IIT Kharagpur, which suspended admission to its PhD and MS programmes because of a severe shortage of hostel accommodation, has resumed enrolment to the programmes but only for those who work in funded projects and do not need accommodation facilities.
As the project staff already stay on campus, they don’t have to be provided accommodation separately, unlike what is required for regular PhD candidates.
An IIT official said they have put on hold admission for regular PhD candidates for the spring semester owing to the absence of accommodation facilities.
They are looking forward to starting the PhD admission in the autumn semester as the new hostels are expected to be ready by then, he said.
At IIT Kharagpur, admission to the PhD programme is held twice a year — July (Autumn semester) and December (spring semester).
At IIT, applications are invited from students for assignments on a purely time-bound project undertaken in the various departments/centres/schools of the institute.
“Allowing select project candidates to register for MS/PhD is a standard practice. This semester we are only allowing their admission. The admission of the regular PhD candidates will remain suspended until the accommodation issue is resolved,” said an IIT official.
The IIT’s joint registrar, academic, on October 12 issued a notice stating: “Admission to the PhD and MS for spring semester 2023-24 is suspended due to severe shortage of hostel accommodation for both male and female students”.
The decision triggered resentment among a section of teachers. The IIT Kharagpur Teachers’ Association wrote to director V.K. Tewari because, they said, even the temporary suspension of admission would “harm the image” of the institution.
A teacher of the institute said on Saturday since IIT is an entirely residential campus, the institute should have been able to make alternative facilities available to the students. “Since the hostel facilities are not available fresh entrants could be helped in finding PG accommodation, provided the institute supports the students with HRA (House Rent Allowance). We sought a dialogue with the director on this, but this did not happen,” the teacher said.
Calls, text messages and an email from this newspaper to the IIT director failed to elicit any response.
Research scholars who had enrolled at the institute in July were told that they were required to make arrangements for accommodation outside the institute on their own because of a severe shortage of hostel facilities.