The council of IITs on Friday decided to hike the fees of MTech programmes by nearly 900% and bring it to the level of its BTech courses, which cost about Rs 2 lakh annually. As of now, admission and tuition fees for an MTech course at IITs range between Rs 5,000 to over Rs 10,000 per semester.

The IITs will also stop the monthly stipend of Rs 12,400 given to MTech scholars who join the system on the basis of their graduate aptitude test in engineering (GATE) score. The council meeting, chaired by HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, also approved the “tenure track pathway” to decide whether a new faculty member is going up or out after a fifth year review of his/her performance.

M Tech tuition fees for IIT-Mumbai is Rs 5,000, while for IITDelhi it is Rs 10,000 for a semester. At IIT Madras, the tuition fee is Rs 5,000 with a onetime payment of Rs 3,750. IIT Kharagpur’s first semester fee is Rs 25,950 with a Rs 6,000 refundable fee and Rs 10,550 for subsequent semesters. Of the 23 IITs, the seven older ones have around 14,000 MTech students.

Stopping the stipend (Rs 12,400) for half-time teaching assistantship, the council suggested that a good portion of the fees should be used for offering teaching assistantships. “These funds can also be used for other professional activities,” it said.
The proposals are based on the recommendations of a three-member committee on reforms in MTech programmes in IITs. It was felt that a hike in fee and stoppage of stipend would reduce dropouts. Programmes with high fees like MBA, even in the IIT system, hardly see any dropouts.

With the approval of the “tenure track system”, the sword of performance will continue to hang over the heads of the new faculty members for five years. As per the decision, “the tenure of the faculty can be reviewed after 5.5 years from the date of joining by an external committee.

Depending on the evaluation on research and service to the institute, she/he can be taken up to the higher level (associate professor) or asked to leave.”

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