Three Fold Fees hike at IITs… A Justified Move!

After NIT, now it’s time for IIT  to increase its fees  3 fold from 90000 INR to 3 Lacs

Finally the IIT’s have realised it is time they start bearing the cost of educating their own students. Approaching towards the 70th year of Independence India needs to take bold and firm decision. I see the hike in IITs as a welcome step. However, no approach/decision is full proof and every decision needs refinement from time to time. The hike can be seen as a good move as it will help IITs generate their resources and revenues on their own thereby reducing their dependence on the government. This will itself be a big step towards complete autonomy which our premier institutes demand.

IIT Increases its feesAs per the recommendations of the panel, headed by IIT Roorkee Chairman Ashok Misra the fees of one year at the IITs will be increased from current Rs 90,000 to Rs 3 lakh and $4,000 to $10,000 for foreign Students. Further, the Standing Committee of IIT Council (SCIC) has also accepted new screening system incorporating aptitude test in entrance examination process 2017 onwards. However, a final call on the both would require the stamp from HRD Minister Smriti Irani.

This decision can be seen from various perspectives.

Let us first see from the perspective of an IIT aspirant.

The steep hike in the tuition fees will be beyond reach for students coming from economically backward sections and the trouble adds up if she/he is from a backward class as well. Secondly, there will be no extra advantage of studying from a government funded institution in terms of course fees.

 Perspective of an Indian who pays tax….

However, if I see from the perspective of an Indian who pays tax so that these IITians can study at a subsidised rate I welcome the hike. There are multiple reasons to substantiate my support to the hike in fees. The first is that once a majority of students graduate from IIT very few are willing to work for India. Yes there are a few but its still far from what is needed. As per a survey conducted by Times of India, less than 2% engineers from IIT join the government funded organizations.

IIT fees hike

Most of these engineers at ISRO, BARC, PSUs, are from non-IIT background where students pay very high tuition fees. However, most of these IIT pass out students prefer to work at NASA, the European space agency or companies of foreign origins or some prefer to complete their higher studies from abroad where they willingly pay exorbitantly high tuition fees. Yes, some may argue that it is not a compulsion to work for organizations in India and a student has the right to choose a profession of his choice, but the question is why they should study at the taxpayer’s money. Besides, it is a well-known fact that a student passing out from the IIT fetches better than the rest package, it will be possible for her/him to repay the education loan. Yes, we can have concerns about easy availability of loan for students seeking admission in IITs. However, with a proper understanding among the Banks, the government and the IITs, this concern can be fixed. The government should create a better framework for availability of education loan to students applying for admission in these premier institutes. Many may infer that I am against the poor and want to take education out of their reach, but let us not forget the fact that not all who reach IITs are poor. Many among them come from well to do family and can afford such a tuition fees. Another important point being overlooked is that after the 2013 hike in the fees at IIT the SC and ST students, which is nearly 20% of the total IIT students, were asked to pay 10% of the total fees, which I believe, will continue even after the present hike.

There’s no such thing as Free Lunch!

We as Indians must realise that we have to move beyond the life of subsidies, as everything in life comes with a price. Let us not be hypocritical, and shout about the increase in the fees when we can afford it and most importantly, the IIT makes them capable enough to repay it. Let us, wake up our conscience and think about those who really need subsidies.

In spite of so many IITians passing out from India every year our country still trails in providing  some of the most basic amenities of life such as clean water, proper sanitation, electricity and above all a quality elementary education. Yes, it is not the responsibility of a common person to fix these issues but the government needs money to provide these facilities and the money needs to be generated from the available resources itself.

Just to explain through data, roughly around 10,000 students pass out from IITs out of which 20% that is 2000 are from SC/ST. On each of these 10000 students the government spends 10000 * 2,50,000 =  2,50,00,00,000 INR annually. The 2000 SC and ST students pay 10% of the fees that 2000 * 9000 =  1,80,00,000 and the remaining 8000 pay 90,000 which amounts to 72,00,00,000. So the total money which government gets back from these students is 73,80,00,000 INR  which means an yearly loss of 1,76,20,00,000 INR annually just from the IITs.

Now let us take another set of data. Let us assume that the government completely waives of the fees of 20% SC/ST students and also completely waives of the fees of students whose family income is less than 4.5 Lakhs. And the remaining 6000 students are asked to pay the non subsidised tuition fees of 2,50,000 annually. So, the govt. would get back 1,50,00,00,000 as fees from 6000 students after  after spending  2,50,00,00,000. The total loss thereby being 1,00,00,00,000 which will still be lesser than the current loss the government is undergoing.

I think if we are genuinely concerned about the rise of India it is now time to act, because we have spent more than 60 years thinking about it.

**Calculations are based on assumptions. 

Written by Anurag Sinha

Anurag Sinha

Anurag has done his Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication from Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology and has worked as a Software Engineer with Sony.

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