The HMC has had a hectic year, faced with the daunting task of accommodating more than 9000 students, while battling limited space and an increased intake of students. It began with second-years being shepherded like cattle into extension blocks, sparking off worries about their prospects in the subsequent year. As the year draws to an end, the fact that not everyone will be fortunate enough to land a single room remains clear.
Having lived cheek-by-jowl for two years, single rooms are fiercely contested for by second-years. In most halls, boarders who participated in GC events and displayed enthusiasm during the obligatory welcome by the hall are preferred. Seniors liken the single room to a reward; this is a ready-made bait to draw helpless second-years out from their rooms, and get them cracking on those diyas. Second-years too, aren’t entirely blameless and innocent, and can be accused of indulging in more than their fair share of sycophancy.
The HMC’s latest directive aims to make the allotment process random and hence fair. Single rooms will now be allotted to second-years through a centralised lottery, entirely supervised by the HMC. Those who do not get a single-room will be automatically allotted a single room in another hall. However, they do have the option of staying put in their parent hall, provided they submit a written application to the HMC, clearly stating that they have no qualms being tripled-up. While these other halls were not specifically named, we speculate that they are HJB and LLR, the only two UG halls without first or second-years.
While this directive will go a long way in curtailing sycophancy and favouritism, the move brings the larger problem of overcrowding back into focus. Apart from LBS and BRA (which are still running dismally behind schedule) there are no new hostels in the pipeline. This spells trouble, especially for girls, since most of their halls are already bursting at the seams. There are plans, however, to shift the Kendriya Vidyalaya (in front of Tikkas) to a new location, and convert the building into a girls’ hostel with a capacity of 800.
However, with most projects hit by delays, the only consolation lies in the fact that the numbers are expected to steady themselves in the next couple of years, as the number of graduates increase as well. Until then, enjoy the stuffy nights, locked up with your fellow sufferers – contemplating the outcome of this apparently impartial lottery.