Engineering at IIT’s might become 5-times costlier if the IIT council that decides matters relating to these institutes approves a recommendation of the committee headed by IIT Bombay Chairman Anil Kakodkar at its meeting in Mumbai on Friday.
This would mean, students opting for courses at the 15 IIT’s will have to shell out Rs. 2.5 Lakhs per annum instead of the current Rs. 50k per annum. The committee headed by Mr Kakodkar is likely to suggest that “the elite tech schools should raise the money to run undergraduate courses entirely through tuition fees and not depend on government grants.”
The committee has also suggested a low interest rate educational loan scheme to protect the poor students who might not be able to afford the proposed hiked fees. The committee has, however, proposed no hike in fee for the post-graduate courses. It is widely believed, the IIT's want more students to join their postgraduate courses, hoping some of them might later take up teaching jobs at the institutes whose faculties are short-staffed by over 30 per cent.
The Kakodkar committee was setup to suggest a roadmap for the IIT’s autonomy and growth will submit a report in a few days’ time to the IIT Council, the apex body that decides matters relating to the institutes. The committee believes that hiking the undergraduate fees would make the IIT's more self-sufficient and pave the way for more autonomy. The institutes will no longer depend on government grants for their recurring expenses, and would be able to create faculty and non-faculty posts on their own without having to seek government clearance.
The committee cites the IIM fee structure in this regard. IIM’s which gained autonomy a few years back charge fees ranging from 3-7 Lakhs per student for their post-graduate programs. This allows the IIM’s full control over administration and also to pay faculty salaries on their own; so they can create posts and fill them without having to approach the government.
The Kakodkar committee was set up by Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal in October 2009. Its members include TV Mohandas Pai, Director (Human Resource), Infosys, K. Mohan Das, Vice-Chancellor of the Kerala Health and Allied Sciences University, Ashok Jhunjhunwala, IIT Madras and Hari Bhartia, Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry. IIT Guwahati director Gautam Barua, IIT Mandi director T. Gonsalves and IIT Kanpur chairman Anandakrishnan were special invitees.
On Friday, the IIT Council is also expected to brainstorm the admission procedure which includes a modification in the format of the IIT Joint Entrance Examination. A committee headed by science and technology secretary T. Ramasami is likely to hand in a report suggesting ways in which candidates’ Class XII scores can be made to count while preparing the merit list, this is not done now.
Another committee, setup under IIT Kharagpur director Damodar Acharya, had suggested a two-tier format for the entrance exam — a screening test followed by the main test, Sibal did not approve this format and set up the Ramasami committee to suggest a better system.