Amidst speculations that the recent IIT fee hike announced by the HRD Ministry would also apply on the current batch students, several students of IIT Kharagpur staged protests on Tuesday night. As per the reports, more than some 400 students were part of the protests at IIT Kharagpur campus.
The students staged ‘peaceful’ demonstration by marching from Gymkahana to the Golc inside the campus. Atal Ashutosh Agarwal, Vice President of Technology Students’ Gymkhana, IIT-KGP addressed the gathering and called for peaceful protests.
Mr Agarwal said, “We, the students of IIT community were informed yesterday, that the tuition fee hike will also apply for current undergraduate students, from the academic session 2016-17.” Recently, the fee of undergraduate courses at IITs was increased from existing Rs. 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh per year.
Though the early reports suggest that HRD Minister Smriti Irani had already clarified that the new fee structure would not apply on current students, students of IIT Kharagpur are planning to send a letter to HRD Minister seeking roll back of increased IIT fee for current students. Additionally, HRD Minister had also said that the students belonging to backward classes along with differently-abled ones would be exempted from paying the fee.
Atal Ashutosh Agarwal claimed that even when tuition fees were raised in the past, the same was not applicable for students already studying at IITs. He demanded that the fee structure for current students should be reverted back to what they were paying till now.
The decision of Fee hike has been widely criticized by students groups and political leaders. Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia also demanded that HRD Ministry should hold proper discussion with academicians and students before implementing the fee hike.
Meanwhile, Atal Ashutosh Agarwal also urged other IITs students to support the cause. IIT Roorkee students are also going to participate in the protests at their respective campus on Thursday.