The Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), the country's top engineering schools, want the government to reconsider its mandate for the institutions to provide fee waivers and financial aid to economically disadvantaged students, saying these are hurting the institutes financially.
The Economic Times reported the IITs have urged the government to directly compensate the institutes in exchange for providing fee waivers to students. For those in economically disadvantaged, the institutes would prefer the government to facilitate interest-free loans in need for financial assistance.
In a recommendation to the government, the IITs have said the cost of supporting each student is "adversely affecting the financial viability of the institutions and eroding its corpus funds," said the report. The institutes currently provide tuition fee waivers to students in need for financial aid, as well as physically disadvantaged.
Indranil Manna, director at IIT-Kanpur, told ET, "We are not against the policy and the social welfare decision taken on fee waivers... We are just pleading with the government to reimburse the gap."
Earlier this year, the IIT tuition fees were raised from ₹90,000 to ₹2 lakh annually, but the government provided an exemption for students whose family income was under ₹1 lakh. The institutes have been financially strained for sometime, according to media reports.
Manna claims that nearly half of IIT students at the undergraduate level don't pay fees and receive merit scholarships.