New Delhi: Seven Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) hiked course fees by 5% to 30% in the past two academic years, the human resource development ministry said on Monday.
IIM Lucknow topped with a hike of 29.6%, while IIM Ahmedabad saw the smallest change at 5%, the same as IIM Shillong, HRD minister Smriti Irani informed Parliament on Monday, asserting that the move had little impact on poor students.
There are 19 IIMs in the country.
IIM Kozhikode hiked tuition fees by 23.1%, IIM Trichy by 20%, IIM Ranchi by 19% and IIM Calcutta by 17.3%, the HRD minister said.
The latest round of hikes happened as recently as March-April.
IIM fees have been in the range of Rs.10 lakh to Rs.19.5 lakh for the flagship postgraduate programme in management.
Fee hikes are part of the contentious IIM bill, intended to give the HRD ministry greater control over the functioning of the elite business schools. The bill has been opposed by the institutes, their alumni associations and governing boards.
In June last year, A.M. Naik, then chairman of IIM Ahmedabad and group executive chairman of Larsen and Toubro Ltd, and J.J. Irani, chairman of the board of governors of IIM Lucknow, wrote to the HRD ministry, protesting against the “sweeping centralization of power” through the bill.
In the face of criticism, the bill has been redrafted, but it has not been tabled in Parliament yet. The new draft has not been made public either.
Irani said on Monday that the hike in tuition fees did not affect the student population as IIMs offer a range of financial assistance and help in securing loans.
“The hike in tuition fee has not adversely affected the poor and lower-class students since institutes extend financial assistance, including full tuition fee waiver and maintenance allowance, to needy students. Further, other students are facilitated in getting educational loans from banks,” Irani said.
“Fee hike in IIMs has never been a problem for our students. Once a student gets selected for an IIM, banks are more than willing to give a loan... the return on investment is quite handsome,” said an IIM professor who did not want to be named.
The average salary an IIM graduate gets on completion of the course ranges between Rs.11 lakh and Rs.17 lakh per annum.
The professor said that the HRD ministry’s clarification on the fee hike to Parliament is important from two angles—first, the ministry does not believe that the hike is retrograde and, second, it may be an indication of what is in store in the new IIM bill.
Irani said IIM fees are not linked to those of other educational institutions. “IIMs are autonomous institutions and are governed by their respective memoranda of association and rules of the society, which include the fixing of fees and other charges as per provisions contained therein,” she said.