Infrastructure expansion leads IIM Bangalore to hike fees

Major infrastructural expansion at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore campus has led to a straight 15% increase in fees from the coming academic year. From Rs 13 lakh, the fees are now Rs 15 lakh, which makes it a little lesser than what IIM Ahmedabad charges at Rs 15.50 lakh. According to an IIM-B spokesperson, the hiked fee will include tuition, library, Internet, case permissions and royalty, course material, hostel room rent, service charge, medical and accident insurance, alumni association contribution, etc. These splits will however not be provided in the fee structure.

The infrastructural expansion plans include a few state-of-the-art classrooms and a news sports complex which will have a swimming pool, a squash court and other facilities. Some of these facilities have been operational for a few months now while many are still in the process of being built.

Prof R Srinivasan, Chairperson Admissions at IIM-B said that so far the information had not been officially sent out to the aspiring students but will be done as soon. The admission letters sent to the candidates will be accompanied by information about the fee hike, said Prof Srinivasan.

IIM Bangalore has considerable green cover on its 100-acre campus and the intent has been to keep the cover large as possible. Hence instead of trying to build more structures, it has taken up land on a 110-acre stretch at Anekal taluka which will house the the proposed incubation centre. However, it will be years before anything happens on the new campus and so the plans for the new classes and sports facility have been finalised for the old campus itself.

Speaking further of the admission process, Prof Srinivasan said that like every year, this year too, there will be a push to take in a few more non-engineers and women candidates but only on merit. At the interview level, only if other things remain constant, will there be some consideration given to non-engineers and women. This is the only qualitative testing in the admission process and consideration will be given only if all other factors are equal. Note that other factors have to be equal, he said.

Prof Srinivasan also clarified that like every year this year too past academics will be given importance. But we will consider if the candidate is a 100-percentiler and among the top 10. In his or her case, if there is a little lapse in the academics, we will consider it but the candidates has to be a topper.

The infrastructural expansion in IIM-B was also a result of the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministrys directive to implement the 27% reservation for Other Backward Castes (OBCs). This automatically meant more classrooms and an increase in infrastructure. The IIMs have, on an average, increased class capacity by 54% after the OBC directive was announced in 2008.

This in turn meant higher fees. This year IIM Ahmedabad has also increased fees by around 7% to Rs 15.50 lakhs. While IIM Shilong has increased fees by a mere 5%, the new IIMs have decided not to increase fees at this juncture.

IIM Kozhikode on the other hand has decreased fees. Dr Debashis Chatterjee, director of IIM Kozhikode, had on an earlier occasion told PaGaLGuY that the reason to decrease fees by over 3% was to make sure that students did not miss out on education because of the expenses. Dr Chatterjee said that the move was to make sure that the increase in education loan rates did not affect the bright students.