Explained: Why IIT-Bombay students are on a hunger strike

Students of bachelors, post-graduate and Phd programmes have been on a relay hunger strike against a fee hike at IIT-Bombay since Saturday. The protesting students have demanded a rollback of the new fee structure as well as insisted on having permanent members as part of the varsity's fee committee

FP Explainers August 08, 2022 15:53:22 IST
Explained: Why IIT-Bombay students are on a hunger strike

Students have been protesting against a fee hike at IIT Bombay. Twitter/@iitbfeehike

A recent fee hike by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-Bombay) met with strong opposition from several students who decided to go on a hunger strike.

As the student protest entered its third day on Monday, the administration issued a statement justifying the hike which was met with further opposition. Here’s what the fee hike is all about and where do students stand against it:

The protest against fee hike

The premier institute recently announced a fee hike of 35 per cent, which has allegedly infuriated postgraduate students. According to a report by News18, this agitation started in early July, when the IIT-Bombay administration first proposed a fee hike of nearly 35 per cent for all their postgraduate programs.

A resolution passed by the Board of governors recommended a 5 per cent fee hike annually, based on which this particular fee hike was implemented, according to a statement released by protesting students.

According to LiveMint, the fee hike was first approved in 2020. It had been kept in abeyance as the pandemic halted on premise activities for the institution. The issue cropped up in 2022 when authorities proposed a 35 per cent hike in postgraduate programmes.

The varsity has hiked hostel fees from Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,700. Protesters have termed the hike "extremely inconsiderate towards the students".

According to the Mint, IIT-Bombay has further hiked tuition fees for PhD students from Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000. Further, tuition fees of MTech have been hiked from Rs 5,000 per semester to Rs 30,000 per semester.

Students have also demanded for inclusion of student representatives in the fee hike committee.

What has IIT-Bombay said?

Responding to the protesting students, the varsity officials issued a statement that mentioned that the institute needed to "adjust its charges to stay alive and grow".

The institute argued that only 8 per cent of the total expenses are fulfilled by the fees collected from students. The operational expenses will continue to be more than the fees collected despite the hike.

“Higher educational institutes now need to take a loan to pay the cost of all new hostel and academic building construction, which is to be repaid in 10 installments, with interest paid by the Union Ministry of Education. Given the sharp increase in the number of students, we need to build more hostels and academic buildings. The increase in hostel fee is essential to cover actual expenses, allowing our other sources of income to be used to provide better academic facilities for all our students and to take loans which we badly require for expanding our infrastructure rather than subsidising operational expenses of hostels,” read a statement issued by the administration.

"The majority of our students realise that the government cannot keep subsidising them beyond a point. IIT Bombay is trying to convince the remaining few students to stop the stir by talking with them," the institute’s statement read.

The protesting student body, IIT Bombay Students Against Fee Hike, hit back saying that in a letter of protest submitted to the varsity administration against the fee hike was endorsed by at least 1,000 students.


According to LiveMint, the authorities have added four student members as permanent invitees to the fee committee and reduced Rs 1,800 from the Semester Mess Advance (SMA) component of the fees.

Institute also issued further remedial options of payment of fees which includes- deferral of fees, scholarships for masters students, and the option to pay semester mess advance in two installments.

With inputs from agencies

Read all the Latest News, Trending NewsCricket News, Bollywood News,
India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Updated Date:

also read

Student allegedly raped by staff member on IIT B campus
Mumbai

Student allegedly raped by staff member on IIT B campus

The PhD student was reportedly raped by a member of the non-teaching staff on Saturday morning and has been in the ICU of a hospital since since then.

IIT-Bombay to hold 58th convocation ceremony online; students' virtual avatars to be awarded degrees
India

IIT-Bombay to hold 58th convocation ceremony online; students' virtual avatars to be awarded degrees

Nobel laureate for Physics in 2016 and professor of Physics at Princeton University, Duncan Haldane will be the chief guest of the ceremony

Banks fix limits on UPI as conflict brews over cost of transactions: Report
Business

Banks fix limits on UPI as conflict brews over cost of transactions: Report

Das further stated that the government should develop a more robust strategy for maintaining support for UPI transactions.