Surgical strike on uninterested students: IIT Delhi director on fee hike in MTech course
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) director V Ramgopal Rao on Sunday supported the increase in the Master of Technology (MTech) course fee, calling it a “surgical strike” on “uninterested students”.
IIT Madras and Hyderabad, too, backed the move two days after IIT Council on Friday increased the fee by up to 10 times to ~2 lakh annually. Students across the country have criticised the move even as it will be introduced over three years starting from the next academic session.
Rao said the increase was justified as the IITs need money to repay their loans and provide world-class education. He added that the MTech programme at IITs recorded a drop-out rate of over 50% over the last few years as students treat the courses as a “parking place” till they land a job or crack a competitive exam.
“Today, we have uninterested students studying in outdated programmes which are completely disconnected from the market demands. How can we spend taxpayers’ money to offer free education to them, when they themselves see no value in such an education? This is an alarming situation. We have gotten ourselves into the situation and obviously a surgical strike was needed,” he said.
Rao said that the fee revision was important for IITs. “IITs are taking loans from the Higher Education Funding Agency for its infrastructure. IITD has to repay the amount of ~580 crore over the next 10 years along with providing world-class facilities. How will we ever recover the money to repay the loans if there is no revision in the fee,” he said.
MTech course has been heavily subsidised with IITs charging from between ~20,000 to ~40,000 annually for it.
In a separate statement, IIT Hyderabad director B S Murty echoed Rao and said the reforms were needed as the percentage of MTech graduates placed in jobs during campus recruitment is small. He said a number of MTech seats remain unfilled as students take up the public sector and industry jobs.
In a statement, IIT Madras said the fee for MTech programme at IITs has not been revised for years and is to be increased particularly to deter students who discontinue the course midway.
Many students have asked that the IIT Council reconsider the decision. “The decision of introducing this steep hike in the fee will further discourage students from economically weaker sections,” said Jyotsana Tyagi, a second-year M Tech student at IITD.