Accommodation still a big issue for foreign and Northeast students

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CREDITS: Hindustan Times

Delhi University has begun its admissions for the year 2016 in full swing, but for the students from foreign and north-east countries, accommodation still remains a big issue. About 3,368 foreign students have applied this year to DU, with five percent seats reserved for foreigners. According to the Foreign Students’ Registry, currently 1,340 students from 90 countries are studying in the Delhi University. Of these, 48 students are from Africa. This year, the university received as many as 428 applications from 35 African countries.

Following a series of racial attacks, a large number of students from the continent claim that landlords in the city were reluctant to rent their rooms to African students. Some refused, while some asked for double the rent that they charge Indian students. Students from the North-East, too end up battling similar biases.

Fifteen Delhi University colleges offer hostel facilities, like Daulat Ram College for Women, Kirori Mal College, Sri Ram College of Commerce, S.G.T.B. Khalsa College and Indraprastha College for Women. However, many of these hostels too are not fully functional — IP College hostel has been closed for renovation and the Hindu College hostel is not functional due to a controversy over the rules set by the administration. International Students’ House for Women in Mukherjee Nagar can accommodate just 78 female students, others left to fend for themselves. Places like Khirki Extension, Malviya Nagar, Bhagwan Nagar and Munirka in South Delhi, and Mukherjee Nagar, Kamla Nagar in North Delhi are major urban ghettos where both Northeastern and African-origin students and working professionals live together.

However, a midnight raid carried out by former city law minister in 2014, with allegations that Ugandan nationals had turned the area into a den of prostitution and drugs saw the number of Africans residing in Khirki Extension go down considerably. Students residing here feel that their lifestyle is seen with suspicion. Hoping to find a less hostile neighbourhood to live in, Krishna Nagar and Arjun Nagar have come to be populated by professionals from Northeast and Africa of late.

Need of the hour is to provide accommodations which are safe and sufficient in number for all the students coming from far-off places in India, and even abroad, with hopes and dreams of studying in a university which time and again has been declared the best in India.

As reported by The Asian Age.

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