Need Interest Free Loan, Not Fee Waiver

The IIT directors, consider replacing fee waiver for economically backwards students with free interest loans. They are introducing one year executive ‘M.Tech’ programme and ‘IIT Extension Centres’ in engineering education to share best practices. On April 28, the council is slated to meet in Mumbai. It is apex coordination body for all 23 IITs (Indian Institute of Technology). It is expected to deliberate on four changes to the concessions introduced for special category students in the year 2016. Along with the announcement to increase the annual fee from Rs.90,000 to Rs 2 Lakh per year. 

The IIT directors are learnt to have collectively sought:

  • Reimbursement from HRD Ministry for the complete tuition fee waiver announced for SC, ST and physically challenged students. The reimbursement should be made in shape of maintenance grants.
  • Liberal education loans” to replace the complete fee waiver for undergraduate candidates whose annual family income is less than Rs 1 lakh a year and the waiver of two-thirds of the tuition fee for students whose family income is between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5 lakh a year. The IITs have volunteered to fund the interest subvention on these loans for a maximum of five years from their fee revenue.
  • The IITs have also volunteered to continue interest subvention on education loans taken by undergraduate students who continue to pursue postgraduate studies at the institutes.
  • Strengthening of merit and means scholarship.

During Smriti Irani’s tenure as the HRD Minister, the changes have been proposed on the ground that the defeat of the fee hike and will lead to a fall in revenue for the 17 premier engineering institutes. This concern is first raised during the IITs council meeting called by Irani’s successor, Prakash Javadekar, last year August. Again meeting was held on September 11 and December 12 last year then this discussion is made by IIT directors in Bhubaneswar and Kanpur.

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Now the IIT directors, are also keen on starting one year M.Tech programme for working professionals. They decided to charge tuition fee at market rate, and this course is being sponsored by the employer or industry, the institutions will recover the annual cost of education that is Rs 6 lakh.

At present, education at IITs is subsidised. A student of undergraduate, for instance, he/she pays Rs.2 Lakh per year as opposed to spent Rs 6 Lakh on education. The reason behind to launch this one-year executive programme is to increase revenue and make IITs more financially independent.

One more proposal to increase IITs alumni outreach by setting up a society dedicated for the purpose linking of National Research Laboratories under the Ministry of Science and Technology to the IITs. The council wants to establish the extension centres to share best practices with other engineering institutes and the Joint Admissions Boards decision to introduce 20 per cent supernumerary seats for girls to avoid gender balance in UG (undergraduate) admissions.

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