Some students who have got admission in Pondicherry University this year have to look for accommodation elsewhere, and not on campus.

This year, a number of students who wish to join Pondicherry University have been informed during counselling that they will not be guaranteed accommodation in the hostels.

Even students who were admitted into the first list were not assured that they would be allotted rooms, since only a certain number of seats were available for students from each department. Their admission into the hostel was dependent on two major factors — their rank in the entrance exam and where they came from. As a result, this year around 2,000 students may be forced to look for their own accommodation.

Unsafe localities

Venkatraman, a parent who was looking for accommodation for his daughter, says that he was not comfortable with the accommodation near the university, since he had enquired and found that the area was not safe. Even though his daughter was looking to share with three or four of her friends, he preferred that she stay in another place. This would make travelling to classes a little difficult, but there was not much of a choice, he said.

Another student said that he had been trying to find accommodation, but even though the rents were reasonable, the places were not conducive to studying. He was hopeful of getting a place in the hostel as the year progressed.

Under construction

University sources said that the main reason for the shortage of rooms was that there were two large hostel complexes under construction. These hostels were expected to be completed in a year’s time. Once they were finished, the university could accommodate 1,000 more students at least.

In the past four years, the number of hostel rooms had increased by around 30 per cent, but the admissions had increased exponentially. The university would have to wait for the infrastructure capabilities to catch up before they increased the number of students admitted.

Moreover, most Indian universities did not guarantee 100 per cent accommodation. Even in the prospectus, the university said that limited accommodation was available in the hostel.

Now, in order to make some more room for the students, the hostel has opened up the common rooms. But this could not be a permanent solution, since it was not a comfortable arrangement, university officials said.

This year, around 2,600 students are expected to gain admission to the university, and at present, the hostels fall short by around 1,500 students. Last year, the accommodation situation was managed by accommodating three or four students in one room. However, the university has since taken a decision to accommodate only two students per room. So far there are 20 hostel buildings, five girls’ hostels and fifteen boys’ hostels that can accommodate close to 4,000 students, the official said.