The HRD ministry’s decision to hike fees at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) by Rs 2 lakh has evoked mixed reactions from campuses. While students are confused whether the hike will be applicable to the current batches or only to new batches, senior IIT officials have stated that the fee hike is necessary and will help the institutes to grow. Officials have also stated that the institutes and the government are trying to find ways to help students get education loans.
“The hike in fees has been something that we have discussed with our students for some time now and while they are unhappy about it, we have tried our best to explain the need for the same. That said, no student should be dissuaded from studying in an IIT because of shortage of money,” said Soumyo Mukherji, the student affairs dean at IIT-Bombay.
Mukherji added that many students have sought clarity on whether the hike will be applicable to existing batches or only the new batches. “While there still isn’t much clarity on this, we believe it will be applicable only for the newer batches, as this has been the trend whenever a hike has been proposed,” he added.
According to the announcement, the fees for undergraduate courses will go up from Rs90,000 to Rs2 lakh for those seeking admissions under the open category. While there’s a 100% waiver of fees for those from SC/ST category and differently-abled, those whose family annual income is less than Rs1 lakh and Rs5 lakh will be offered a 100% and 66% waiver of fees, respectively.
“It has to be clear that IITs function on a small amount of money but cater to a lot of students. 27% of the entire batch doesn’t pay fees because they are from the reserved category, another 40-50% are studying through various scholarships and they don’t pay the full fees either. We are barely left with any funds to go beyond academics every year,” said a senior official from IIT-B, on condition of anonymity. He added that while the fee hike is important for the institutes to function smoothly, the government as well as the Standing Committee of the IIT Council need to ensure that the loan facilities are made easily available to students.