The Indian Institute of Technology at Roorkee has revoked rules like curfews for girls’ hostels, making it similar to those applicable at boys’ hostels. “The students have been demanding this for long and we have decided to do away with the restrictions. Like boys, girls can also step out of their hostels and roam around the campus round the clock,” the institute’s director, AK Chaturvedi, told PTI.

Among the various rules amended, the library will now be open 24x7 from a week before the examinations till the end and boys and girls can enter the common rooms in each others’ hostels. However, the administration has also rolled out two patrolling vans with security personnel to ensure the girls’ security. “Girls can also call these vans like they can call any PCR in case of emergency,” said Chaturvedi.

This comes at a time when girls across Delhi have been protesting against discriminatory rules. A student-led movement, Pinjra Tod, has taken Indian universities by storm. It started as a response to discriminatory hostel rules for women in Jamia Milia Islamia and soon expanded its agitation against many other universities where women face strict and often arbitrary rules.

Recently, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi stirred a controversy when she said that girls living in hostels should have an early curfew to protect them from their “own hormonal outbursts”.