NEW DELHI: As part of their quest for financial autonomy, the Indian Institutes of Technology have requested that they be allowed to charge a flat annual fee of Rs 6 lakh from all B Tech and M Tech students irrespective of their income levels or the categories they belong to, which can then be subsidised by the government to the students direct.
The IIT Council, the highest administrative body of the institutes, is expected to take its final call on the proposal at its meeting chaired by Union Human Resources Development Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank on Friday.
At present, the highest fee paid by general category B Tech students at top IITs is just about Rs 2 lakh per annum while nearly 60 per cent students who are in the reserved category or from families with low incomes have to pay little or no fee.
At the M Tech level, too, the fee is highly subsidised unlike other top universities globally where it is heavy.
“The demand by the IITs is to ensure greater financial autonomy as they are largely dependent on the HRD ministry for budgetary support,” a source in the ministry said.
As of now, the older IITs in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kharagpur and Kanpur, recover just about 7 per cent of their total revenue from tuition fee.
“We want to generate at least one-third of our total revenue from fees,” said an IIT director requesting anonymity.
There are a total of 23 Indian Institutes of Technologies with student intake capacity of 11, 279 at the UG level.
A five-year vision plan called Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme, prepared by 10 different expert groups some months ago, had also recommended that the Centre should create a large crowd-funding model to support needy students in top institutes but institutes like the IITs should be allowed to increase their fee to support themselves.
Among other issues on the IIT Council’s agenda for Friday’s meeting are the autonomy to choose directors and chairman of governing boards.
“That can be done only through an amendment in the IIT Act but a detailed discussion on its implications has been planned,” said a source. “The meeting will also discuss the steps required to improve the world rankings of the IITs.”