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Different tales at Presidency University hostels in Kolkata and Salt Lake

Admission process has begun for girls’ hostel but it is unlikely that the university would resume the bus service to ferry students

Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 23.07.22, 07:23 AM
Presidency University.

Presidency University.

File photo

Presidency University has invited applications from girl students admitted in the year 2022-23 for boardership to its Salt Lake hostel. It is yet to initiate the same exercise for the Eden Hindu Hostel  as the university is yet to appoint a superintendent for the boys’ hostel.

The university came up with a notice on Thursday seeking details from girl applicants like the distance from residence to the university.

Girl students/ research scholars” have been asked to submit the application forms within July 27.

The exercise for the Hindu Hostel has not started even over four months after education minister Bratya Basu told Presidency vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia to take steps to reopen the hostel immediately.

Sources said although the admission process had started for the girls’ hostel, it is unlikely that the university would resume the bus service to ferry students to and fro from the campus following an escalation in transportation costs.

Before the pandemic had set in March 2020, Presidency used to provide a bus service to take girl students to the campus from Salt Lake and drop them back at the hostel after classes.

Debabrata Mandal, an outgoing postgraduate student, said denying upcoming students accommodation for want of a hostel superintendent was “unacceptable”.

The statute of Presidency says a teacher will officiate as hostel superintendent.

“It is the responsibility of the university to appoint a hostel superintendent. Students from the districts come to study at Presidency in the hope that they could stay at the hostel,” said Mandal, who is from Bardhaman.

Mandal, along with 30 others, had barged into the Hindu Hostel in March after the university refused to open the hostel despite the campus being reopened from mid-February, are currently in the hostel without any mess service.

“Do the authorities want only students from Kolkata to study at Presidency,” questioned Mandal.

On May 8, Hindu Hostel boarders wrote to minister Basu, an alumnus of the erstwhile Presidency College, that: “The admission process of Eden Hindu Hostel is still not open for the students of Presidency University. So many students who need the accommodation cannot apply. Many are facing issues while attending classes for this.”

Dean of students, Arun Kumar Maity, who had issued a notice on March 12 for the appointment of a hostel superintendent at the boys’ hostel, declined to comment.

Calls and text messages to Presidency VC Anuradha Lohia went unanswered.

“Since March, five months have passed. But the university authorities could not appoint a hostel superintendent. I just wonder whether the new students will have to storm the hostel as well. But this won’t be a solution because mess service cannot be started in the absence of a superintendent,” said an outgoing boarder.

Girl students of Presidency who are from the districts and were having problems attending in-person classes because the Salt Lake hostel was shut till March, had forced their way into the hostel on March 21 evening. A teacher has since agreed to act as the superintendent at the girls’ hostel.

Ankita Sarkar, one of the 12 boarders who forced their way into the hostel, said on Friday: “The travelling expenses are pinching our pockets.”

A Presidency official, who requested not to be identified, said: “Even with the rise in fees and seat rent, we won’t be able to bear the transportation costs.”

Last updated on 23.07.22, 08:17 AM
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