Producer: Varsha Rani
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
I am a student at IIT Bombay and we are protesting against the hike in fees for MTech and PhD courses at our institute.
The college administration has massively increased the fee by more than 39 percent for on-roll MTech students and over 45 percent for PhD students.
They are justifying the fee hike by citing issues like inflation and the increase in campus expenditure, disregarding the fact that we, students, also have to cope with inflation.
Meanwhile, our stipend has remained not only stagnant but also marginal. One-third of our stipend is used up in paying our fees. Without any increase in our stipend, this fee hike is highly unaffordable for students like us.
This is not just a story of a single student, many students have to financially support their families and the fee hike has added to their problems.
"I belong to a middle-class family from a small town, my father is retired and I have to give a good amount of my fellowship to my family, monthly. I’m a 27-year-old researcher and I was able to escape the familial pressure to get married because I got the chance to avail public education and financial support."PhD student, IIT Bombay
The stipend that we, the students, get is a meagre amount and given the situation of the fee hike, the amount of money we will get in hand will be half our stipend.
Higher Fees, Higher Debt
A lot of students do not receive a regular stipend. Many are yet to recover from the financial distress mounted on them by the pandemic and this sudden fee hike has dealt them a cruel blow.
Students with dependent family members find it increasingly difficult to pay such exorbitant fees. The support is given to such students from the institute in the form of loans that have to be returned back, further mounting debt on them.
"IITs are portrayed as some dream place where people from very humble backgrounds also come. Seeing the amount of fees we have to pay here, especially the amount after the hike, certain students cannot afford to do so. Even if they have the capability to come and study here, they will have to pay such a high fee even before entering the institute."PhD student, IIT Bombay
When we, students, spoke with our professors and the administration regarding the fee hike, we were repeatedly told that the funds that come from the government to the IITs have decreased and they have been asked to generate funds internally.
The Quint has reached out to IIT Bombay, their response is awaited.
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