IIT Mumbai has increased fees for facilities like hostel, gymkhana and their mess. (Representational)
Fed up of the authorities turning a blind eye to their protest against the fee hike, students of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), Powai, have begun a relay hunger strike from Monday.
After a signature drive against the fee hike, students of the premier technology institute also held a day-long protest at the institute on June 21.
But with no action from the concerned authorities, they decided to start the relay hunger strike. They have been protesting against the hike for over a month now, while the institute maintains its justification that the fees were due for a revamp as there has not been any increase in the past 7-8 years.
Tuition fees of IITs were hiked last year. This year, IIT-B has increased the charges for different facilities excluding tuition fees, such as hostel fee, gymkhana fee, and mess fee. There is a 300 per cent fee hike in hostel charges, 167 per cent hike in gymkhana fees etc. This increase in the fee structure according to students is quite exorbitant, and a shock at the beginning of the academic year.
"We have been protesting for so long, but our voices remain unheard. Hence we began the relay hunger strike. Nine students began the strike on Monday. Officials at the administration building will keep seeing the protesting students there," said a member of Students Against Fee Hike at IIT-B - a student group that is leading the protest.
An institute spokesperson, however, said, "The director of the institute had met the students after their one-day protest. He has assured them that the committee which took the decision of the fee-hike will consider their request of a rollback. But now, due to the vacation, all committee members are not on campus. Once the academic year begins mid-July, all faculty members will be on campus, and the committee will meet for a discussion. Students have been asked to be patient."(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)