A change in the fee payment policy of the IITs could well be on the cards to augment fiscal resources of these institutes as fees under the present system are paid only by about 50 per cent of the students.
Fee revenue at present constitutes just 7-10 per cent of total non-plan expenditure of an IIT.
Under the existing system, fees for about 22 per cent of students from the SC/ST category are fully waived. Besides, up to 25 per cent of the students, whose parental annual income is less than Rs 4.5 lakh, are entitled to a fee-waiver. The remaining students pay the full fee.
Against this backdrop, the IIT council, in its meeting here on September 3, is expected to examine the proposal for a change in the fee payment policy.
A study by IIT Bombay, suggests that all students should pay the fees and those who are exempted from paying fees under government policy should receive the required amount of funds as fee-scholarship through the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme.
IITs meet most of their expenses such as salaries and staff cost which are fixed through financial grants from HRD Ministry.
The Planning Commission as well as the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance has also highlighted the need to increase the fee revenue, sources said.
The council could also consider a dedicated technical cadre to free the faculty members of extra administrative load and help them devote more time to teaching and research activities.
An acute shortage of technical manpower especially in the older IITs is being increasingly felt as a result of the growing engagement with research and new equipment that requires different technical skill sets.
A high number of non-faculty staff, due to legacy, has further reduced the space for hiring trained technical staff.
Keeping this in mind, the IITs would push a proposal for the technical cadre at the next IIT council meeting, sources said.
"The aim of the proposal for creating a technical cadre is to free the faculty from lab/workshops responsibilities and enable them to devote their time to teaching and research," they said.
The standing committee of IIT council has suggested that in order to meet the urgent requirement of technical Staff, as an interim measure, IITs may start recruitment process in this cadre against anticipated attrition of non-technical, non-faculty posts.