India’s premier technical institutions, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), are considering a revision of the annual student fee for undergraduate courses by 80 per cent. The 15 IITs, which together have 9,618 seats, plan to increase the fee from Rs 50,000 to Rs 90,000.

The agenda will come up for discussion at the upcoming meeting of the standing committee of the IIT Council, which will meet at the IIT, Bombay, on November 5 to discuss wide-ranging changes, including exemption from GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) for engineering graduates wanting to pursue PhD.

The revision of tuition fee structure at the Central technical institutions has been pending for over a year and postponed twice already.

Sources in the HRD Ministry today said the revision was overdue and was required to bring the IIT fee structure on a par with other top Central government institutions like the Indian Institutes of Management, which charge at least three times the fee of the IITs.

Even second-rung deemed universities have fee structures ranging from Rs 1.2 lakh to Rs 2 lakh annually. The IITs on the other hand continue to charge Rs 50,000 for an intensive course.

“Most top private technical colleges like SRM University had been charging Rs 60,000 as tuition fee way back in 2002. The fee revision in IITs will not impact as many students as is being believed. So many Central government scholarships like merit and means scholarships and others for the minorities and Backward Classes are already available. The idea behind this revision is that those who can afford to pay should pay,” a source in the HRD Ministry said.

The standing committee will only firm up the decision, as the final call on fee revision will be made by the IIT Council, which is chaired by the HRD Minister. The council meeting is due in January.Any fee revision, if approved, will be applicable from the next academic session.

The IITs were also working out the modalities for a tripartite arrangement to provide loans to students who can repay these when they land jobs after their studies.

“The arrangement will have three parties - the students, the IIT and the financing institution. The details of this scheme are being worked out,” an HRD Ministry official said.

Source: The Tribune