Friday, February 04, 2011

No fee hike for IITs

The decision of the IIT Council to reject the Anil Kakodkar committee's recommendation for a fee hike has not received the attention it deserves. The Kakodkar committee wanted the IITs to raise the annual fee from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh so that they could generate more funds on their own. The IIT Council, headed by HRD minister, Kapil Sibal, has shot down the proposal, India Today reports:

HRD minister Kapil Sibal, who chaired the IIT council meeting to discuss the report on Friday, said: "This fee hike would act as a deterrent to IIT aspirants." The IIT council also left the decision on increasing hostel fees to the respective board of governors in each institute. An HRD ministry official said: "The mathematical model proposed by the committee has to be reworked. The committee will now take a month to submit its report after considering the feedback and the response of the IIT council, which comprises the directors of all IITs."

The IIT Council's stand is commendable. It clearly does not accept the position that because IIT students can get loans and they can get jobs that can enable them to service those loans, students must pay a higher fee. A high fee and large loans are a deterrent to aspiring students. But how come this logic has not be applied to the IIMs and the IIMs have raise their fee at will in recent years? The HRD ministry needs to be consistent in its approach to commercialisation of education.


K.R.Srivarahan said...

Being an aggressive lawyer, the HRD Minister doesn't bat an eyelid while espousing contradictory stands on different issues. We expect consistency from a minister, though not from a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Do you, by any chance, have idea how this fees is calculated (or in IIM's). I was at one of the IIT's and I dont think in any way did they spend 2.5 lakh per student. Rooms were small for one person and there were two living in them. Classrooms were not good (old desk/benches, no AC, Green board). Only thing which I found better than other private univ. was the HR. Very good teachers and very good staff. Yes there were some good hi-end machinery, but should not that be bought and maintained by Professor's research budget. Also a typical IIT has around 8-10k students. Should not economy of scale kick in. Buildings are old and land already bought years ago. Salary of Professors is less than what many pvt. universities pay. How do they justify the cost of 2.5 lakh !

rajesh said...

I think fee hike may act as a deterrent in IIT but not for IIM, because only graduate students apply for IIMs so by that time they have the knoweldge to about loan etc. but a school kid who dont even have a bank account, how can we expect him to get a loan easily ?

Shyam Sundar Sriram said...

I think the IIT's, IIM's should be given a more responsible free hand to manage the fee revenues as well as costs. Professors ought to be paid higher salaries to cover the opportunity costs of letting go other lucrative careers. No doubt the government has to give direct subsidies to such institutions and allow them manage it. This shall raise questions about governance which has to be tackled via appropriate mechanisms