Seven top Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will soon have a free hand in deciding their own fee structure. This clearly is bad news for aspiring students as it is highly likely that a revision by the institutes themselves would mean a hike in the existing fee structure.
As per the current arrangement, the fees is decided by an apex council which governs the IITs for technical education. In a drastic move, the fee for all IITs had seen a two-fold hike this year from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh. However, there will be a fee waiver for the differently-abled and students from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, along with a concession that will be given to students from lesser privileged families.
Example this. This is the waiver that is currently given to the students of IIT Delhi.
In a country where the major section of the population is middle class, an increase in the fee for students will undoubtedly be a burden for parents who having the desire of seeing their children hold an IIT degree. While it will be an easier feat for the rich to be educated, the deserving candidates who fall in the lesser privileged category, will have take their eyes off from their dream of entering the IIT.
Taking a loan is an option for students, but is that feasible for all? The interest rates are as high as 10-12% which grow on a year-on-year basis. While some students are willing to pay higher interest rates to secure a loan, there are others who need to meticulously fight to find ways to repay their loans. For some, even finding assets to mortgage is a huge task.
A hike in fees would mean more people depending upon loans for their education which would eventually mean that there will be a higher number of students who will graduate from the institute with a ready economic baggage.
The IITs are the most prestigious and sought-after institutes in India for engineering, as per the government of India’s National Institute Ranking Framework. As per government rankings, they had bagged all top 10 spots for engineering.
Despite being the best in the country, they do not rank among the best on the global platform. The IITs are putting in their best efforts to bring 7 of its institutes – Delhi, Bombay, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee and Guwahati- into the global academic rankings. Undoubtedly for that, the IITs need better structure. Better faculty and research is also needed. As the IITs are demanding, there must be a high quality research output too. But how fair is it to put the direct burden of these costs on the students?
Education is a basic fundamental right in the country and it is the government’s duty to ensure that the level of studies remains high. The government should take the onus on themselves instead of pushing the students in the vicious circle of high-interest loans due to the sky-rocketing fee.
Education is for all, not just for the rich and well being. Those coming from the middle class or the deprived sections cannot be left to wander on their own despite the fact that they deserve the seat, just due to want of finances. The government cannot let people buy education, filling up the seats which the other sections cannot afford.