint against the Provost of the hostel.

The 13 stranded students were allegedly subjected to racial discrimination, insensitivity and harassment by the Provost who has threatened to close down the mess as well. The commission has asked the varsity to keep into the account the needs of the students and has asked to provide all facilities. DCW chief Swati Maliwal stated that the commission has issued a notice to the university keeping in mind the seriousness of this situation. A report will be prepared by 15th May on the actions taken regarding the complaint along with measures taken to ensure that the students are comfortable in the hostel.

Feature Image Credits: Prag News

Suhani Malhotra

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In response to deteriorating food quality, residents of the Hansraj College Hostel have boycotted the mess.

On 29th February 2020, the students of Hansraj College residing in the hostel decided to stop the consumption of food made in their mess and proceeded to lock the mess from outside. This action, they said, was taken in response to the poor quality of food they were being served for the past few weeks.

“For the past three weeks, the non-teaching staff (the mess workers) have been on strike. Since then, we haven’t been served food as per the menu. The mess now operates on a self-service basis, and we’re only being served basic food like rice and dal. The food quality is terrible. As a result, it was decided that we won’t have lunch from today, and while lunch was cooked, no one ate it and we went and locked the mess.” said Vinay Pratap Singh, a resident of the hostel and a student of Hansraj College.

The students then had a meeting with the warden where they laid down their demands. “We have multiple demands because there are a lot of problems, but our basic demand right now is a bringing back of normalcy. While we understand that mess workers cannot come back right now, we should at least be hiring new cooks from outside. This is also something that had been promised to us by the warden but hasn’t been done for the past seventeen days. This is a very serious problem because the food not being cooked properly is also negatively affecting people’s health. We won’t be wasting the already cooked food though, we’ve asked the warden to have the food given to needy through the Hansraj National Service Scheme (NSS)”, Vinay added.

The students met with the principal in the evening who tried to reach out to the Workers’ Union, who have declined to come back to work at the moment. What remains to be seen is how the administration responds to the demands and how these protests affect those made by the Staff Union. For the moment, though, the lockdown has been called off.

 Image Credits: Hansraj College Website

Khush Vardhan Dembla

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The University of Delhi (DU) has decided to provide hostel facility to students from Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region). 

On Monday, 11th February 2020, DU released an official notice stating the provision of hostel facility to students from Delhi-NCR. The notice further mentioned that students from the NCR under ECA and Sports quota shall not be eligible to avail the facility. The Varsity’s decision comes as a respite especially to students from Noida, Gurugram, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, and Faridabad as most students from these areas do not prefer commuting for 2-4 hours everyday.

Yogesh K. Tyagi, Vice Chancellor told DU Beat, “The University administration has taken this decision as a step towards shaping DU as a more student-friendly space. However, we have received some concerns about the same. We are looking into the matter.”

Deeksha Sharma, a student of Hansraj College said, “Many of my friends from Faridabad including myself, wrote letters to the administration of DU to express our problem- the menace of travelling everyday. I am delighted to receive a positive response.”

Reha Biswass, a first year student at Lady Shri Ram College for Women added, “I come from Greater Noida, it takes two hours to reach college. The interchange stations and missing of metros by a second are truly tormenting. I am glad to know that our juniors shall not have to face it.”

The decision has also sprouted dissent. Uday Bhardwaj, a student at Hindu College said, “I feel that students from areas adjoining Delhi know more about this place than outstation students like us. It would be difficult for outstation students to settle in the absence of hostels, given that the seats in hostels are limited.”  Many students also expressed their concerns about the exclusion of students from ECA and Sports Quota from the provision.

Meghaa Balin, a first year student at Ramjas College emphasised upon the exclusion, “I got my admission through Sports Quota. The distance between my college and my home- Faridabad, is same as that of a student from Faridabad who secured her admission through merit basis. How is my inconvenience not taken into account?”  The Sports Association of some colleges like Hindu College, Hansraj College and Kirori Mal College have put forth their concerns to the administration. A response is awaited.

The notice will come into practice during the year’s academic session i.e May-June 2020 Kindly check the DU website for details.

Disclaimer: Bazinga is our weekly column of almost believable fake news. It is only to be appreciated and not accepted!

Feature Image Credits: Deewanshi Vats for DU Beat

Priyanshi Banerjee

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Delhi High Court places an interim order against the new JNU Hostel manual and asks JNU administration to keep registration fees, reservations, and priorities according to the old manual.

On 28thOctober 2019, The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Administration unveiled a new hostel manual with extremely steep hostel fee hikes. The rationale given by the JNU administration was that the hostel fees had not been revised for 19 years. However, these overall fee hikes would have led to JNU becoming one of the most expensive central universities in the country. The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) held massive and continuous protests against the decision by the administration, stating that according to the University’s own annual reports, 40% of the students who come from lower income backgrounds would not be able to afford the revised fees and would have to pursue education elsewhere, if at all.


Earlier this week, the Delhi High Court has granted a major relief to the students of JNU upon hearing a petition filed by AIshe Ghosh, JNUSU President and other office bearers against the new hostel Manual. According to a legal update dated 24th January, 2020, from JNUSU. The High Court has directed the JNU Administration to:

Firstly, allow for registration at old rates, as per the previous hostel manual; for students yet to register. Secondly, extend the last date of registration for a week without late fine. Thirdly, apply reservations and priorities/benefits according to the old hostel manual. And lastly, to hold dialogue with the students in order to resolve the issue.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher, who was hearing the case, points out that “Government can’t get out of education. Government has to fund public education. The burden of paying the salaries of contractual workers is not on the students. Someone has to find the funds.”

The next hearing of the case will be held on 28thFebruary , 2020.


Feature Image Credits: The Print


Prabhanu Kumar Das

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30th October, 2018, became a historically significant day for the Miranda House Girls’ Hostel, as the Hostel gates stayed open into the dawn, as the students protested outside. To celebrate the completion of one year to this day, and mandate authoritative action to allow the hostellers more liberty, another sit-in was organised by the Miranda House Girls’ Hostel residents.

The protest was led by Pinjra Tod, a student’s collective that works for secure, affordable and non-gender discriminatory accommodation for women across Delhi. 

The events of the said night happened in this chronological order: 

Activists of ‘Pinjra Tod: Break the Hostel Locks’ called for a protest outside the gates of Arts Faculty, Delhi University, on the night of October 30th, demanding that the Miranda House hostel curfew be rolled back completely. Earlier, on October 8th and 10th, Pinjra Tod had organised protest marches and all-night sit-ins in North Campus, Delhi University.

Previously, on October 10th, the activists of Pinjra Tod had given the deadline of October 30th to the University administration to accept all their demands. The Principal of Miranda House, Pratibha Jolly had talked to the protesters and listened to their demands, giving the assurance that the issues would be discussed by the administration, and appropriate measures would be taken.

Ishika, participant at the protest, a Miranda House student told DU Beat, “The protest began very calmly, there was no aggression or violence. The hostel committee and the principal cooperated well with us, and when demands were put forward, they agreed to all.”

Pratibha Jolly, Principal of Miranda House, in reply to Pinjra Tod said, “As a constituent college of University of Delhi we have been discussing the issue at the highest level.”

However, most of the demands were not met. The hostel curfew was extended from 8:30 PM to 9 PM only, with a few extra night-outs added and number of leaves increased. 

The college had put up notices stating that “due information must be given to the Hostel Administrative Staff before Night Out is availed. This must be duly recorded in the Leave Book.” 

An informal WhatsApp message had been circulated, which stated that the late-night timings will remain the same, and night leaves will be sanctioned on the same day only in case of emergency.

The student collective Pinjra Tod termed the extension of 30 minutes for hostels as a “joke” and demanded complete abolition of curfew timing at Miranda House. 

Pinjra Tod said, “This extension of half an hour is a cruel joke, another attempt at humiliating and infantilising the dignity, dreams and struggles of women students.”

The true reason for an intensified reaction to these rigorous hostel curfews was allegedly that the college had put up notices stating, “Residents can return to the hostel at any time of the night on a night-out and short-notice/ emergency night-outs can be availed by filling in a form at the gate and (there) is no need (for) one day advance notice,” which was far from the reality. 

Following the student’s protest, the students in defiance organised a sit-in that continued all night. The students protested outside the hostel gate and the gates of the hostel remained open. 

The agitators said, “These new changes are important relaxations in the existing rules, but we really refuse to get dragged into this bureaucratic non-sense, which continues to reinforce power in the hands of the administration.”

The series of protest led by Pinjra Tod, paves way for new meaning of freedom for many hostellers. 

Feature Image Credits: News Ink 

Chhavi Bahmba

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The woman who was reported to have conducted a series of thefts from Delhi University’s Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) was arrested by the police on 2nd October.

A 34-year-old woman hailing from Nagpur, Maharashtra was arrested three weeks after the case of theft was reported from SRCC.

During the questioning she revealed that she had conducted similar thefts across colleges in metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai as she “liked doing them”.

As per a senior police officer’s statement from The Indian Express, her arrest was made on 2nd October when she created commotion outside a hostel in Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi wherein she was denied entry by the guards. The issue escalated to an extent that a PCR call was made. Her actions were aggressive and unstable, observing which she was referred to the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS).

It was during her time at IHBAS that the police realised she was the same person responsible for the theft at SRCC and thus the police arrested her once she was released from IHBAS.

The woman had allegedly come inside the hostel rooms and stolen cash worth INR 3,000 and credit cards from which according to the police, transactions worth INR 50,000 were done.

The case was registered at the Maurice Nagar police station in North Delhi. According to the police, she was visiting Delhi and when she ran out of money, she went on to conduct the thefts at SRCC.

This case brought to light matter related to the safety of women in hostels. students from all parts of the country reside in the hostels as they complete their education, and such an incident poses a serious threat to their safety.

Prachi Nirwan, a second-year student from Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi, said, “Security is an issue which must be taken seriously be it girls’ hostels or boys’ hostel for that matter. Greater measures should be taken if a person entering the hostel is an outsider with proper background check and registration. There should be strict vigilance because hostel is a home away from home for the students who come to Delhi. They need to have this feeling that it (hostel) is a safe space for them.”

Feature Image Credits: Hitesh Kalra for DU Beat

Amrashree Mishra

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Hostel dwellers of Hindu College protested in front of the Principal’s office against the new stricter criteria of attendance and GPA to be maintained to retain hostel accommodation in the second and third year by residents.

Recently, the newly-elected Students’ Union of Hindu College, led the protest against the hostel administration, as allegedly the college administration was threatening them by making calls to their families, and disciplinary action in terms of electricity cuts was imposed on the students.

The Union claims this was a protest to demand their rights. It was also said that these stricter rules were just to discourage the students to avail hostel facilities. The students also believe that the increase in fees of hostel facilities is just to pave way for privatisation of hostel in the coming years.

Delhi University (DU) Hostel for outstation students, who cannot afford the expensive PG life that Delhi has to offer, works as a suitable alternative. However, one must question the relevance of this protest.

Two years ago, the College Hostel administration had decided that only those who get above 6.0 CGPA in the Arts stream and 6.5 in the Science stream and who have above 67 per cent attendance will be able to retain their hostel accommodation.

Last year the it had been increased from 6 to 6.5 for the Arts stream and from 6.5 to 7.0 for science stream and the attendance criteria had also been increased to 75 per cent.

Many students were affected by this criterion, as it was stricter and student weren’t made aware of this earlier. However, no immediate protest took place.

There are few arguments that show this protest as a political move than a liberal one.

A Hindu College student who lives in the boys’ hostel, under conditions of anonymity told DU Beat, “The protest is not for the rights of the students. As the students of this year were well aware of the new rules as mentioned in our undertaking. The GPA and attendance criteria were mentioned.”

The Statement of undertaking is a legal binding document that is made signed by each hostel dweller. It is done so to make the students accountable for the conditions they have agreed on to avail hostel facilities.

As all the students had signed the undertaking in their complete senses, without any use of force, their right to protest against the rules is invalid legally.

Other than this, what is more astounding is the fact that when these rules were first implemented a year back, no protest or resistance took place, neither by the hostel dwellers nor the student union. The sudden need for protest raises questions of the intention of the protest.

Whether the protest was necessary or not, one must not forget that the hostel facility is the only way many outstation students can afford to study in DU.

For the update on the protest that took place, another student in anonymity told DU Beat, “There was only one protest by the newly elected Students’ Union and the other inmates. It was just really a one-evening-thing, and was resolved (called off) when they finally discussed the issue with the Principal.”



Feature Image Credits:  Yaksh Handa for DU beat


Chhavi Bahmba 

[email protected]









Just as the Jammu and Kashmir Girls Hostel of Jamia Millia Islamia is about to complete one year of its inauguration, 11 workers of the hostel were sacked arbitrarily without any prior information.

The workers including mess bearers, sanitation workers, and caretakers have allegedly complained regarding the impeachment and new appointments of the staff, claiming it to be deceptive and originating from personal relations with the newly appointed provost. 

Apparently, this year also marks the appointment of seperate provosts for both the hostels of the BHM Hall of Girls Residence, the entire staff including the wardens has undergone a similar change, making many people skeptical about the appointment procedures. 

Many students residing in the hostel have expressed their grievances regarding the new rules coming into effect with these appointments, the strain of formalities is extremely burdensome with the students being accountable for every minute of entry and exit. Where the suspension of the work staff  has augmented a feeling of envy towards the authority, although the workers impeached from their duties came in a sudden response, the authorities claim that they were hired on a contractual basis and had hints regarding the removal.

Furthermore, the new recruitments are under due procedures necessitated for appointment of hostel staff, the appointment of male staff for sanitation works seems heretic to the safety and privacy of the female students of the hostel. 

The job in country’s premier Central University comes without any security is equally concerning to which one of the students responded as such, “If the workers and staff of the hostel is not secured, how are we as students going to be safe here,”

Where most of the workers were asked to discontinue their services from the very moment, one of the workers was even asked to depart within a day, failing which she was compelled to leave by the action of force and guards coming into play. 

Meanwhile, as no clear statement is availed from the administration, they are inconsiderate towards the plea of the chucked workers. The reaction to it with new recruitments still remains a big question, nothing can be clearly interpreted with regarding to this issue. 

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat.