New Delhi: The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has deferred the decision to implement a proposed fee hike of MTech courses offered by the IITs, stated a report.  The fee hike issue, which was first raised by an IIT Council in the month of September, will now be discussed in an upcoming meeting, added the report.

The fee hike proposal for the master’s degree programme was approved by the IIT Council headed by HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishankand’. The aim of the proposal is to bring the IIT MTech courses to the level of the BTech courses. A three-member committee on reforms on the IIT MTech programme had provided the recommendations and a final decision was taken by the highest decision-making body of all the 23 IITs, namely the IIT Council.

Notably, a dropout rate of more than 50 per cent was found in IIT MTech programmes, “as the students treated the courses as a ‘stop-gap arrangement’ till they landed a job or cracked a competitive exam,” said IIT-Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao, as quoted by news agency PTI.

This development comes in the wake of the recent Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students’ protest over fee hike and other issues. On November 18, a four-member delegation of the JNU students reached the Ministry of Human Resource Development and submitted their demands to the Joint Secretary after a day-long protest over the proposed hike in hostel fees. Requesting to take back the fee hike to Hosur in their memorandum, the JNU delegation was quoted by a report as saying, “We appeal to you to endorse our just demands and prevail upon MHRD to act and resolve the crisis. JNU students cannot survive with the present structure of fees.”