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Panel wants Govt to rein in fee hikes

Not happy with exponential fee hike in IIMs and IIT's, a parliamentary panel has asked the Govt to control the escalating fees, reports Chetan Chauhan.
Hindustan Times | By Chetan Chauhan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 18, 2008 02:37 AM IST

Not happy with exponential fee hike in IIMs and similar hike proposed in IITs, a parliamentary panel has asked the government to control the escalating fees.

In a report tabled in the Parliament on Thursday, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD said a large majority of students come from poor families and getting admission in elite institutions with such a high fee would be difficult for them.

IIM, Ahmedabad, had increased its fees by about 150 per cent to Rs 11.5 lakh from the next academic year and refused to roll back the hike citing autonomy of the institution. Other IIMs had also substantially increased their fees. The IITs have sought HRD ministry’s approval to double its annual fees.

However, the IIMs have said no student would be denied admission for lack of funds. Such students would be provided loan facility, IIM-A chairman Vijaypat Singhania had said.

The parliamentary panel was also not willing to buy the IIMs’ logic that students from marginalised sections can get loans to pay the high fees. “Such loans may help only a small number of students in elite institutions/sectors that fetch handsome salary.”

The committee also wants the government to increase the number of scholarships for poor students to meet the high cost of education. The ministry had informed the committee that the government was launching a scholarship scheme from the next academic year to cover 2 per cent of boys and 3 per cent of girls in colleges and universities and 82,000 fresh scholars at graduate level. Under the scheme, the government would provide interest subsidy during the moratorium period covering the duration of the professional course plus one year or six months from the date of employment.

The panel was critical of the IIMs’ wanting to hike the fees without waiting for RC Bhargava committee report on IIMs. The HRD ministry had constituted the panel in October 2007 to review the present status of IIMs, their existing courses, organisational and administrative structures, expansion plans, position of corpus funds and per student cost on various courses.

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