Faced with budgetary cuts from the central government, IIT Kharagpur has found a new way to raise funds through a “Learn-Earn-Return Fund” scheme, where students will get a fee waiver if they pledge to donate money after getting a job. Launched from this new academic session, the scheme will help students to learn without burden and shape their career to earn and give back to their alma mater.
“We have asked the students to give a minimum of Rs 10,000 per year after they get jobs. Even if 30,000 of our alumni give the minimum amount then we will raise Rs 30 crore a year. If the alumni starts contributing then we will be able to build a new model. Even the Harvard University gets 60 per cent of its budget from alumni,” IIT-Kgp Director Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said.
He said higher education in India is expensive and the government has to shell out Rs 6 lakh every student per year. Recently the government had increased the annual fees for undergraduate courses from existing Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh, a rise of 122 per cent, from the upcoming academic session.
The budgetary allocation of IITs have already been slashed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development which has asked the premier institutes to raise funds on their own.
Under the new scheme, IIT-Kgp will offer scholarships or fee waiver in a graded manner based on merit and economic background of the students. Full fee waiver shall be offered to students with exceptional academic record. Also, newly admitted students within the top 100 ranks will get a chance to avail this facility. The funding of students may be floating i.e dependent on the performance of the students every semester, IIT officials said.
In order to be selected for this scheme, students will be required to take an Honour Pledge to give back in the “Lean-Earn-Return Fund” after establishing their career. Students may also be asked to teach under the Peer Assisted Learning programme or opt as Research assistance at the Institute or other institutional work as intern.
The fund raised for this campaign will be partially channelized to support students and partially to build corpus to ensure self-sustainability of the scheme, officials said. Chakrabarti said they have already started the campaign with the alumni who are responding positively.
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