ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Living Conditions for Education

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The lockdown has brought questions of accommodation in urban areas to the fore. The government’s response to prohibit rent came a little late, but provided some relief to the few migrant labourers who stayed back in the cities as well as to students. It was premised on the idea that sources of income were the most precarious for these two groups. However, the poor enforceability of the act and economic necessity of the landlords resulted in continued demands for rent. Landlords often demanded rent from their tenants by picking a loophole in the act over the definition of who is
a “student” under the act.

A student is generally defined as someone who is enrolled in a recognised educational institution. However, other kinds of non-recognised educational activities are organised in the vicinity of recognised educational institutions. In the metropolis of Delhi, the localities of Mukherjee Nagar, Old Rajinder Nagar, Ber Sarai, Katwaria Sarai, among others are located near educational institutions such as University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Indian Institute of Technology. These localities are inhabited not only by the students of these universities but also many UPSC aspirants, who stay in Delhi to prepare for various government services. Contention over who is a “student” brings us to the question of studenthood, students’ material position in urban centres and its relation to forms of spatial inequality.

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