IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

Faculty help subsidize IITians’ education

Posted on: January 20, 2011

By Times of India
MUMBAI: The government may be a stakeholder in the IITs, but the faculty of the tech school are equal partners contributing to the institutes’ coffers.

The marked price of the BTech degree has steadily gone up. But tuition fees are highly discounted. That makes IITs one of the world’s most subsidised colleges.

A BTech degree from IIT-Kharagpur, for instance, costs Rs 16.92 lakh. But the institute bills its students Rs 2.07 lakh for the course. IIT-Bombay is aclose second. It spends Rs 16 lakh and collects Rs 2.21 lakh as fees.

According to information from the engineering institutes, IIT-Guwahati spends the least per student.

“The largest component of our expenditure is salary, followed by maintenance and laboratory consumables,” said IIT-Delhi director Surendra Prasad. The cost of the fouryear programme at IIT-Delhi climbed from Rs 10.8 lakh to Rs 14 lakh after the Sixth Pay Commission’s higher salary structure. Similarly, at IIT-Roorkee, the annual salary and pension pay-out for 360 teachers and 700 staff members is Rs 120 crore, making this the largest portion in the expense pie. The revenue list of most IITs shows that the faculty bring in hundreds of crores from research, sponsored projects and industrial consultancy.

“My faculty members teach, take up research and provide industry consultancy, too. They also take up administrative duties,” said IIT-Madras director M S Ananth. While the non-plan annual grant from the Union government at IIT-Madras is Rs 150 crore, the faculty members contribute an equal sum through sponsored research and industrial consultancy.

Student fees and income from various entrance examinations is Rs 20 crore.

Since the government and faculty contribute Rs 5lakh each, the BTech course can be offered at Rs 2lakh to a student at IIT-Madras. At IIT-Delhi and IIT-Bombay, faculty members chip in about as much as the annual grant from the government.

“There is no separate grant for research. So, we use the funds from the projects our faculty members win to purchase high-end equipment,” said Devang Khakhar, IIT-B director.

A year ago, IIT directors had prposed a fivefold fee rise. But that wasn’t accepted. Experts said, the growing gap between actual cost and tuition fee charged will hamper the attempt of the institutes to attain financial autonomy, an idea promoted by Union HRD ministry.

According to sources, the committee headed by Anil Kakodkar found that finances at the IITs are warped and urgently need re-engineering. Since their inception till about 1998, the annual fee at the IITs was Rs 500. This fee was fixed by the ministry following a formula: a third of the education cost must be borne by students, another third should be earned by the IITs (through research, gifts and endowments) and the remaining must be subsidized by the government,” P V Indiresan, a former IIT director explained.

India had looked to the West before setting the fees of the IITs. In 1953, the cost of education at MIT was Rs 1,560 and at the Imperial College, London was Rs 1,420. IIT fees were set at Rs 1,500 and a third was paid by students.

While fees at international colleges have been revised, IITs have seen only two revisions in 50 years of their existence.

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