IIT-Bombay hunger strike: Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) students on Monday launched an agitation against the Institute’s decision to hike fees. The students sat on an indefinite relay hunger strike after negotiations with the authorities proved futile. Nine students on Monday started the strike and further gained the support of as many as 150 more. This is the second protest initiated by the students in IIT- Bombay this year, a similar protest took place against fee hike earlier. According to an Indian Express report, students said that they were threatened by the faculty members asking them not to be a part of the protest, but over 500 handwritten letters addressed to the director of the institute have been collected and will soon be submitted to the management.
A student on the condition of anonymity said, “The institute’s management had promised to hold an open house with students and give us a white paper explaining the fee hike. However, the management failed to do so and hence we have launched the hunger strike.” Along with the fee hike, the students are also protesting against, “government’s recent moves to cut financial supports to public institutions.”
IIT-B Director Devang Khakhar while talking about the institute’s plan to revise fees said, “We are taking the students’ demands into consideration. The fee will be revised but a final decision will be taken at the next board meeting.” He further added, “If the fee is slashed, it will be implemented retrospectively. The amount paid by students above the finalised fee will be refunded.”
Here is what the protest is all about-
For the 2016-17 session, the hostel seat rent and establishment charges were Rs 500 and Rs 2,000, respectively. The amounts have been raised to Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000, respectively. The gymkhana fee that was Rs 750 has been raised to Rs 2,000, as reported by IE.