BITS Protest: Students From All BITS Campuses Unite Against 15% Fee Hike
Amidst the pressure of final examinations, Birla Institute of Technology Science (BITS) students started a massive protest at all three campuses – Hyderabad, Goa and Pilani on Sunday against the fee hike imposed by the administration.
All the students from the three campuses came together to raise their voice against the hiked fee structure for the year 2018-19. BITS administration has proposed a fee hike of 15% every year. The students also claimed that the fees were being hiked every year from 2011.
Just like the Tata Institute For Social Sciences’ (TISS) protest, where students from all campuses protested against the stopping of aid for the marginalised students earlier this year, BITS Pilani students started the protest on Sunday and soon the same fire reached Goa and Hyderabad campus.
Sidhartha Namburi, a student and also in charge of the protest, said that during admission students are made to sign a form which says that every year the fee hike can be up to 15%. “We were expecting the fee to be hiked by 3-5% but the 15% jump is too hard on all our pockets,” Sidhartha said to The Logical Indian. “They have exploited this vague clause improperly.”
In 2010, the fee was Rs 40,000 per semester. The fee then increased to Rs 65,000 per semester and now for the incoming batch of 2018, the fee has increased to Rs 1,60,000 per semester.
“BITS was known for its affordable fee structure and valuable education. Now, many good professors are leaving the Institute for varied reasons and the student to teacher ratio is decreasing. So, we are losing both on the quality and fee structure is posing another problem,” a concerned Sidhartha said.
The BITS administration said that they have hiked the salary of the teachers and for developmental purposes, (getting new lab equipment) they have increased the fee. They want to make BITS the best institute in the country. Sidhartha further says that even after the yearly salary hikes their rank has been decreasing. Initially, BITS was in India’s top ten universities, but now they are in the top 25.
Also, many students join the institute by taking a loan from banks. Banks give the loan on the basis of the initial fee, not on the hiked one. So, it is a double trouble for students as they will have to make some payments for the semester from their own pockets and then pay off the loan too. Many students wanting to pursue PhD would not be able to do so because of this hike too.
Some students sat outside the vice chancellor’s house all through the night demanding a resolution to the matter with an affidavit. The affidavit proposed deadlines for the steps that need to be taken by the BITS administration towards addressing the problem of fees hike. To which he said that they will have to wait till Saturday. While the students prepare for their final exams that started from May 2, they also wait for a solution.