Home / News / India /  IIT Bombay defends fee hike as opposing students start hunger strike. Read here

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-Bombay)has faced opposition from students owing to the fee hike that was announced recently. Opposing students started their relay hunger strike as varsity officials issued a statement that mentioned that the institute needed to "adjust its charges to stay alive and grow". 

The institute further said that only 8% of the varsity's expenses are fulfilled by the fees collected from students, the operational expenses will continue to be more than the fees collected despite the hike. 

"The majority of our students realise that the government cannot keep subsidising them beyond a point. IIT Bombay is trying to convince the remaining few students to stop the stir by talking with them," the institute’s statement read.

Several reports have suggested that the fee hike has been approved in 2020. It had been kept in abeyance as the pandemic halted on premise activities for the institution. The issue cropped up in 2022 when authorities proposed a 35% hike in postgraduate programmes.

The hike amended in hostel fees is point of contention for the students. The varsity has hiked the hostel fees from 2,000 to 2,700. Protesters have termed the hike "extremely inconsiderate towards the students".

"Given the sharp increase in students, we need to build more hostels and academic buildings. The hostel fee increase is essential to cover actual expenses, allowing our other sources of income to be used to provide better academic facilities," the statement read.

IIT-Bombay has further hiked tuition fees for PhD students 2,500 to 5,000. Further, tuition fees of MTech have been hikes from 5,000 per semester (after a partial tuition fee waiver) to 30,000 per semester.

Protesting students- IIT Bombay Students Against Fee Hike- issued a statement on 28 July demanding immediate rollback of fee hike, the revocation of the resolution that recommended a 5% annual fee hike and the inclusion of student representatives in the Standing Committee for Student Fee Matters.

Heeding to the concern of protesting students for the economically weaker students, the varsity authorities has added four student members as permanent invitees to the fee committee and reduced 1,800 from the Semester Mess Advance (SMA) component of the fees.

Institute also issued further remedial options of payment of fees which includes- deferral of fees, scholarships for masters students, and the option to pay semester mess advance in two installments. 

The protesting students are unlikely to withdraw their hunger strike. In a statement released on Saturday, the collective said its relay hunger strike will continue until the fee hike is reconsidered.

"By making education more expensive in important public institutions like IITs, we are effectively closing the doors of these institutions on many. We are resolved to struggle to keep ourselves on the path of Equality and Justice," their statement read.


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