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'IIT fee hike proposal reasonable, inevitable'

"Even if we increase the fee from the current Rs 22,000 per annum per student to Rs 50,000, still we will be spending around Rs 1.5 lakh on every student," the IIT Mumbai director Prof Ashok Misra said.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 06, 2008 06:02 PM IST

Top academicians and administrators of the IITs, who recently proposed fee hike, have said that the hike was reasonable and inevitable as these institutions spend almost Rs two lakh on every student per year.

"Even if we increase the fee from the current Rs 22,000 per annum per student to Rs 50,000, still we will be spending around Rs 1.5 lakh on every student," said Prof Ashok Misra, Director, IIT Mumbai.

The extra money that the institutions will be getting after the fee hike will only help us reduce growing deficit of the institutions, he said, adding that the proposal is very reasonable and long due.

Misra said it was only the subcommittee of the IITs council which has proposed the hike. It has to be approved by the Chairman of the council who happens to be the Human Resource Development minister Arjun Singh as the council does not meet often. The last council meet was held four years back.

The council consists of Chairman of board of governors of all the IITs and the Chairman of the council who is the HRD minister himself.

Besides the tuition fee, IITs also spend on basic boarding and lodging and as pocket money for some students who are under the reservation category.

In IIT-M itself, there are over 500 students from the reserved category, said a top administrator on the condition of anonymity.

Last year, IIT Mumbai received around Rs 127 crore, while this it was just Rs 71-72 crore. Already there is a huge deficit and with the increased power bills and huge maintenance cost of the institute's sprawling 550 acres land will only increase the deficit with low fee structure, IIT sources said.

The maintenance includes electricity bill, water bills and taxes and salary to the teaching and non-teaching staff, the sources added.

All the IITs have also written to the Ministry of Human Resource Development to increase the allocation of money to IIT since with inflation and huge cost of running the institution, donations and alumni contribution will not be able to manage the deficit situation, they said.

If fee hike is accepted by the Minister, it is applicable to IITs at Mumbai, Delhi, Kanpur, Roorkee, Guwahati and Chennai.

IIT sources said, it was in 1950s, the fee was fixed at Rs 500 per student per year and after 40 years the fee was revised and fixed at Rs 2,000 in 1998.

Last ten years, there was no rise in fee. The institutes around the globe like MIT in US revise the fee every three or four years whereas IITs need to get the fee hike provision to augment the financial health of these premier institutions, said Prof Surendra Prasad, Director, IIT Delhi.

Academicians from private engineering institutes said, IITs demands are reasonable as the private institutes are taking huge fees from the students and why not the IITs.

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