About 100 students from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Bombay staged a spontaneous sit-in protest at its main building on Tuesday after they were allegedly not allowed to meet the principal to submit an open letter against an increase in tuition fees. postgraduate and doctoral courses. The protest sit-in lasted about an hour before a few authorities came to receive the letter and assured the students that they would look into the demands.
According to information provided by the students of the premier institute of technology in the Powai area of Mumbai, the fees for M Tech and PhD courses have increased by 45% in the recently declared fee circular for the fall semester.
“The breakdown of the fee structure for current Masters and PhD students shows a significant increase in all areas except tuition. This includes hostel fees, registration fees, medical fees, examination fees, electricity and water fees, hostel and mess facility fees, fund accident insurance, student charity fees and gymkhana fees among others, taking the total fees from Rs 16,500 to Rs 23,950,” a student recounts.
New admissions are the most affected, the student added. “Their fee hike is huge with an exorbitant increase in tuition fees as well. For Ph.D., tuition fees for new batches have been increased from Rs 5,000 to Rs 2,500. While for Masters students, it has increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2,500,” the student clarified. .
The open letter submitted to the administration, which is signed by about 1,000 students, calls for a complete reversal of the fee hike. He also points out that the rise places an additional financial burden on students who are already suffering from the effects of inflation and the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Students also expressed dissatisfaction with the way the fee hike was introduced as their representatives were allegedly not consulted.
The students formed a collective named “IIT Bombay Students Against Fee Hike” to coordinate the protest. The other demands put forward by the collective are an extension of the deadline for payment of fees, an increase in scholarships for university researchers and transparency of the expenses incurred on the fees paid by the students. The collective has called on students not to pay the fees until a decision is made regarding the cancellation of the fee hike.