The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Crunch at IIMC, fees up

Calcutta, March 22: The Indian Institute of Management Calcutta will raise its fees for post-graduate programmes from this academic session.

The decision was taken at a board meeting last week as part of a revenue maximisation initiative in the country's oldest IIM.

Director Shekhar Chaudhury declined to comment but sources on the Joka campus indicated that annual fees would be increased by around Rs 20,000. It is Rs 1.3 lakh at present, the cheapest among the top three IIMs ' Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta.

'Fee hike is an inevitability because the central government assistance has dried up in the past few years. In the absence of government grants, the institute is incurring an operating deficit of around Rs 5 crore every year,' a source said.

Murli Manohar Joshi, the human resource development minister in the NDA government, had stopped the flow of grants to enforce his proposal of slashing fees at the premier B-schools. The IIMs had resisted the move and a change of guard at the Centre helped their cause.

Arjun Singh, Joshi's successor in the ministry in the UPA government, set aside the spectre of a fee slash. But he asked the institutes to fend for themselves and the dry run continued.

Although IIMC has a corpus of around Rs 90 crore that earns an annual interest of around Rs 7 crore, this income is used only for capital expenditure. Ahmedabad and Bangalore also have about Rs 100 crore each.

'The need to increase revenue is the primary trigger behind the rise, but an upward revision in fees is long overdue in view of the inflationary pressure,' said the source.

Similar moves are being contemplated in the five other IIMs. Ahmedabad director Bakul Dholakia said: 'Following the fee slash controversy, the six IIM directors had decided to reduce divergence in fees across the IIMs. It was agreed that the IIMs with higher fees will increase their fees at a lower rate in comparison to others to minimise the divergence and evolve a common framework for fee calculation.'

The annual fee at IIM Ahmedabad was Rs 1.54 lakh last year, and it is expected to increase by around 8 to 10 per cent this year. 'It is a decision of the board, which will meet on April 2. I can't comment now on what the board would decide,' said Dholakia.

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