The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are set to double their tuition fee from the academic session beginning this summer after HRD Minister Smriti Irani approved an increase of 122 per cent from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh per annum. However, the fee hike will only be applicable to students admitted under the general category.
The government has decided to waive in full the annual fees for students from SC/ST, differently-abled and economically weaker sections.
Students from families with an annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh will be able to study in the IITs for free. But those belonging to families with annual income of less than Rs 5 lakh will be entitled to a waiver of two-thirds of the fee irrespective of their category.
Further, all students will be able to apply for interest-free loan under the ‘Vidya Lakshmi Scheme’.
The IITs last hiked their fee from Rs 50,000 to Rs 90,000 per annum in 2013. The premier engineering institutes had been planning another increase but could not arrive at a consensus during the meeting of the IIT Council in October 2015. A committee of IIT directors was subsequently constituted and tasked with finding ways to achieve greater financial autonomy. This panel headed by IIT Roorkee’s chairman suggested an over threefold hike in fee for the undergraduate course from Rs 90,000 per annum to Rs 3 lakh. On March 17, the Standing Committee of the IIT Council (SCIC) accepted this recommendation but left the final decision up to Irani, who shot down the 3 lakh figure.
“The logic of the SCIC recommendation arises from the fact that the cost of maintenance of the IITs shall largely be met from the student fee. It was felt that government is spending on average about Rs 6 lakh per year on each student in the IITs and a revision of student fee would help in building the IITs better. However, keeping in view the interest of students, I am unable to agree to the proposed hike. It would serve the interest of the institution and the students if the increase is capped at Rs 2 lakh a year..” the order signed by Irani, a copy of which was reviewed by The Indian Express, stated.
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