Eden Hindu Hostel could finally be reopening.
The admission process for a berth in the hostel has started eight months after the start of in-person classes and after several rounds of protests by Presidency University students.
The dean of students on Friday issued a notice asking students to submit applications to his office within September 16. Admission to the Presidency girls’ hostel has also resumed with a revised fee structure.
The one-time establishment charge has been reduced to Rs 2,000 from Rs 5,000 and the seat rent to Rs 200 a month (Rs 150 for the financially challenged) from Rs 500.
This revised fee structure would be applicable for both boys’ (Hindu Hostel) and girls’ hostels.
In July, Presidency had invited applications from girl students in the 2022-23 year for admission to its Salt Lake hostel and hiked the fees from Rs 90 as seat rent and Rs 1,000 as establishment charge.
In mid-August, girl students told the authorities they would not pay the enhanced hostel fees from September because there was no decision on the resumption of bus services to ferry them from the Salt Lake hostel to the campus and back.
The fee structure has been revised but the bus service is yet to be resumed.
Admission to the boys’ hostel on Peary Charan Sarkar Street, adjacent to the university’s College Street campus, started seven months after education minister Bratya Basu — an alumnus of the erstwhile Presidency College — told vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia to reopen the hostel immediately.
“So many students who need accommodation cannot apply for the facility. Many are facing issues while attending classes for this. We have previously mailed all these issues to the university administration but got no reply. Hence we are mailing this to you. We hope that the necessary steps will be taken very soon…,” protesting students had written in an email to Basu in May.
Among the protesters were 30-odd students who had forced their way into the hostel after breaking the locks and had been staying there since then.
“Although some of us were staying there, facilities like the mess service could not be started in the absence of a formal admission process,” said a student.
Presidency had earlier said they could not reopen the hostel because there was no hostel superintendent.
The statute of the university says a teacher has to officiate as hostel superintendent.
“A new superintendent has taken charge from September 6, leading to the resumption of the admission process,” a university official said on Friday.
Applications for the post of superintendent in the two hostels were first sought on March 11.
Teachers who used to act as the superintendent and assistant superintendent had resigned in January 2020 after a section of students staged an indefinite sit-in at the dean’s office for several days over alleged delay in repair of wards 3, 4 and 5 of the hostel.
These wards have yet to be renovated. A Presidency official said as of now, students would be accommodated in 120 rooms of wards 1 and 2.