A panel of experts appointed by the government has recommended that the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) be allowed to raise fees five-fold, so they are not dependent on state funds and, therefore, have greater autonomy.
“IITs (should) be made independent of non-plan (operational) support from the government for their operational expenditure while at the same time seeking greater plan (capital) support to enhance research in a comprehensive manner,” the committee, headed by nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar, said in its 278-page report to the HRD ministry.
Tuition fees should be raised from the current Rs 50,000 per year to about Rs 2 lakh-2.5 lakh annually, so the full operational cost of education — roughly 30 per cent of the total — is covered, the committee has said.
“This would be reasonable considering the high demand for IIT graduates and the salary that an IIT B.Tech is expected to get,” says the report. A “hassle-free bank loan scheme” without collateral should be devised for IIT students.
The ministry should pay fully for fees and living expenses of both undergraduate and research (PG) students from society’s weaker sections, says the report. Every student whose parents’s annual income is less than Rs 4.5 lakh should be offered a scholarship to cover fees, plus a monthly stipend. The parental income limit should be revised periodically.
“Most US universities charge overheads to the tune of 50 per cent¿” the panel has argued, adding that industrial consultancy and royalty, alumni and industrial grants/donations and continuing education programmes, including executive M.Tech programmes, could boost IITs’ finances.