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IIMs will prompt IITs to hike their annual fee: Joshi

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 5: Former Union Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi has said the 12 per cent fee hike by the Indian Institutes of Management would prompt the premier technology institutes, the IITs, to follow suit, making education difficult for students from modest income group families.

Reacting on the decision of the IIM-Ahmedabad Board to hike the annual fee from 1.5 lakh to 1.75 lakh, Dr Joshi, who had had a tiff with the IIMs on the issue of fee hike during his tenure as HRD Minister in the NDA government, told UNI yesterday that the increase went against the declared policy of the government proclaiming to protect the interests of ''common man.''

''My understanding of the working of the IIMs is clear -- the IIMs can't hike their fees without the permission of the Government of India which had totally funded the IIMs and they were under obligation to send their annual reports to the government where they have to justify the hike.''

He said the IITs, established on the same lines as IIMs which were charging a mere Rs 30,000 annually, would certainly be prompted to raise the fees if not compelled. ''They too can extend the logic of the IIMs that their graduates fetch same amount of salaries during the campus selection. I don't think fees has any link with quality,'' Dr Joshi, who has taught in Benaras Hindu University, said.

In an indirect dig at many IIM graduates occupying high and mighty positions in the corporate sector, Dr Joshi said this was the crop of students who studied the management techniques with a modest Rs 5,000 fees.

''There should be a complete auditing of IIM budget. I am sure it will expose the hollowness of their claims,'' he added.

However, he refused to term their action as profiteering, but said it was sheer commercialisation.

Asked about the IIMs thinking of opening campuses abroad, Dr Joshi said these institutions could turn themselves into global brands and make money by attracting foreign students. ''This is what is happening in Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge. They attract people from India'' he remarked.

The disturbing aspect of IIMs setting up foreign campuses would be that sending their faculty abroad on fat salaries would be a drain on local talents. ''Where will they get money for this -- from the Indian tax payer,'' he added.

Dr Joshi said the responsibility of the IIMs was not merely to produce quality manpower to man the corporate houses but to bring efficiency in rail and road traffic, agriculture, water management and energy systems, hospitals, sports and cooperation sectors which were totally mismanaged and cried for good managers.

IIMs should devote themselves to producing better managers who could make our system better, cost effective and people-friendly. ''They were established to serve India and not to transfer India's talents abroad,''he said.

The IIM culture, he felt was based on experiences of foreign concepts evolved in western text books and their linkage with Indian problems was ''poor.'' ''However, I am happy that my efforts during six years in HRD Ministry were yielding results now and two students from modest income families had decided to pursue the areas which were sensitive to their class. The hike will make the IIM education beyond reach of such students,'' he reiterated.


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