The much-debated tuition fee hike will be reviewed by the IIT Council in a meeting called by the HRD Ministry. The IIT Council – an apex body that represents 23 IITs - will meet on April 29, 2017.
The meeting has been scheduled to discuss the IIT directors’ plea to reconsider the huge concessions that were introduced for special category students in 2016. The members will also talk about the announcement to raise the annual fee from Rs.90,000 to Rs.2 lakh per year.
Another aspect that will be discussed in the meeting is the recommendation of Kakodkar Committee to reimburse 50% of the tuition fee for a few shortlisted female students in order to improve gender diversity in IITs.
Under the reign of Smriti Irani, the HRD Ministry had given its approval for a two-fold hike in tuition fee on April 8, 2016. The ministry had agreed on a condition that students of the SC, ST, physically challenged category and candidates whose annual family income is less than Rs.1 lakh will be eligible for a complete fee waiver.
Also, students whose family income is between Rs.1 lakh and Rs.5 lakh per year will get a compensation and will have to pay just one-third of the fee. According to the ministry, all other students will be provided with the facility of interest-free loans.
According to the Directors of IIT, these concessions will beat the purpose of fee hike and will result in a fall in revenue. The matter has also been discussed in the previous meetings with the Prakash Javadekar-led HRD Ministry.
The IITs have also recommended that the fee exemption should be replaced with reimbursement. The institutes suggested that either the HRD Ministry or the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment should reimburse the cost of education of the students entitled to complete fee waiver to the IITs. The directors also suggested that interest-free loans must be provided to students of the economically backward sections.
The ministry sources tell that these suggestions will be among the main agenda and discussion topics for the IIT Council meeting scheduled for April 29.