In addition to its high cut-off percentages, paying the fees to study at an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will prove to be a costly affair from the coming academic year.
The annual fee structure for undergraduate engineering course in all IITs will now be R2 lakh, as opposed to the existing Rs 90,000.
The proposal from the IIT council to hike fees was approved by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD). However, SC/ST candidates, differently-abled persons and candidates from economically weaker sections have been provided with a total fee waiver.
While IITs are looking forward to greater financial autonomy with this decision, there are mixed reactions from students and other stakeholders.
The panel, headed by IIT Roorkee chairman Ashok Misra met last month and approved a proposal for a three-fold increase in tuition from present R90,000 to R3lakh per annum. However, the final decision was taken by Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani, who chairs the IIT Council, the highest decision-making body for all 16 IITs.
As per the plan, the fee-hike was proposed with a properly devised system in which needy students will be able to get a bank-loan on the basis of an admission letter from an IIT. Existing students feel the increase in fee structure was much needed. But they also feel that it will be difficult for students wanting to pursue research or entrepreneurship.
Sumit Rao, an aspiring IITian who has just appeared for Joint Entrance Examination (main), said, “This is a steep hike. This means the total course will then be of R8 lakh.”
His mother Meenal Rao said, “Already one has to pay coaching institutes in lakhs in order to get admission into IIT. Now, further expenditure to complete the course in IIT is certainly going to be a burden, even if there are options made available such as bank loan.”
A student from IIT-B’s civil engineering stream however feels that s huge fee-structure on one side and complete waiver on the other will lead to certain amount of discrimination on campuses.
He said, “If I am paying Rs 2 lakh for a seat and the same education is given to another candidate for free just because they belong to a certain category, it can lead to anguish among some.”
Dr Anil Kakodkar, former chairman of the IIT Council, in whose tenure the proposal was mooted, said, “The primary objective is to enhance the financial autonomy of the institute for a global-level competition. With the increase in revenue generated from the fees, there will be less dependence on government. It is not to create unnecessary burden on students. This is why options such as bank loans have been opened up. An IIT pass-out is expected to get a good job at the end of course to repay the loan.” Kakodkar however added that the system has to be implemented appropriately in order to ensure it does not end up being a burden on students.
Dr Parul Parekh, Parent
The question, whether they are going to be able to provide equally good facilities, remains. I did some research and got to know how hostels are not maintained properly, students are under stress etc. If we are going to pay so much, we expect the institute to take good care of the children.
Praveen Tyagi, Managing director, IITians PACE
It is very unfortunate that we are taking away the right of underprivileged children who are hoping for a quality education in good institutions to make their lives better.
R L Trikha, Director, FIIT-JEE
To provide good quality services, it is important [to hike fees]. It is a common market trend. There are options available for students such as taking loan or help from somebody.
Shubham Goyal, Mechanical engineering student, IIT-Bombay
With the kind of financial crunch the institute is facing, this fee-hike was required. But there has to be an appropriate procedure. Repayment of back-loans won’t be much of an issue to IIT pass outs, but those wanting to pursue research or entrepreneurship will face some problems.