Two weeks after IIT-Kgp announced a hike in hostel fees, around 300 students participated in a 15 hour-long protest on campus and subsequently gheraod institute director Partho Pratim Chakraborty, Registrar Pradip Pyan, Dean Professor Manish Bhattacharya, not allowing them to leave their offices and demanding a rollback.
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The gherao was lifted Wednesday morning after the intervention of administrative officials. A meeting between the students and administration is scheduled for Thursday.
The protest began at around 11 am on Tuesday and continued through the night. “There are some issues between the students and management including the fee hike, for which we wanted a discussion. The base charge per semester was Rs 8,250 which was hiked by Rs 7,550, with the total fee coming to Rs 15,800 per semester. It’s a steep hike and is difficult to afford, especially for those from economically weak backgrounds,” student representative Sovan Panigrahi told The Indian Express. “For now, crowd has been dispersed after a meeting with administrators. We are…ready to solve all issues through dialogue,” he added.
The administration had issued a notice on the hike on December 7. “Now, while the per semester expense for research scholars is Rs 29,000, it will reach Rs 37,000. Researches get Rs 25,000 as stipend. There is no logic in this,” said a protestor.
Defending the move, registrar Pyne said, “IIT has around 11,500 students in various courses out of which about 2,500 are research scholars. Only 300 of those scholars were protesting. We have assured them that we will address their concerns…In the meantime, we have asked them to deposit the money, and if there is any change, it will be adjusted against next semester,” he said, claiming there were hardly any protests by undergraduate or postgraduate students, he claimed. An IIT official claimed the fee was hiked to cater to rising expenses.
With PTI inputs