IITs have strived a year’s extension to the 2021 deadline as the crowded hostels are a great challenge to ensure physical distancing when the hostels reopen. This deadline is extended by the government to add new seats for adapting the 10 percent Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota.
Referring to the COVID-19 lockdown, nearly 23 premier engineering institutes altogether approached the Centre with the request last month.
The HRD Ministry will pertain to the request to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment which had shifted the EWS quota suggestion, said by the sources of government. Moreover, this suggestion of EWS quota was later ratified by the Union Cabinet early last year.
The student intake for undergraduate, masters and research programmes have been collectively increased by the IITs with roughly 6,700 seats. From this, almost from 2,300 seats about 500 seats were added for B.Tech in 2019-20. The staying 4,400 seats about 13,00 seats were expected to be added for B.Tech this year.
The IITs are the first to pursue such an extension. Moreover, it’s not only IITs but even NITs (National Institutes of Technology) are also facing infrastructural constraints being a centrally funded institution. The situation of NITs is even worse.
To accommodate the quota the overall student strength has to be increased by 25 % in two years by the centrally funded educational institutions which include IITs, NITs, IIMs, central universities, IISERs, and IIITs. The seats have been increased in such a way that the seats for SC, ST, OBC and general category student does not face any cuts. This means that across all centrally funded institutions approximately production of an additional 2 lakh seats.
Moreover, collectively all the IITs request has noticed that there is a delay in the construction of hostels due to the lockdown.
An IIT director, who did not wish to be identified said that several IITs were either expanding or rebuilding their classrooms and hostels to adapt the new students added under the supernumerary seats generated last year to boost female enrolment and the extra seats to enforce the EWS quota. This work was disrupted because of the lockdown and is uncertain to complete by the time they reopen. However, a request from NITs has not yet identified for an identical extension.
The director of an NIT in north India who did not wish to be identified said that the lodging situation in the NITs is the same as IITs or we can say even worse. If they have to retain a physical distance of one meter between students in classrooms and in hostel rooms then the current infrastructure is simply not enough.