New Delhi, Oct. 17: The National Institutes of Technology are set to double BTech and MTech tuition fees for new entrants from next year in a move aimed at helping the tech schools meet half their salary expenses.
The NIT Council, the apex body to decide such matters, is scheduled to meet tomorrow to finalise the proposal for increasing the fees from Rs 35,000 to Rs 70,000 a year.
The new fee structure will apply only to students taking admission from next year, sources in the NITs and the human resource development ministry told The Telegraph.
The decision to increase fees followed recommendations by a standing committee of the council that also suggested PhD students be charged Rs 15,000 a year, up from Rs 5,000 now.
There are 30 NITs in the country. Earlier known as Regional Colleges of Engineering, these are seen as second-rung institutions after the Indian Institutes of Technology and offer around 17,000 seats at the BTech and MTech levels. The IITs increased annual tuition fees from Rs 50,000 to Rs 90,000 for BTech students from this year.
A committee under former Atomic Energy Commission chairperson Anil Kakodkar had earlier suggested increasing fees at the IITs and NITs to meet operational costs like salary and maintenance of facilities.
An NIT director said the proposed hike would help the tech schools meet 50 per cent of salary expenses.
Gurinder Azad, of Insight Foundation, an organisation working for the welfare of poor students, said the decision would “hurt” students from underprivileged families.
“Students from poor families lack confidence. They do not prefer taking study loans. The decision will hurt these students,” Azad said.
The NIT director said there was a proposal to waive half the fee for the top 10 per cent students from non-creamy layer families.
Students with parental income of less than Rs 6 lakh a year will benefit from this proposal, the director added. Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students will continue to get exemption from paying fees.
“The remaining students will have to arrange the fee or take education loans,” the director said, requesting anonymity.
He said students should be able to take education loans without being asked to deposit any collateral security, referring to a government scheme for interest-free study loans.
The NIT Council will also consider a proposal to admit students against seats lying vacant in the category reserved for the differently abled. About 250 such seats are still vacant.
The council will discuss a proposal under which the NITs will have to seek accreditation for their courses from the National Board of Accreditation.