IITs want Centre to pay fees of SC, ST, disabled students

Finances strained due to fee waiver

IITs want Centre to pay fees of SC, ST, disabled students

The Indian Institutes of Technology want the government to bear the tuition fee of students belonging to scheduled caste (SC), scheduled tribe (ST), besides persons with disability (PwD).

These students currently get a complete fee waiver at the IITs and the premier technical institutes bear the cost from their own resources. The elite engineering colleges now want the government to pay the tuition fee of these students, with the inclusion of newer categories of students in the fee waiver scheme last year.

The IITs, which have been expressing difficulty in bearing the additional financial burden “thrust upon” them, have urged the HRD Ministry to accord top priority to this issue at their meeting on IITs in April, sources in the IITs told DH. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar will preside over the meeting.

Last year, the IITs increased their tuition fee for general category students from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh with approval of their Council. However, they also had to accept the HRD Ministry’s proposal for full fee waive of special category students as well as those with annual family income of up to Rs 1 lakh, besides the existing fee waiver for SC/ST students.

The IIT Council also had to accede to the ministry’s direction to waive two thirds of the tuition fee of students whose family income is between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. An interest-free loan scheme was simultaneously introduced to facilitate payment of the balance of the tuition fee entitled for waiver of two thirds of their fee.

“This has strained our financial resources as the number of claimants of fee waiver increased with inclusion of newer categories. Increase in the general tuition fee did not help us ease our financial burden as the total spending on education of one student is three times higher than the fee we collect from the student,” sources from one of the IIT administration said.

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