The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pay more for fat pay tomorrow
- IIM Bangalore raises fee to fund seats to accommodate quota

Bangalore, March 26: Students of IIM Bangalore’s postgraduate programme will have to pay Rs 2.5 lakh from the coming academic session after the B-school’s governing body today cleared one of its steepest fee hikes — an increase of Rs 75,000 a year.

The hike means students will have to cough up Rs 5 lakh for the two-year management course, the highest so far among such institutes which come under the state. The rise in fees follows a decision to increase seats to accommodate the Centre’s OBC quota.

The two-year course’s fee for IIM Calcutta and IIM Ahmedabad are Rs 3.5 lakh and Rs 4 lakh, respectively.

However, the IIM-A board is scheduled to meet later this month, while sources in IIM-C said the institute will raise fees, too, but the proposal has to be cleared at the meeting of its governing body early next month.

Three years ago, the IIMs had locked horns with then human resource development minister Murli Manohar Joshi after he slashed fees from around Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 30,000, saying they were elitist and inaccessible to poor students.

IIM-B director Prakash G. Apte, who met reporters after the board meeting, said the hike should take care of rising infrastructure costs and increased pay for teachers. IIMs, he added, could independently decide their course fees and the institute’s board felt this was the right time to increase the fees.

“On an average, students get offers in excess of Rs 12 lakh per annum even before they graduate. The hike is fully justified,” he said.

“But none of the selected students will suffer for want of funds. We have a slew of scholarships and means to fund them.”

The board, headed by industrialist Mukesh Ambani, also increased the current batch intake to 270 to accommodate the structured increase in seats reserved for other backward class students.

Apte claimed that a fee hike was inevitable because of severe shortage of funds. “We had asked the Centre for Rs 145 crore for increasing the number of seats and they had approved Rs 45 crore. But we are yet to receive any money,” he said.

“In view of the government’s decision to introduce 27 per cent quota for OBCs, we have increased the number to 270. This year, there is no problem as far as the faculty numbers and infrastructure is concerned. Any further increase is not possible till funds flow in.”

Sources said the board members were “divided” over the hike and the decision had been put off at an earlier meeting. But Apte refused to comment on the differences. “It (the hike) has now been approved,” he said.

The B-school also held its convocation today. In his address, Infosys CEO and managing director Nandan M. Nilekani urged the graduates to think differently.

“Managers who are willing to look at things in different ways, who are open to new ideas, who are able to understand and act upon global trends will be sought after,” he said.

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