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Tuesday , January 8 , 2013
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IIT fee up but below cost

New Delhi, Jan. 7: The apex body of the IITs today accepted a recommendation to raise the annual undergraduate tuition fee to Rs 90,000 — an 80 per cent hike that still leaves 60 per cent of the operational cost uncovered.

The fee revision was among a slew of decisions taken by the IIT Council, chaired by the human resource development minister, today. The decisions included easing of entry rules for PhD courses (see chart on Page 4).

The standing committee of the IIT Council had recommended that the annual fee for BTech students be hiked from Rs 50,000 to Rs 90,000. A panel had earlier put the operational cost for each student at Rs 2.25 lakh a year.

However, students belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and those whose parents earn less than Rs 4.5 lakh a year will continue to get either exemption or full scholarship to cover the tuition fee.

“About 50 per cent students are getting either exemption or scholarship. They will get the same benefits,” HRD minister M.M. Pallam Raju told reporters after the council meeting.

The meeting also took up a proposal to ease the entrance scores for girls so that more of them can enrol in the IITs. Girls now make up less than 10 per cent of IIT students.

“The joint admission board has been asked to suggest relaxation of entrance score for girls,” said R.D. Sahay, a joint secretary.

But an IIT director said relaxing the JEE score would be a “tough task”.

“This proposal is at a very preliminary stage. It will be very tough to decide how much relaxation should be given. Whether such relaxation would help without having reservation for women in the IITs is another question,” the director said.

SC and ST students have a 15 per cent and 7.5 per cent quota, respectively. Gender-based quotas are not in place.

An HRD ministry official said some Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) were giving a concession weightage to girls’ scores during counselling. Similar measures may be adopted by the IITs, the official added.

Raju said the performance of the IIT directors and their attendance would be closely monitored. The council also approved a proposal to appoint eminent persons from any country as IIT directors, subject to clearance from the home ministry.

Another decision is to review the functioning of all the IITs periodically, starting this year. Such reviews would be carried out for central universities and the IIMs, too.

“We will review the functioning of each institution, based on quality parameters like teaching, research, intellectual property rights, etc. Based on the findings, they will be asked to improve,” Raju said.

The step assumes significance against the backdrop of low ranking of Indian institutions, including the IITs, in surveys done by foreign establishments.

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