New Delhi, June 15, 2015: Sky-rocketing cut-offs is not the only hassle for those aspiring to study at Delhi University, but also the shortage of hostel seats which has the students scrambling for private facilities.
Irked over inadequate availability of seats and absence of a standardised renting system in the national capital, a group of students, alumni and teachers have started a "Right to Accommodation" movement demanding implementation of Delhi Rent Control Act, 1995.
The university at present has 15 off-campus hostels and nine colleges with boarding facilities on their premises. Out of the nine, only five have accommodation for women.
For the estimated 1.8 lakh students enrolled with DU, there are only about 9,000 seats available in its hostels for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The university admits an average of 54,000 students every year.
The admission to hostels is also on basis of merit and the competition for the limited seats is tougher for the students than securing a seat in any of the DU colleges.
"There are just handful of seats in DU and when the students look for accommodation outside, they are charged exorbitant rates by landlords. Security is also a major concern.
Sometimes students prefer to give up on a seat in a better college if they are able to secure a hostel seat in another college," says Praveen Kumar, a DU alumni and co-ordinator of the Right to Accommodation movement.
The group, has been protesting since last three years over the issue but an increase in seats as well as implementation of the Room Rent Control Act has remained a far cry.
"The act calls for rationalisation of room rent and we have started a two-and-half months long padyatra across the city to garner support on the issue.
The movement which started on May 11 from Rajghat will conclude at university's North Campus and will cover every nook and corner of the city," he added.
The Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) too has come out in their support and urged the HRD Ministry to increase the outlay for infrastructure.