IIT-Bombay students on hunger strike to protest against fee hike
Mumbai city news: In May, the management of IIT-B hiked the fee for the new academic session, 300% hike in hostel fees, 167% in gymkhana fees, among othersmumbai Updated: Jul 10, 2017 11:46 IST
Students at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) started a relay hunger strike on Monday against the recent fee hike. Students have also boycotted classes since the third week of June to stage the protest.
In May, 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. IIT-B authorities attributed the hike to inflation.
“The administration has only been giving us false promises but no one has given us assurances of rolling back the fee hike. The increase in the fee structure is unfair and unwarranted,” said a student.
On Monday, a group of students staged a march across the campus which ended at the main building foyer. Nine students started a relay hunger strike at 2pm. “The nine students will continue the hunger strike. Tomorrow, other students will take over. We will only intensify our struggle till we hear from the administration,” added another student.
Officials from IIT-B said the institute director has assured students that a committee would look into the issue and publish a white paper on it soon. “We have already shared with students a detailed version of the hike structure and its need but the committee will once again see if any of the hike is unreasonable. It will take some time and students will have to be patient,” said Soumyo Mukherji, dean-student affairs, IIT-B.
Mukherji said that some members of the committee are not in town and that relooking into the hike will take some time. “The hike was introduced after brainstorming for several months. So, revisiting the decision will take some time and cannot be done overnight,” he said.
IIT-B director Devang Khakkar has spoken to students and sought time for the committee to publish its report. Students, however, are not convinced.
“By the time the committee releases its report we would be forced to pay the hiked amount and eventually the hike will stay. We will not accept this,” said a PhD student.