IITs hostels set for major hike

Thousands of students in Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) hostels may soon need to pay significantly higher fees to live on campus. Charu Sudan Kasturi reports.
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Updated on Jan 25, 2011 02:40 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByCharu Sudan Kasturi, New Delhi

Thousands of students in Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) hostels may soon need to pay significantly higher fees to live on campus. The country’s premier engineering schools are set to hike their hostel fees significantly from the R850 a semester charged at present, top IIT and government sources said.

The decision of the IIT Council to remove hostel fees from a list of statutory fees last week will facilitate the hike in hostel fees, the sources said.

IIT Council is the highest decision-making body of the institute. Over 10,000 students — cutting across streams and including undergraduate and postgraduate students — live in the hostels of India’s 15 IITs.

The hike in hostel fees was allowed by the IIT Council even as it blocked a proposal by a government panel under former atomic energy chief Anil Kakodkar to hike the tuition fees significantly at the IITs.

“You could call the decision to allow a hike in hostel fees some compensation to allow us to reduce the subsidy to students,” an IIT director said.

“The current hostel fees are paltry and set decades back. It is ridiculous to continue with the same figure now,” he added.

Till the approval of the IIT Council last Friday, hostel fees were among a number of fees that were fixed under statues and could only be changed by statutory amendments. Now, the board of governors of each IIT will independently decide the amount by which it will hike the hostel fees.

Sources indicated that IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay and IIT Madras are expected to hike their hostel fees the most -using the argument that living in hostel would still be much cheaper than finding accommodation outside campus in these cities.

The IITs follow a residential education model, with lectures and assignments that require students to generally live on or near the campus.

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