The idea of making students pay their "full share" for their college education (IIT education in particular) has been around for quite sometime. It gathered some force when the 'original' IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta raised their fees to the stratosphere for their MBA-equivalent programs sometime ago, and declared financial independence from the government. The idea gained a much-needed legitimacy when the Kakodkar Committee (KC) adopted it as a central theme in its report on IITs and their autonomy.
I have blogged about how the KC depended on some bad (and downright deceptive) arguments in its report. I addressed (here and here) the specific stuff about raising the tuition fees to over Rs. 200,000 per year.
Along comes an article from a professor at an IIT peddling this idea, once again.
Using similarly deceptive arguments, once again.
For example, raising tuition fees is touted as a great way to help government save money by ridding itself of the onerous burden of funding the education of
spoiled brats with a sense of entitlement IIT students; while this noble goal is presented fairly early in the article, the second half of the article is all about how the student loans can be converted into grants for students who choose careers in allegedly nation-building core sectors (DRDO and CSIR labs, IITs and NITs), and / or repayment of loans may be suspended if they choose to go for higher education. And who foots the bill for all these concessions? The government, of course!
At the root of it all is a simple, crass argument: students flock to us, and most of them are affluent enough to afford expensive cram schools, so let's go out and stiff them for what they can pay; and we might as well have some fun by throwing around erudite terms like "market forces"!
It's revealing, isn't it, that when it comes to making their
customers students pay, some IIT professors are no different from the vast number of businesspeople, thugs, crooks, politicians and muttheads who run self-financing colleges.
The only difference is that these IIT professors can cover it all up by talking about "building research infrastructure."