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 – 

Mansarovar Hostel 

Image Credits : Mansarovar Hostel

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.

Aravali Hostel

Image Credits : Aravali Hostel

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. 

Geetanjali Hostel

Image Credits : Geetanjali Hostel

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”.

Gwyer Hall

Image Credits : Just Dial

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.

Meghdoot Hostel

Image Credits : DU Beat Archives

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

Image Credits : DU Beat Archives

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

Araba Kongbam

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Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) stands up against discriminatory hostel curfew timings for boys and girls.

A decision that has long been a contentious point of discussion and debate, the women’s hostels of the University of Delhi (DU) have traditionally set their curfew timings at a point earlier than those of their male counterparts, citing safety as the primary reason.

Residents of the University of Delhi’s women’s hostels have been out on a protest since the 27th of February, against various issues concerning the state of their hostels, primarily bringing up the issue of discriminatory curfew timings. Voices have also been raised against the lack of better amenities as well as the exorbitant fee system.

Protesters burnt an effigy of the Vice-Chancellor (VC)on the 9th March after repeated ignorance of their demands by the university administration. A female hosteler of the university, on the condition of anonymity, said, “I do support the cause of my fellow hostelers wholeheartedly but in my opinion, the burning of the VC’s effigy was a step too far”

Universities, organisations, student communities, and student activists have expressed support and solidarity with the hostelers’ protest, including the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) amongst others.

Akshit Dahiya, President of DUSU, came out in support of the female hostellers and while noting the importance and necessity of curfew timings in ensuring basic discipline and decorum among the hostellers, also stressed on the fact that it wasn’t logical to have separate timings for male and female hostels, terming the arrangement “discriminatory”.

Dahiya opined, “It should not be different for girls and boys. We are against that discrimination. There should be a certain time by which you are required to get back to the hostel.  Would you be coming and going as you wish in the middle of the night at home? Then why do it in the hostel?”

Chinmay Sahu, a student of Kirori Mal College termed the Students’ Union’s stand as “heartening” and said, “Going contrary to the wrongly prevalent stereotype of the Union leaders looking for only personal gains, this stand by them shall certainly go a long way in strengthening the will and cause of the protesters”.

The administration of the University, including the wardens and provosts of various hostels, are yet to give a reply to the ongoing developments.

“The decision to have separate curfew timings for male and female hostelers is audacious and reeks of sexism. If it is 6 pm for girls, it should be 6 pm for boys. If it is 10 pm for boys, it should be 10 pm for girls. It is time we remove traditional arrangements which go against gender equality,” opined a female hosteler of the University, on the condition of anonymity.


Featured Image Credits: Edex Live


Araba Kongbam

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The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) on Thursday, 12th September, raised its voice against the construction of a 39-storey high-rise housing society at the North Campus citing safety and privacy concerns.

DUTA has opposed the construction of a 39-storey building in North Campus saying it “would significantly alter the social and cultural landscape of Delhi University” and also compromise the “safety of women students”. The building is coming up adjacent to Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station, near Gate Number 3 and 4. DUTA also stated that the land originally belonged to the Ministry of Defence and was acquired for public purpose by the state government for the construction of metro station by Delhi Municipal Rail Corporation (DMRC).

Consequently, the DMRC sold two-thirds of this land by granting perpetual lease of ninety years to a private builder called ‘Young India’, in the guise of property development and by changing the land use from “public and semi-public facility to residential”, the DUTA alleged.

Sudhanshu Kumar, the Vice President of DUTA, stated, “This is the height of privatisation. It (building) would seriously compromise the safety and privacy of women students on campus as it stands in close proximity to several hostels that house women. It would also pose a serious safety issues for all students on campus, restricting their right to move freely in their own campus. It is clearly a ghotala committed by the State Government, DMRC and ‘Young India’.”

DU had also written to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Home Ministry, as well as the Ministery of Defence on this matter. Officials said that the proposed building is not viable keeping in mind security concerns for the North Campus students, since the building will have a bird’s-eye view of five of the girls’ hostels on the campus – Miranda House Girls’ Hostel, the Central Institute of Education, University Hostel for Women, Meghdoot Girls Hostel and the Girls’ Hostel of the Department of Social Work; apart from several other University buildings.

They said that there is already a severe paucity of spaces for students on campus, for their accommodation, recreation and for other academic activities and the use of this space for a residential complex is questionable in its intent. The Association has also notified that it “will take up the matter with the President of India, who is the visitor to the University”, in conversation with the Dainik Jagran.

Meanwhile, women living in the varsity’s 20 hostels have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, raising concerns over the construction of the high-rise building in the campus, saying that it will “infringe their privacy” and “prejudice the security” of students.

Image Caption: Female students, living in the campus’s 20 hostels, have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concerns over the construction of the high-rise building in Campus. Image Credits: Jagran Media
Image Caption: Female students, living in the campus’s 20 hostels, have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concerns over the construction of the high-rise building in Campus.
Image Credits: Jagran Media

The letter reads, “…it (the construction of the structure) would directly infringe the privacy of all the women’s hostel in close proximity to the land, it would prejudice the security of the students who attend departments and colleges in North Campus, since being a private structure the activities that will take place in the building will not be open to public censoring and if such a building is to be constructed in the University area, it would curtail the students’ freedom to move around the campus…”

DU also insists that the construction of this building will come in the way of the Master Plan of Delhi, 2021, that has been envisaged for the city’s infrastructure. Moreover, according to the documents accessed by Mail Today, 228 trees have been felled for the construction of this building.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives


Bhavya Pandey

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Bhagyashree Chatterjee

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The University Grants Commission clearly mentions that there will be reservation for the candidates from the OBC category in the hostels. However, most of the postgraduate hostels do not notify or implement the stipulated reservation policy.

The University of Delhi (DU) has come under the scrutiny of students due to the inability of the authorities to provide reservations to candidates from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota in hostels. The University has a number of hostels under its fold namely D.S. Kothari Hostel, Gwyer Hall, Jubilee Hall, Mansarover Hall, Post Graduate Men’s Hostel, and VKRV Rao.

A group of students from the University came together against this mismanagement and have demanded reservation rights to the OBC category in hostel accommodations. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had circulated the Central Educational Institutions  Reservation in Admission) Act 2006 and Amendment Act, 2012 to all central educational institutions directing them to reservation provisions including the admission of OBC students to these institutions.

However, most of the hostel notifications do not mention OBC reservations for the postgraduate students in DU. Satchit, a student of Cluster Innovation Centre, and a resident of Post Graduate Men’s Hostel spoke to DU Beat about this matter. He said, “My department provides five seats to be allotted in the hostel- two seats for  candidates belonging to the general category, two for candidates from the OBC quota, and one for SC/ST candidate. But the hostels do not have reservations per day. The department provides reservation from their end, but the hostels have no such policy. Thus, even if an OBC student has been allotted a hostel seat, he may not necessarily get it.”

According to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the University Grants Commission  has issues instruction to all the grant-in-aid institutions, funded by the Government except minority institutions under Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India to implement 27% reservation for the OBC candidates.

“As per the information available with the Ministry, during 2015-16, 22 out of 40 Central Universities have successfully achieved the prescribed percentage of student intake from OBC Community,” the MHRD  told the Parliament two years ago.

The Ministry further added, “All Indian Institutes of Technology/National Institutes of Technology/Indian Institutes of Information Technology achieved the stipulated 27 % intake of OBC students. Further, 13 Indian Institutes of Management out of 19 and 22 out of 31 National Institutes of Technology recorded more than the stipulated 27% student intake.”

“The Ministry of Human Resource Development through UGC instructs Universities/Institutions to furnish periodic reports on the implementation of reservation guidelines for OBCs for admissions to courses at all level and Hostel accommodation for students,” it said.

(With inputs from NDTV)

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Stephen Mathew

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The University Grants Commission (UGC), a statutory body that provides recognition and funds to several institutes of higher education across India, including the University of Delhi, has recently issued a statement asking varsities to install sanitary napkin incinerators in all women’s hostels. The move aims to benefit both the environment and women’s hygiene.

A communication by the UGC stated, “In an effort to promote proper disposal of menstrual waste and promote the Swachh Bharat Mission, it is imperative that we take the initiative to promote menstrual sanitation and proper disposal of menstrual waste by creating awareness, encouraging every woman to use eco-friendly incinerators and promoting research for biodegradable alternatives.” The communication also added, “You are requested to consider the installation of these machines within the premises of women’s hostels.”

According to the UGC, the estimated cost of the equipment is INR 49,646, an amount that can be “directly booked under the solid waste management component of the Swachh Bharat Mission”. The statutory body also elaborated that HLL Lifecare Limited, which is a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Health, has recently introduced vending machines and incinerators for sanitary napkins.

Proper disposal of menstrual waste is crucial for feminine hygiene as well as for the environment. Sanitary napkins are the go-to product for the majority of Indian women. The material that they are made of is non-biodegradable. This means that the disposal of pads in household trash leads to landfills overflowing with menstrual waste. Burning them is not a solution as it leads to the release of toxic fumes into the atmosphere. Additionally, sanitary napkins that are disposed incorrectly often end up blocking drainage systems. There is also the high risk of disease and unhygienic conditions near areas where menstrual waste is concentrated. Menstrual blood in open air attracts all sorts of bacteria to grow in it and affect the hygiene of the surroundings.

Incinerators are the best way to dispose of sanitary napkins. They provide a long-lasting and eco-friendly solution by restricting the amount of smoke produced in the incineration to the small machine. The communication by the UGC is, therefore, a welcome step in making sure women’s accommodation caters to their specific needs and provides proper hygiene along with fulfilling environmental responsibilities.


Feature Image Credits: India Education Review


Vineeta Rana
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The academic space of university is supposed to be conducive for personal growth and in which a young woman thrives into an independent and confident person, but thanks to the regressive hostel rules and constant moral policing of the authorities; it’s actually a space which reinforces and strengthens patriarchal norms that hinders growth of female students.

Chitra Dabral, Secretary of Phrophecy- fashion society of Lady Irwin College laments, “My society members, who live in hostels, never get to enjoy even a single the star night during the fest session because of the hostel timings. What’s worse is that we often have to cancel our participation, if competitions are scheduled later than 6pm.”

While male hostel residents enjoy late nights and have lax curfews rules (none, in many cases), girls are obliged to return within the walls by as early as 7pm. Such discriminatory regulations are very conveniently justified under the grab of women’s “safety”. What authorities fail to understand is, such rules put women at further risk as they are unable to return to the hostel at night and hence have to look for shelter elsewhere. Besides, if the authorities were so concerned about the “safety” issues then they would have shown the same enthusiasm they display while exercising control, in constituting Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee Cells as per the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court of India.

Voices of resistance against unfair rules are cropping up across campuses. The latest case in example is the permission letter written by two students to the warden of Kaveri Hostel of Ambedkar University, Delhi.

Letter written by two students to the warden of Kaveri Hostel of Ambedkar University, Delhi

Unlike their male counterparts, girls are asked to give explanations and seek permission to spend a few extra hours out of the hostel. In response to this “permission culture”, the girls wrote an honest letter resonating that they were “stressed and disappointed” with their academic life and hence needed a break. The picture of the letter was shared by Pinjra Tod on their Facebook Page .Talking to DUBeat, on condition of anonymity, one student of Ambedkar University confirmed that the duo was granted permission.

We don’t know if the letter was rebellion of a sort or just an honest request. Though by the looks of it, the latter seems to be the case. As they say, humor is the best way to expose the ridicule.

Feature Image Credits: The Quint

Niharika Dabral

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As final year slowly draws in and the curtains of my college life fall, memories from the three years gone by often reflect in the mirror of my mind. In such pensive moments as these I realise, that amongst the many things that I will miss, the one thing I hold most dear to my heart is the experience of living in a hostel.

As a single girl child, growing up, I had always been pampered and spoilt silly. So much so, that by the end of class twelfth, I had become grossly dependent on my parents. My lack of self-sufficiency worried my family. They feared that I would be a complete disaster if I had to ever make a living for myself. Their qualms were scarcely misplaced: when I moved into a hostel as a fresher, I made a complete mess of my life in the initial few months.

I had emotional as well as physical problems. I couldn’t adapt to community living. I hated the food at the mess. My obsession for neatness turned fatal as most of the other girls were extremely negligent about hygiene and tidiness. I couldn’t deal with the idea of sharing the washroom with five other girls. My room felt too small. Concentrating on studies became increasingly difficult with my wild neighbours playing music all the time. My sleeping patterns were thrown off their normal equilibrium and honestly, the list of complaints is endless!

When I went back home for the mid-semester break, I threw a feral fit. I firmly told my parents I wasn’t going back to that hellhole of a place and when they refused to give in, I threatened them and eventually went into a state of denial. That’s how I spent my ten-day week away from hostel.

When I returned, I carried the heaviness of depression for a week more. But one fine day, it struck me that in this apparently grim situation, I was the only unhappy soul. Neither the hostellers in my immediate environment, nor my parents back home suffered. The misery seemed specific to me. And that made me realise that I was the creator of my own sadness. When I complained and whined about my grievances, no one offered to help because at the end of the day, no one really could. It was my wish to study at DU and living in the hostel was simply the price I had to pay for it.

That day, I decided to turn my life around. I woke up to the hard truth that the life I had was the one I had chosen and so I ought to live it to the best of my abilities. Not much had been lost, I told myself, and made the firm choice to give life another shot. And just that one change in mind completely changed me.

Today, I am so independent that I am not just doing things for myself, but also for others.  From being served food to making it myself; from throwing my dirty laundry around the room to washing every handkerchief with my own bare hands; from snoozing alarms and waking up at noon to rising with the crack of dawn and going for a run, I have become a whole new person. Everyone seems to appreciate the new me. My parents, in fact, are so complacent with my independence that now, when I speak of my plans of going abroad for higher education, they are not just encouraging but alsoconfident that I will survive.

College life has been a great journey. And the hallmark has, indubitably, been my three-year stint in the hostel. They say that every person should live away from home at least once in their life, because only then does one get the chance to explore and find their own path in life. I couldn’t agree more.

Kriti Sharma
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“The desire for nights where the moon and the star is not glimpsed through barbed wires, where the sky is not forbidden through rods, through gates and locks” –  Pinjra Tod

Pinjra tod an autonomous women collective, organised a Night march in the North Campus of University of Delhi on 23rd of September. A large number of students participated to support the campaign.

Image Credits: Pinjra Tod: Break the hostel locks/Facebook

The march was primarily organised to reiterate and implement the new UGC circular against sexual harassment. It also demanded a regulation of the exorbitant fees structures of hostels and PG’s.

A night mass of women and men, took to the streets at night and marched from Arts Faculty of Delhi University to Miranda House Hostel, Meghdoot hostel, UHW, hostels of Hindu, Hansraj and St Stephens college. They marched sloganeering through areas such as Malkagunj, Kamla Nagar and Vijay Nagar. In some cases, they climbed up the locked gates of some hostels and shouted slogans against moral policing by wardens and restrictions put on movement of women by discriminatory hostel curfews.

Image Credits: Pinjra Tod: Break the hostel locks/Facebook

In spite of problems caused by some ABVP members, the march carried on for quite long in the night which was followed by a night vigil at Vijay Nagar.
The group also sung songs, recited poetry and danced to reclaim the night and call it their own. The mood of the march and vigil was of a serious celebration. It exercised and celebrated the freedom that Pinjra Tod demands for women and was a way of militantly reclaiming the streets denied to women at night in the pretext of ‘security’.

Featured image credits: Pinjra Tod: Break the Hostel Locks/Facebook

Tooba Towfiq
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A mass hunger strike, ‘Hostel Satyagrah’ was organised under AISA’s “A Room of My Own” program near Arts Faculty on 26th and 27th of August. Students from around 30 colleges across Delhi University participated to demand the availability of more hostels, rent regulation and rent allowances. The hunger strike was a part of a campaign started by AISA (All India Students Association). More than 20,000 students had given their feedback on postcards distributed by AISA earlier this month.  The postcards were submitted to the DU Vice Chancellor and a demands memorandum was submitted to the Principals of around 20 colleges.

In addition to students, a number of intellectuals, artists, poets and theatre groups joined in support of the movement. Alongside the hunger strike, various other events were organised. The events included lectures by Prof Nandini Sundar (Sociology Dept DU), Dr P K Vijyan (Hindu College) and Anil Chamadia.

On the ‘Idea of University’ Professor Nandini said, “The need for hostels is not only for a cheap accommodation but rather it should be linked to an idea of a closed campus where students live and share their ideas throughout day and night. One must link it to freedom of living and sharing academic ideas.”

By addressing the issue through the lense of ‘Una Movement and Dalit Upsurge’, Anil Chamadia added a crucial perspective. “ The movement for hostels is necessary for the students coming from reserved category and financial weaker sections of the society. There is an attempt by the government to make the campuses elite to exclude people coming from the lower sections of the society from coming to campus. One must link this struggle inside campus to the struggle going in Una”, he said.

The event also witnessed some cultural performances by by Hirawal (People’s Band from Patna), Sangwari (Resistance Cultural Group) and Moksha (Aurobindo Theater Group).

According to Sudhanshu Shekhar, President of DU AISA,” The ABVP which is winning all posts in DUSU from the past two years has not only overlooked the issue of accommodation for DU students but rather it openly advertises for private PGs and private hostels. We are positive that DU students will stand with us this time saying no to ABVP which has completely failed on this issue.” The issues related to accommodations is likely to be one of the main agendas of AISA in the upcoming DUSU elections.

Featured image credits: Tooba Towfiq for DU Beat

Tooba Towfiq
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Since acceptance rates in most college hostels run very low, the next best option for most students is a private paying guest accommodation. The sheer number and variety of PGs may be daunting, but it all boils down to shrewd PG-hunting. Here are a few tips to guide you through the process:

  • For starters, approaching brokers is unnecessary.
  • Begin by collecting phone numbers and addresses of PGs. Many put up posters and distribute business cards.
  • Contact friends and relatives who may have studied or are studying in DU to ask for their opinions.
  • Take a day or two and visit as many PGs as possible. Don’t finalise your choice instantly. Evaluate the pros and cons of each establishment with your parents and then make a decision.
  • While evaluating PGs, check the toilets, kitchens and balconies properly. For those who are unfamiliar with the area, check the proximity of the PG to your college on Google Maps.
  • Strike up conversations with PG residents for honest opinions. Be sure to ask them about the security of the place.
  • Ask the PG owners about your potential roommates who may have already booked their seat. If you find yourself too dissimilar to them, you may want to rethink your choice.
  • Never take PG owners’ promises at face value, as they’re shrewd businessmen.
  • Sometimes, PG owners lower tariffs as the admission season ends. You may strike a good deal at the last moment.

It is pivotal that you find a decent PG, as you’ll be spending a considerable amount of time here. Having said that, pangs of homesickness may sometimes be unavoidable.


Image Credits: www.indiatoday.in

Swareena Gurung

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