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IIMA no to fee rollback

New Delhi, April 2: The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad has refused to reconsider its nearly three-fold fee hike despite education minister Arjun Singh saying poor students would suffer.

Vijaypat Singhania, the chairman, today ruled out any reduction in fees from the Rs 11.5 lakh it announced for its two-year post graduate management course, calling the raise “essential”.

“The minister has concerns that the poorest students should not suffer. But we are not into profiteering. The fee hike is essential. It will remain,” he said after a 90-minute meeting with Singh at the minister’s home.

IIM Ahmedabad charged Rs 4.5 lakh for the postgraduate course last year.

Singhania said he had “explained” to the education minister the reasons behind the hike, adding that Singh seemed convinced.

“The institute’s costs alone are the reason. We have increased fees in phases earlier. But we do not want to depend on the government financially,” Singhania said. “This hike is needed this year.”

Singhania refused to elaborate, but the B-school requires funds for fresh infrastructure that will required if the OBC quotas are implemented.

Although the government has earmarked Rs 53 crore for the quota implementation, it has not allocated any of that for the B-schools this year.

All other government technical institutions, including the IITs, have been allocated hundreds of crores this year for quota implementation.

Top IIM officials had yesterday voiced fear that they may be forced to use their own funds to enforce the quotas if they were implemented this year.

Singhania said IIM Ahmedabad would ensure financial support to economically weak students. Students from families with an income less than Rs 6 lakh a year will be eligible for scholarships. Till last year, only those students whose family incomes fell below Rs 2 lakh per annum could receive a scholarship.

“Till last year, students had to hand in the fees first, and then apply for scholarships. Now, a student will not need to pay the full fees, but only the net amount not covered by the scholarship,” Singhania said.

All the other IIMs have also increased their fees this year.

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