A large number of students staged a sit in demonstration inside the IIT Kharagpur campus protesting against the Centre’s decision to hike the fee structure. The students threatened to conduct a bigger movement if their demands were not met and the Centre does not roll it back.
The students on Tuesday morning took out a rally within the campus and later put up a demonstration in the main building of the premier institution. The agitation started at around 11 am on Tuesday. The students also closed the main gate as a result of this and the teachers, research scholars and others were prevented from entering into the institution.
It was learnt that some students started hunger strike on Tuesday afternoon and threatened to continue the movement till their demands were met. The students fear that the new fee structure announced by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry would increase the financial burden on them. IIT Kharagpur had issued a notice to the students in April after getting a fee revision note from the Centre.
It was said that the new fee structure would be applicable for new as well as current students. The decision in the initial level had created confusion among the students and the prestigious institution had seen students’ agitation probably for the first time. The Centre had decided to hike the fee structure from Rs 90,000 to Rs 200,000. The HRD ministry had given approval to the recommendation made by the standing committee of IIT Council (SCIC) to increase the IIT fees from Rs 90,000 to Rs 200,000.
The students who participated in Tuesday’s agitation alleged that the Centre was not paying any heed to their appeal to roll back its decision on fees structure. A sudden increase in the fee structure comes to us like a huge burden. It might have an adverse effect on the students who aspire to study in this iconic institution, students said.
The agitation continued till Tuesday evening despite the repeated appeals from the IIT Kharagpur authorities to withdraw the agitation.