Fee hike brings IIT-B students down to protest

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Protesting the fee hike, students of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) spurned all classes on Thursday and staged a march instead. The fee hike was introduced last month. Up against this hike, about 200 students took ground at 9 am and marched on campus with banners to demand the administrators to roll back to the earlier fee.

Last month, May 2017, the administration introduced a fee hike for the new academic session, according to which there was a 300% hike in hostel rent, 167% in gymkhana fee, 100% in examination, registration and medical fee and around 50% increase in other charges. The institute tried justifying the move saying that the move was fore stepped because of inflation.

Students from all courses as well as research scholars were, despite this reasoning, upset with the hike that came after a year of the institute doubling its fee.

To present their agenda stronger, they launched a signature campaign where 700 students participated. A letter of representation was also sent to the administration. However, students claimed the move did not garner any response from the administration.

Director Devang Khakhar told The Indian Express that the management would consider the students’ plea. “We will look into the request sincerely,” said Khakhar. However, when asked if the fee would be revised, he said a decision would be taken after consultation with senior administrators.

Soumyo Mukherjee, dean of student affairs, said the hike was justified. “The students have a right to protest. However, they also must understand the institute’s situation. The fee has been hiked considering the inflation,” Mukherjee said.