As the ongoing students’ protest against a fee hike at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay entered its second day, the administration has issued a statement justifying the hike. Students, who are on a relay hunger strike to press for a rollback, however, said their protest will continue.
“Higher educational institutes now need to take a loan to pay the cost of all new hostel and academic building construction, which is to be repaid in 10 installments, with interest paid by the Union Ministry of Education. Given the sharp increase in the number of students, we need to build more hostels and academic buildings. The increase in hostel fee is essential to cover actual expenses, allowing our other sources of income to be used to provide better academic facilities for all our students and to take loans which we badly require for expanding our infrastructure rather than subsidising operational expenses of hostels,” read a statement issued by the administration.
Meanwhile, the Students Against Fee Hike at IIT Bombay, a students’ collective, issued a statement on Sunday evening saying, “IIT Bombay is viewed as one of the most important public education institutions in India. It has a rich legacy of facilitating economic and social mobility for students coming from diverse backgrounds. By making its students ‘understand’ that they cannot expect the government to bear even some burden of their educational expenses from public money, does the IIT Bombay administration wish to become one of the public education institutions attempting to legitimise privatisation of public education amongst its students?”