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There is a proposal to raise the tuition fee of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) from the existing Rs. 90,000 to Rs. 2.5 lakh which is yet to be discussed at a meeting of the IIT council on Tuesday. A committee headed by scientist Anil Kakodkar had suggested raising the fee to Rs 2.25 lakh to recover the running expenses of institute through student fee. The government hugely subsidises the cost of education for an IIT student.

If Smriti Irani, the highest decision-making body for the IITs, approves this fee hike, it will be the steepest hike in recent years.

There has been hike in the fee of IITs since 2008. While the fee was raised from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 in 2008, it was further revised to Rs 90,000 in 2013. The argument behind raising the fee is that the government should only take care of planned expenditure on labs, equipments, library and that non planned expenditure (the running cost) on salary of staff, housekeeping, water and electricity should be borne by students.

As against to Rs 3.5 lakh spent by an IIT per student per year including expenses on lodging, a student pays Rs 90,000 only. The placement of IIT students, meanwhile, makes news every year for high salary packages. While the average annual salary for IITians is Rs 8 lakh to 10 lakh, few graduates end up getting placed at over a crore.

“The Council adopted a funding mechanism under which the Government will appreciably enhance investments in capital assets, labs, equipment and research, leaving the bulk of running expenses to be recovered through student fee. The increased fee would be met 100% by student – loans at 0% rate of interest. This will help in building NITs into robust institutions,” a statement from the NIT council said.

Another agenda for the IIT council meeting is increasing the number of students appearing for JEE Advanced from 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh from 2016 onwards. In view of increase in number of IITs that have shot upto 18 in the last few years, the increasing number of students for JEE Advanced is necessary.

(Information source: excerpts from Hindustan Times)

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