Amidst the protest of the IIT students, the government finally clarified that students who are already enrolled in undergraduate courses have been spared from the 122 percent fee hike.
In a letter written to directors of all IITs, the Human Resource Development Ministry said, "It is hereby clarified that the revised fee would be applicable for students taking admission starting from the academic year 2016-17 onwards."
On April 8, the IIT Council headed by HRD minister Smriti Z Irani approved the decision to hike the annual tuition fee to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 90,000 at the Indian Institutes of Technology for current and new candidates. But following strong protests by students at Kharagpur, the institute's student representative wrote to HRD ministry officials urging them to revoke the order for already admitted batches.
The ministry responded, stating the matter was being "looked into" and finally clarified that the new fee structure would be applicable only to new batches.
"It is hereby clarified that the revised fee will be applicable for students taking admission from the academic year 2016-17. The students currently studying will continue to pay the existing rates," an HRD ministry notification said.
The IIT-Kgp protest, quite unprecedented at the institute took the authorities and the ministry by surprise. The students feared the new fee structure would suddenly increase their financial burden. On getting the fee revision note from the Centre, the institute had issued a notice to students on April 11 that the hike covered new as well as current students, said a senior faculty member. This led to an outrage and about 500 students started a demonstration in front of the main administrative building.
Despite directors appeal that students should wait for further clarification, but the protests only grew. "We sent an urgent request to the ministry to clarify if the fee hike was applicable only to new students," said the faculty member.