Manipal University mulls hostel stay for students; Security to be beefed up

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 Students want security tightened at Manipal varsity

MANIPAL: Manipal University is contemplating making hostel stay mandatory for both health sciences and engineering students for the first three years from next academic year.

“We want to discourage students to stay outside. Right now, we are not able to do that as we do not have enough hostel accommodation available. Possibly from next academic year, we may do that,” said Manipal University Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr H S Ballal.

A hostel block, under construction, will be commissioned by this year end, Ballal said, adding that this may give us sufficient lee way in this direction. Would the prospectus indicate that hostel stay is mandatory? “When we have enough units available, we will. It is difficult to control students staying outside,” he added.

Col Badrinarayan, director (general services), Manipal University, said: “The university is thinking of making hostel stay mandatory for both health sciences and engineering students for the first three years.”

Badrinarayan said there are no strict restrictions barring they should be inside the hostel five minutes after the library closes which is 11.30pm. Another restriction is that student from one block cannot enter another without the chief warden’s permission and valid reason.

There are 20 hostels which can accommodate around 12,000 medical students. But, still many stay outside given that the university is home to around 26,000 students.

The university also has air-conditioned hostel rooms both in Manipal and Mangalore. As of now, Manipal has 1,222 A/C and 5,613 non A/C hostel rooms in Manipal Institute of Technology and Health Sciences campuses, apart from 269 A/C classrooms. In Mangalore, the university has 305 A/C hostel rooms and 30 A/C classrooms. “Earlier A/C rooms were less. After we started international programme, we started getting requests for facilities as they could not adjust to this coastal weather.” an official said.

Porous campus is vulnerable, avers Pai

MANIPAL: “When my daughter was studying medicine here, she used to come home at 1am. It was that safe. I am shocked by this incident beyond belief,” said Dr Ramdas M Pai, president and chancellor, Manipal University.

Reacting to Thursday’s incident a fourth year MBBS student was allegedly abducted and gang-raped by three miscreants while she was on her way to the room, Dr Pai said:

“This shows the degradation of moral values. The campus is porous. We cannot stop anybody from entering the campus from the thoroughfares,” he said, referring to the public roads which cut across the health sciences complex.

“It is not possible to give personal security to all; we have done everything to make the campus safe,” said Pai, adding that rapists should be given stringent punishment. “In my opinion, it should be death penalty,” he said.

‘Security will be beefed up’

Manipal University Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr H S Ballal was so upset that he did not sleep a wink on Friday night. “We had a meeting with the IGP, the SP and others. We are planning to have a temporary sliding gate near the thoroughfares which will be manned by two persons- one security personnel from the university and other from the police,” Ballal said,

The plan is to restrict entry from 9pm to 6am. “All occupants of the vehicles which enter through that area will have to give their names and purpose for which they are entering it,” said Ballal. Besides these measures, steps will be taken to strengthen patrolling inside the campus, light up areas and increase security personnel,” he added.

Students want security tightened at Manipal varsity

The alleged assault of a medical student after she left the Manipal University library at around 11.30 p.m. on Thursday have jolted the student community at the varsity. Many women students expressed their concern and demanded more security and enhanced patrolling on campus at night.

The girl has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Kasturba Hospital and is in a state of shock.

According to the police, the girl had been trying to hail an autorickshaw to reach her place of residence outside the university campus, when she was assaulted by the driver and his associates.

Lim Set Lu, a first-year dental student from Malaysia, told presspersons that she was worried. “I have had a comfortable stay here for the last 11 months. But, I have to stay here for four more years. Security should be increased on the campus,” she said.

On the other hand, Roshani Mistry, a yoga student at the university, said security on the university campus was good right through the academic year.

However, during vacations, a lot of local people enter the campus. “More security should be provided during vacations,” she said.

Varthika Agarwal, a third-year medical student, said since the university library was closer to the women’s hostel, all girls had assumed it to be a safe place.

The university guards are always present there. Many students study in the library till 11.30 p.m. during examinations. “It is surprising that such an incident took place. I will be cautious from now on,” she said.

Sakila, also a medical student, said there should be more control over the autorickshaw services and guards should be more alert.

“There should be more patrolling at night. Women students should either go out in groups or with their male classmates,” she said.


Akanksha, a final-year BDS student, said while hostels had adequate security, the same could not be said about the university campus. “The incident is frightening. I will be scared to come out of the hostel at night,” she said.

He is a Software Engineer from Moodbidri currently living in Kuwait. He likes to travel and post interesting things about technology. He is the designer of Kannadigaworld.com. You may follow him on FB at fb.com/alanpaladka

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