Demanding a rollback of the fee hike, IIT aspirants on Friday held a protest at Jantar Mantar here to protest against the 900 per cent hike in fees for M.Tech courses announced by the council of IITs last week.
The protest organised under the aegis of All India Engineering Student Council has demanded revocation of the M. Tech fee hike. The agitators said that a sudden hike like this is not at all acceptable and the students lack clarity regarding their future due to job crisis in the country.
It is also seen as an excess burden on the serious students, which count to 50 per cent of the total admitted students, who say the government cannot be ignorant towards those who want to pursue their career through M.Tech.
In their list of demands, which is also trending on Twitter, the IIT aspirants sought restarting the stipend for students, stressing that B.E/B.Tech were costly affairs and most students complete their graduation on education loans which were a burden on them and their family.
The fee hike, students contended, compelled most students to take more loans, thus discouraging students to choose M.Tech in IITs. Rather, they will choose any private institute where they'll get stipend.
The protesting students have also sought making M.Tech course industry and market ready.
"The government seems to be in a hurry to increase fees but lacks clarity on enhancing the degraded quality of courses. Most of the non-sponsored courses are outdated and do not attract placement opportunities," they said.
"We demand a complete centralised structure for this process where the less privileged(those securing lower ranks) should not be deprived of any opportunity," they added.
The fee hike, among other decisions, was taken last week by the Council of IITs in a meeting chaired by Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.
The HRD Ministry had thereafter clarified that there was no fee hike for the existing students and for the new admissions, the hike will be gradual over a period of three years or more, as will be decided by the respective board of governors of IITs.
The Ministry also said the needy students will be provided necessary financial support and all concessions and scholarships for SC/ST/OBC and others will continue without change.
"The fee hike will discourage non-serious students, who after a few months of stay in IITs leave the programme midway to take up employment or to prepare for competitive exams. This drop out in the middle of the programme leads to wastage of coveted seats and denies opportunity to other serious and meritorious students," the HRD Ministry had said.
The fee for the M.Tech programmes in IITs have not been revised for a long time whereas the cost per student has gone up substantially, it had maintained.