FOLLOWING PROTESTS over fee hike at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, (IIT-B), the institute management on Monday asked students to propose a revised fee structure. The development comes after negotiations between protesting students and the institute management on Monday. The institute has now put the ball in students’ court after students said the institute had hiked fees without consulting them.
“A meeting for negotiations was held on Monday. We have asked the students to make a proposal to us (the management). We will take a decision after looking at what the students have proposed,” said director Devang Khakhar. A student, who did not wish to be named, said the student community welcomed the institute’s decision to involve students in the decision making.
“We will work out a detailed fee structure taking all socio-economic parameters into consideration and submit it within a couple of days,” the student said. In May, the IIT-B administration introduced a fee hike for the new academic session. The hostel seat rent and establishment charges were Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 respectively. The amounts have been raised to Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 respectively.
The gymkhana fee that was Rs 750 has been raised to Rs 2,000. Examination, registration and medical fees were Rs 500, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 respectively. Students claimed that after the hike, all those using hostel facilities will have to pay anywhere between Rs 8,670 and Rs 11,170 higher than the usual at the end of the autumn semester, including the mess overdue for hostelites. Following the hike, a students’ collective, ‘Students Against Fee Hike’, launched a protest rally and dialogues on June 22, which remained inconclusive.
On July 3, the students launched an indefinite relay hunger strike after which the management formed a committee to address their grievances. While the director hinted at a fee restructuring, he said a final decision would be taken by the board of governors, who will meet in August.