Students of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, (IIT-B), boycotted classes on Thursday and staged a march in protest against the fee hike, introduced by the institute last month. Around 200 students gathered around 9 am and marched on campus with banners asking the administration to roll back the fee hike.
In May, the IIT-B administration introduced a fee hike for the new academic session, including a 300 per cent hike in hostel rent, 167 per cent hike in gymkhana fees, 100 per cent hike in examination, registration and medical fees, and around 50 per cent increase in other charges. The institute had cited inflation as the reason behind the hike.
The students across all programmes as well as research scholars were, however, upset with the hike that came after a year of the institute doubling its fee.
A signature campaign was launched where 700 students participated. A letter of representation was sent to the administration. However, students claimed the move did not garner any response from the administration.
Hence, on Thursday students marched in protest of the hike and sought audience with the Director and Dean of student affairs to discuss the matter.
Director Devang Khakhar told The Indian Express that the management would consider the students’ plea. “We will look into the request sincerely,” said Khakhar. However, when asked if the fee would be revised, he said a decision would be taken after consultation with senior administrators.
Soumyo Mukherjee, dean of student affairs, said the hike was justified. “The students have a right to protest. However, they also must understand the institute’s situation. The fee has been hiked considering the inflation,” Mukherjee said.