Saturday, July 31, 2010

Space crunch

There is a severe space crunch in the hostel this year. An idea was proposed by the Dean, Admission Committee and the Students’ Council to ask existing students to volunteer to share their single-bed rooms with the freshers and, in turn, not pay the hostel fees for the semester. This was not a success and less than 1-2% volunteered. However, the student council and its volunteers did a wonderful job in receiving new students.

How did we land up with this situation? Well, the OBC quota was implemented and the number of seats had to increase by 54%. Thus the number of M.E/M.Tech seats had to increase by 54% over a staggered period of three years. Though this was implemented immediately, the money for the construction of new hostels was sanctioned much later and the construction started only last year and the new 900 room hostel will be completed only in Aug 2011. Further, due to pressure from various sources and measures like not requiring GATE for admission to Ph.D, the number of Ph.D's admitted in engineering has nearly doubled in the last two years. The increase in number of M.E/M.Tech seats was 27% this year. Thus, this year (like last year), nearly 800 students were admitted while only 650 rooms were available. However, every student has been provided accommodation on campus. Alternative arrangements were made and students were accommodated in old guest houses and even the ex-director's bungalow (which is vacant now) [This does not mean that this accommodation is poorer than the hostels]. Hopefully, it will be resolved in the next few months as senior Ph.D students graduate and the students move back to the hostel. This situation is not unique only in IISc but also in IIT-B and other places.

Fundamentally, the way campuses are constructed and maintained have to be changed. Currently, the administration spends a huge amount of time maintaining the hostels and houses on campus. The current HRAs are fixed by the government and it is not possible for students to stay outside comfortably. One way is to pay high house rent allowance to both students and faculty so that they will stay outside. On the other hand, students who get scholarships from CSIR, DBT etc get around Rs. 4000 as HRA, which IISc will reimburse if they stay outside. If some students move out, the situation will considerably ease.


IISc fan said...

"This situation is not unique only in IISc but also in IIT-B and other places. "
Haha, I read this as..IISc is always the best so if a problem exists in IISc, actually the problem exists elsewhere by definition too..esp IITB coz IITB apparently is giving IISc a run for its money as the nearst rival research institute. Shows that even good and helpful individuals like Prf Madars (with his informative blogs and wonderful advice...) can also not get rid of IISc sub se uper hai complex.
IISc fan:-)

Giri@iisc said...

It is quite unfortunate that you misinterpret my comment. I only meant to say that the problem of expansion and hostels is not unique to IISc. The only reason I mentioned IIT-B is because I was there last week and they told me about the space problem there. Not because of your imagined rivalry between IISc and IIT-B.


Anonymous said...

OK....If you say so ;-)
IISc fan

Anonymous said...

HRA can be given to students for this year so that they may choose to live outside campus.

but i doubt this would happen

Anonymous said...

This problem of space crunch is not there only for students. In fact, the faculties and other staffs of the institute are suffering more. I have seen that in most of the IITs, new student hostels are being built to accommodate the increased number of students. In IITK, there is no space crunch and all students easily find a hostel room in the campus. Some rooms remain unoccupied as well.
However, the new faculties in these institutes are asked to stay outside or in guest-house for several months in the beginning and to wait till a quarter becomes available. Then they are first shifted to a temporary house, which generally is a very old quarter with leaking roofs. It takes about 2 years to get a good quarter.
Please post if you have seen any new faculty houses being built in IISc or in any old IITs.

Anonymous said...

BTW, this new scheme of financial incentive to students of they share the room with fresher should be expanded to faculty as well! I am sure a faculty house can easily accommodate 3-4 more students. I often observed that average area occupied by a person of non-students is quite high compared to students. It is much worse in case of IITK where faculty have houses with gardens, 3 bedrooms for 2 people. You see that there are more people in 2-room servant quarter than the 6-room faculty house!

Anonymous said...

So do you mean a faculty family with 2 persons should move to a servant quarter and the servant family with 7-8 persons should move to a faculty house? What a stupidity? Don't write anything here just for the sake of commenting to a post. How can you justify that a faculty house can accommodate 3-4 students where the faculty is already living with his/her family?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ August 2, 2010 4:28 PM: I am sorry but your comment is nonsense.

Giri@iisc said...

Anon @2.35:

IISc provides two bedroom apartments to all new faculty who join. The quality is reasonable.There are actually apartments for faculty which are vacant in Vijnanpura (2 kms from campus).


Anonymous said...

One of my friends who joined recently at an old IIT, is staying outside the campus as there is no apartment available for him within the campus. It is not an ideal situation to move the stuffs frequently from one place to other.
One of the main advantages of working in an institute like IIT/IISc is that it provides quality accommodation within its campus. Staying outside the campus means facing the day-to-day city problems like traffic jams, noise, pollution, etc.

Anonymous said...

Faculty occupying more space, kids have grown up and left, 2 member family occupying large space which they do not require, the senior professor mostly busy in institute, the elderly spouse finds it difficult to maintain 5-6 rooms, garden but cannot move to a smaller acco. may be to maintain status ... younger faculty members with 1-2 kids and often with parents (still alive) are given 1BR/2BR room accommodation ... 2-3 students are stacked in one small hostel room (meant for 1) with no place to walk with issues like health and hygiene ... thy name is 'our concern for fellow human beings', thy name is 'reservation and parliamentary democracy' that increases student strength by 54% in one stroke, thy name is 'social status - caste sytem'. No wonder these young IIT students will have less concern for fellow beings when they grow up as this lack of concern is getting into their subconscious ... the young faculty starting their career with a negative vibration unhealthy for the IIT system ... it could have soothened the blow/nerve if a senior people from institute management had given up their spacious acco. which they do not require (till new hostels, faculty qr. come up) when this rise in intake was there ... alas! that perhaps is far too much to expect from today's academic community who are not there to train young mind, forgetting education is not another profession, we are the builders of future India and we can better serve the country (in turn ourselves, our future generation that includes my own off-springs) by considering 'what I can do for the country' in a given situation or in a broad sense instead of 'what the country can do for me'. Let we teachers the builders of young generation, builder of the nation lead by examples. Thank you all and excuse me if I sound idealistic, patriotic and unsuitable for this forum. I have visited some IIT student hostels. The first thing you will notice that you cannot enter the room. It was in rainy season. All wet clothes inside. Two people stacked. No place to move. Even servant quarter is better than that. I have seen how a young faculty is housed in a 1BR room and the condition of the quarter. I wonder if it requires rocket science to understand how to provide basic amenities in IIT system.

Giri@iisc said...

Apropos the last comment:

All faculty who join IISc are given 800 sq ft 2 BR apartments.

Senior faculty are given 1100 sq ft 3 BR apartments.

There are no bungalows with a garden etc for senior faculty in IISc. No housing has 5-6 rooms in IISc. The only person who is given a bungalow (i.e., separate house) is the director.

Anonymous said...

"The only person who is given a bungalow (i.e., separate house) is the director."


What are you talking about? The registrar of IISc has a pretty decent bungalow as well. And, the retired director of IISc, Prof. Goverdhan Mehta, who shortchanged all the new faculty members by not even arguing for PB-4 for Assistant Professors enjoys a bungalow accomodation at IISc. I wonder in what capacity?

The IISc has quite a bit of fat that needs to be trimmed. I laud your effort to talk about the issue of accomodation, but frankly, I think there are very few in the IISc administration that give a hoot about this issue.

Also, would you mind commenting/blogging about all the people in the administrative staff that are running little side businesses for themselves. This has become a huge problem. Salaried IISc staff is no where to be found during working hours because they are using that time to run little businesses for themselves.


Giri@iisc said...


Before you accuse, please get your facts right.

Goverdhan Mehta was provided a two bedroom apartment not a bungalow. Please visit it before making baseless allegations. Also, read the word "provided". He is no longer there and the apartment is now occupied by six students. Please at least visit it now and see for yourself that it has a big living room and two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

As far as I know, registrar is not a senior faculty. We are talking about accommodation provided to senior faculty vis-a-vis young faculty. I stand by my statement that senior faculty (except the director) are provided 3 BR while young asst prof are provided 2 BR.

People in the administrative staff that are running little side business has nothing to do with accommodation. Keep it on topic.



Anonymous said...

Prof. Madras,

I am very happy with the "life in IISc", but the quarters provided are the lowest point (beating Bangalore jams).

Although the housing provided to new faculty is reasonable, and I agree with Prof. Madras, it could be better. Life in the guest house is not easy for the family, but one must expect plenty of problems (leaking roofs, leaking taps, windows that will not close, "paint" that will fade after a month or so, etc) after moving into the quarters. I prefer to refrain from comment how hard is to get the repairs done, either before or after moving in.

Also, I am not so sure about vacant quarters. Several new faculty have moved in recently, and I was told that there were no more D-type apartments available in Vijnanpura. Also, there are no vacant D-type apartments inside de campus. In fact, there is a long waiting list.

I do not like to discourage people from applying to IISc, but I think it is fair to inform them about these facts. These small things add up to the work involved in setting up a new lab and life in a new city. And is good for the new faculty and his/her family to be prepared.

Anonymous said...

Dear Prof. Madras, Your blog and website for new/prospective faculty is excellent. I really appreciate your and your colleague's efforts.

As a prospective candidate myself, I am very keen to see how good IISc quarters are. How old are the buildings that are allotted to new and senior faculty? Are they 'upgraded' frequently? I searched on Google but could not find sample pictures of the quarters. If you are aware of any such pictures and point towards them, it would help many people. thanks,

Anonymous said...

You think Prof. Giridhar has no other job other than taking and putting pictures for various quarters in IISc. Then, you will ask him to put pictures of the quarters inside etc etc. This never ends.

If you are a prospective candidate, visit IISc and look at it yourself.


Anonymous said...

May I know ,wat is the hra given to me students,who r residing outside of hostel.