Responding on the three-fold fee hike recommendation by standing committee of IIT council, HRD Minister Smriti Irani denied the proposed hike. Instead, it was proposed that the increase is capped at Rs.2 lakh per annum. The decision to increase IIT fee from current Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh per annum received widespread criticism. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia slammed the decision and asked that HRD Ministry should hold proper discussion with academicians and students before implementing it.
Manish Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio in Delhi government, revealed the action plan for enhancing the school education on Friday. He raised the IIT fee hike issue during his speech and said, “How are these policies formed without any discussion? All of a sudden fee is hiked. There should be discussion on it as to how much government and students are bearing and how much more is needed and whether fee should be increased.”
IIT Council had proposed fee hike to counter the maintenance cost at IITs. HRD Ministry had asked the management to bear the large portion of maintenance cost by collecting fee from students. As per the data from HRD Ministry, government spends around Rs 6 lakh per year on each students in IITs.
Criticizing HRD Minister Smriti Irani for her decision, Sisodia said, “I believe in consulting academicians and students before taking such decisions.”
Earlier, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal expressed dissent over the fee hike and urged that the fee hike would deprive poor students of quality education.
I strongly oppose steep fee hike in IITs. Pl don’t make IIT out of reach for poor. I couldn’t hv studied at IIT if fee were this high
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) 7 April 2016
Smriti Irani clarified that the approved fee hike will not imply on the students belong to SC, ST category and differently abled students. She also said that students from economically poor background need to pay only 1/3rd of the fee, giving them 66 percent concession in the fee.
It has also been decided that students seeking admission to IITs need to clear the entrance examination only and their Class 12 performance would not be a criteria for selection. Sisodia questioned the evaluation of students merely on the basis of entrance examination and advised that students’ overall performance should be taken into account for admission.
“Assessment of students merely on the basis of entrance test is not a good policy. I believe academicians, students, those studying in IIT should be consulted in such decisions,” he said.