Today, in my office a mother and a daughter came looking very dejected. They informed me that the girl has already taken admission in IIIT in the JEE counselling process. I was alarmed to see their dejected face. I wanted to know the reason.
The girl informed me that she came to know about the IIIT Fee after taking admission and found the fee very high. She wanted our help in any way. We tried to explain our fee structure and then wrote a letter to the JEE authorities requesting them to inform the students about our fee structure before they exercise their choice. I also requested the JEE authorities to give the girl one more chance to choose her institute and branch.
I joined for B.Tech. 30 years ago in IIT Kharagpur. The tuition fee was about Rs 200 year and I used spend about Rs. 250 a month on boarding and lodging. Looks very cheap today. My father who was a teacher used earn about Rs. 500 per month. The point is that Engineering education was very expensive those days inspite of near-zero tuition fees. After three years when my brother also took admission in Burla, nothing was left from the salary to feed our family.
About 10 years ago, I was the admission coordinator in XIMB. The institute decided to raise the fees to provide computers and other facilities to the students. I was not sure if the students will accept such a sudden hike. During the admission interviews, I tried to gauge the reactions of the students to this proposal. To my utter surprise, the typical reaction was that if it is going to improve the quality of the education, we will pay; we have not come here to cut cost but to get quality education.
Today, the earning capacity of the general public is a lot more. The middle class values education and hence is willing to spend if it means you get quality education. Look at the fees charged by the IIMs and craze to join these Institutes.
IIIT is a government Institute. The general perception is that in a Government Institute education should be free. Hence, some students and parents are surprised by our proposed fee structure.
IIITs operates with a different paradigm. The government funds us for the capital expenses like the Building etc. The revenue expenses are to be self generated. The faculty has be very good. You will not get good faculty unless they are paid well. The facilities have to be good. The atmosphere has to be eclectic and any visitor must experience inspired creativity in the campus. To achieve this, one needs finances. The finances may come from the Government or from the students. In case of IIITs, second option is chosen.
The students will get education which will be best in its class. We are confident that the time students will spend here will remain the high point of their life.