Students at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur reportedly locked the university director and dean of student affairs in their office on Tuesday night, as part of their protest against a 20% hike in hostel fees. More than 200 students have been participating in the demonstrations since Monday, India Today reported on Wednesday.
The IIT-Kharagpur administration raised the hostel fees for its spring semester to Rs 37,000 from 29,000. A petition demanding the rollback of the decision was then signed by 1,200 students and sent to the university’s director. They also demanded an open-house meeting to discuss the matter, according to The Indian Express.
A student said that while a fee hike of between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 was common, the rise of Rs 8,000 had angered them. “First of all, this hike to Rs 37,000 makes it the costliest IIT in the whole country, even though Kharagpur is one of the cheapest cities in India,” the student said, accusing the varsity of implementing the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission and levying the Goods and Services Tax on food even though neither has been officially rolled out yet.
While university authorities have not issued a statement yet, the protests ended after students received assurances from the management that their demands would be looked into, PTI reported.