To accommodate National Youth Festival guests, Karnataka University makes students vacate hostel

Following state government orders, Karnataka University suspended classes and asked hostel students to vacate rooms for nine days.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Jan 12, 2023 | 2:55 PM Updated Jan 12, 2023 | 5:41 PM

To accommodate National Youth Festival guests, Karnataka University makes students vacate hostel

The Karnataka University, Dharwad (KUD) has, following the orders of the state government, not only stopped classes at colleges but also ordered hostel students to vacate their rooms.

All this is just so that the hosts can accommodate delegates and participants of the 26th National Youth Festival.

Twin cities Hubballi and Dharwad are decked up to host the five-day youth festival from Thursday, 12 January.

Around 30,000 students, 7,500 delegates, and other guests from all the states and Union Territories are expected to participate in this national event.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is inaugurating the five-day National Youth Festival at Railway Sports Ground in Hubballi on Thursday evening. It is for the first time the national youth festival is being held in the Dharwad district.

To accommodate these delegates and participants, KUD declared a one-week holiday and suspended all classes from 9 January to 17 January, on the orders of the state government.

The university has also ordered all the hostel students, including girls, to vacate their hostels for nine days in order to accommodate the delegates, guests, and participants.

Student irked by university order

It has been barely a month since classes for postgraduate students for the academic year 2022-23 started.

The students are cursing the authorities for not only declaring a holiday for the university but also asking the hostel students to vacate their rooms.

According to the official website of the KUD, “The university is spread over about 750 acres of land. There are two guest houses within the campus.”

The website also says: “There are three girls’ hostels, one working women’s hostel, and three boys’ hostels, and 35 students’ capacity kitchenette (for self-cooking) on the campus. There is also another boys’ hostel run by the Social Welfare Department.”

The hostel students claimed that 250-300 people can be accommodated in each hostel.

Mallikarjun, a postgraduate student of KUD, told South First: “It has been barely 10 days since the classes began for the third semester. The university has suspended classes for all semesters for nearly 10 days. The classes should have been conducted for half a day instead.”

He added: “The university also ordered all the hostel students to completely vacate their rooms on 7 January. We have been asked to return only after the conclusion of the national youth festival.”

Another postgraduate student, who resides in the university hostel, said: “When we objected, the hostel authorities promised to renovate the entire hostel. Many students are either residing in their friends’ rooms or have gone to their villages.”

A hostel student, expressing displeasure over the university’s decision to suspend classes and empty hostels, said: “We, too, wanted to take part in the festival. We now have no space to reside in our own hostels after attending the events at night.”

University reacts

Confirming that classes had been suspended and hostel students told to vacate rooms, KUD Vice-Chancellor Professor KB Gudasi said: “It is not an independent decision. Following the orders of the state government and district administration, we have asked all the students to vacate the hostels for about 10 days.” He also expressed helplessness.

Venting anguish at the state government, a faculty member from KUD told South First on condition of anonymity: “We have no rights to object to the government’s and university’s decision on suspending the classes for over a week. We have been left with no option other than to conduct extra classes on weekends and holidays to finish the syllabus.”

The faculty member added: “The science departments have to conduct not only theoretical classes but also hold practical classes on a daily basis. The university should have found an alternative to suspending classes for over a week.”

Youth Festival events at KUD and UAS

Meanwhile, the youth festival is expected to witness several competitions, cultural and folk performances, seminars, debates, and panel discussions.

Though the inaugural ceremony is being held at the Railway Sports Ground in Hubballi, all the events related to the youth festival are being held on the campuses of Karnataka University and the University of Agricultural Science (UAS) in Dharwad.

The delegates, guests, and participants are being accommodated in the hostels and guest houses of both universities. The valedictory ceremony will be held at Dharwad.