Seven top Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will be allowed to fix their own fee structure without consulting the apex council that governs these premier institutes for technical education in the country.
The move to grant them fee autonomy is part of a larger project called Vishwajeet, which is aimed at assisting the IITs to improve their global university rankings. None of the IITs are in the top 200 of the prestigious Times Higher Education World University Ranking for 2016-17, in which IIT Bombay is the lone entry in the 351-400 rankings.
“The decision to fix the fee of students would be delegated to the board of governors (BoG) of these institutions,” a source said.
At present, the fee structure is determined by the IIT council, the top decision-making body, which is chaired by the Union human resource development minister and includes IIT directors and board of governors of each institute.
Each IIT charges Rs 2 lakh from BTech students, though these institutes spend almost Rs 6 lakh a year on each student.
The IIT council approved project Vishwajeet on August 24. The plan is to assist the IITs, especially the top seven — Delhi, Bombay, Madras, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Roorkee and Guwahati — to make it to the top 100 global university ranks.
To be part of the project, the IITs will have to ensure a corpus fund of Rs 500 crore by April 2018 and Rs 1,000 crore by April 2021.
“This would require systematic efforts for attracting alumni contributions, corporate donations and corporate social responsibility funds,” the source said.
Each IIT will select five of its core areas of strength under the project, which will ensure specific interventions, including building new laboratories, hostels for international students, filling vacant faculty positions, and hiring foreign faculty.
Vishwajeet is likely to help IITs solve their funds constraints, though the government is yet to allocate money required to go ahead with the plan.
Institutes such as IIT Delhi have been collecting and spending funds from its alumni network and other sources for infrastructure development.
The Delhi institute requires Rs 1,000 crore to construct additional laboratories and hostels, but hasn’t made much headway in funding. The scenario is similar at IIT Bombay. Construction of hostels and plans to buy research equipment are on hold because of funds crunch.
“The project is required as our funding is not sufficient to construct new labs or buildings. As far as fixing the fee structure is concerned, we haven’t discussed it yet,” said an IIT director who didn’t wish to be named.
The seven IITs will have to make a presentation on October 20, after which the fee structure aspect would be taken up, another director said.
(With inputs from Rozelle Laha)