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IIT-B meeting today to discuss possible rollback of fee hike

After introducing a 300% hike in hostel rent, 167% hike in gymkhana fee and 100% hike in examination, registration and medical fees, IIT-B is meeting today to review the decision

education Updated: Jul 10, 2017 11:45 IST
IIT-B,IIT fee hike,Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
IIT Bombay authorities are holding a meeting today to review a fee hike which had led to large-scale student protests.(Hindustan Times/Rajendra Gawankar)

Mumbai: The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) administration has scheduled a meeting today to discuss a possible rollback in the recently introduced fee hike. The decision follows student protests for over a month, ending in a relay hunger strike which was called off after the director Devang Khakhar gave the assurance of a review meeting.

“Since we finally got a response from the administration, we decided to suspend our hunger strike till today. After the meeting if we do not get a positive response, we will start the hunger strike again,” said a student, on condition of anonymity.

According to a letter released to the protesting students on July 4, Khakhr promised that a white paper of the said hike would be shared with students on July 7 to explain why it was necessary and on July 10 (today) a review meeting will be held. This meeting will be attended by deputy director (finance and external affairs), dean (student affairs), registrar, three representatives of the group Students Against Fee Hike, general secretary (postgraduate students) and a representative from Research Scholars Forum. This meeting began at the institute at 10am today.

In May this year, the management of IIT-B introduced a hike for the new academic session, including a 300% hike in hostel rent, 167% hike in gymkhana fee, 100% hike in examination, registration and medical fees and around 50% hike in other charges. The hostel rent of students in IIT-B has gone up by 300%, from Rs 500 per semester to Rs 2,000 from this year. Even the mess advance has gone up from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000. Even as IIT-B authorities attributed this hike to inflation, the students were upset because they were not consulted before implementation of the hike.

“This meeting is what most of us have pinned our hopes on as we are pressed for time now. Tomorrow is the last day to pay the hiked fees and avoid any late fees fine,” a student said. Khakhar in his previous mail also made it clear that in case the hike was rolled back, the decision would only be implemented after the proposal went to the IIT-B board in August. “So all of us will have to pay the hiked fee and hope for a refund soon,” said the student.

First Published: Jul 10, 2017 11:35 IST