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Harrowing hostels
Money matter prompts rush

Getting an accommodation in a college hostel in the state capital is almost as big a feat as cracking a high-level competitive exam.

Reasons: First, the room rent in private lodges is too high. Second, they are hardly secured. The last but not the least, the number of rooms in hostels under Patna University (PU) is too few compared to the requirement. (See graphic)

Cheap accommodation and high-level security at hostels give students a home-like feel. As a result, a large number of students are vying for hostels this year.

Patna University is a residential university with accommodation facilities for students and teachers. Nearly all colleges under the varsity have hostels. But limited seats have come a cropper for many students who need hostels the most.

According to sources, all hostels under PU are full. Fifteen former students are yet to be evacuated from Minto Hostel under Patna College.

In Patna Science College, there are only 280 hostel seats for more than 1,500 undergraduate students.

“With the beginning of the academic session, students rush in to book hostel seats. But we have our limitations because we can’t provide seats to all. This year, we have received more than 500 applications against the 280 seats,” said M.P. Trivedi, the superintendent of Faraday Hostel of Patna Science College.

This year, hostels were provided to students on the basis of the marks they scored in the entrance test for first-year undergraduate courses. For second- and third-year students, the marks scored in their corresponding examinations were the criteria to allot hostel seats.

Apart from marks, the state government reservation rules are also applicable for allotting seats. According to the rule, 50 per cent seats in hostels are reserved for SC/ST and OBC students.

The Magadh Mahila College has received 700 applications for 260 hostel seats this year.

Suheli, a teacher and the warden of Kalyan Chhatravas of the college, said: “For 30 seats at Kalyan Chhatravas, we have received 300 applications because the hostel is free for students belonging to the SC/ST category.” The state government runs the hostel for the SC/ST students of Magadh Mahila College. Students, however, have to pay for food.

For girls, nothing can be more secured than hostels.

“Security and a wonderful mess (students are provided meals thrice, apart from tea and snacks) are reasons why girls are so keen on getting a hostel seat,” added Suheli.

Ankita Sharma, a student of Magadh Mahila College and a boarder of the institute’s Avantika hostel, believes reasons are endless when it comes to opting for a hostel. “Apart from the security and good food, the boarders are directly under the supervision of hostel wardens. Also, the academic atmosphere in hostels is far better compared to private lodges,” Sharma added.

Raj Sinha, a student leader of RJD, said hostels would be an election issue in the upcoming students’ union poll.


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