IIT students are holding their breath on the prospects of their annual fees being hiked by nearly four times if its panel’s proposal is accepted by the HRD Minister Smriti Irani.
According to a PTI report, if Irani chooses to approve the report, the annual fee will rise to Rs. 3 lakh in comparison to the present amount of Rs. 90,000.
Once approved the step will deter many bright talent from ever considering education on IIT campuses for the want of money.
Another key recommendation the Standing Committee of IIT Council (SCIC) made was that the proposed new entrance examination designed to test the aptitude conducted by a National Authority of Test (NAT) would be held from 2017 onwards.
Final decision in this regard too rests with Ms Irani, it is learnt.
Sources told Press Trust of India that the SCIC, a body comprising IIT directors and senior officials, in a meeting adopted the report presented earlier by a sub-committee headed by IIT Bombay Director Devang Khakhar which had suggested hiking fees to Rs. 3 lakh and also recommended multiple sources of financing for the IITs.
“However, the sub-committee has been again asked to consider if this fee hike should also be applied to students studying at Post-Graduate level as they are studying on a fellowship basis,” a source said.
If the recommendations of the SCIC are accepted, even the fees of foreign students would be raised from the current annual USD 4000 to USD 10,000, they added.
However, the committee has also emphasised that every student should be provided educational loans at an interest- free basis and without collateral under the Vidyalakshmi scheme, sources said.
Another nod that the committee is learnt to have given is regarding a proposal to hold IIT admission tests in eight countries abroad to attract the best of foreign students.
Sources said the panel also approved the recommendations of a report prepared by a committee of eminent persons headed by Ashok Mishra for holding an aptitude test conducted by a National Testing Service, on the basis of which candidates will be shortlisted for taking JEE (Advanced) for entry to IITs.
However, the committee has recommended that the test should be conducted from next year onward and not this year.
The Ashok Mishra committee had focused on reducing the dependence on coaching institutions by IIT aspirants.
It is desired by the committee that coaching by best quality teachers for such exams should be provided through online platforms by the government, reducing the need that candidates may feel for private tuitions, a source said.