A day after students of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) started a relay hunger strike against a fee hike imposed by the institute, support is pouring in from all avenues.
On Tuesday morning, day two of the hunger strike, MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted in support of students and requested the government to stay the hike and intervene in this matter.
“Students at IIT-Bombay protesting an unreasonable fee hike. Government should stay the hike and provide full explanation,” stated a tweet by Tharoor on Tuesday afternoon.
Students at IIT-B started a relay hunger strike from Monday afternoon. They have been boycotting classes from the third week of June as mark of protest.
In May this year, the management of IIT-B introduced a hike in fees for the new academic session, including a 300% hike in hostel rent, 167% in gymkhana fee, 100% hike in exams, registration and medical fees and around 50% hike in other charges.
The hostel rent of students in IIT-B has gone up by 300% – from Rs500 a semester to Rs2,000 a semester from this year.
Even the mess advance has gone up from Rs15,000 to Rs20,000 from this year.
IIT-B authorities attributed this hike to inflation. “The administration has only been giving us false promises. They haven’t promised to roll back the hike. The increase in fee is unfair and unwarranted,” said one of the students.
Officials from IIT-B said the institute director has assured students a committee will look into the issue and publish a white paper soon.
“We have shared with students a detailed version of the fee structure. The committee will check if the hike is unreasonable. It will take some time. Students will have to be a little patient,” said Soumyo Mukherji, dean, student affairs, IIT-B.