Graduate Aptitude Engineering Test, popularly known as GATE is considered to be one of the toughest exams of the country. The exam is mainly for the students who did engineering as their graduation course and want to opt for either M.Tech in future or go for any PSU. The fascinating result of the exam attracts a lot of students every year, but only a handful of them can achieve their dreams.
The HRD Ministry recently announced that M.tech fees of the IITs would be raised to 2 lakh from the existing 20,000 to 50,000 range which is a 900% hike. Before we go any further, let’s consider a few points:
The agenda of the “reforms of the M.Tech programs” is to increase the M.Tech fees and bring it to the level of B.Tech fees. This decision was made on the recommendations of a three-member committee. The needy students will be supported directly by the government through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) or arranging educational loans.
IIT Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao termed the recent decision of the centre as a “surgical strike” on uninterested students and also added that he was very happy with the centre’s bold decision. M.Tech programs in IITs record a dropout of about 50% every year. The students consider M.Tech as a stopgap until they get a job or crack any competitive exam. Most students have no interest in what they are doing in the colleges and continue preparing for other exams. This wastes the centre’s and taxpayer’s money. This step by the government will not let students leave their M.Tech course midway, and only the interested students will opt for it, considering the fees. In addition to the fee hike, the centre has also decided to not give the monthly stipend of ₹12,500 to the postgraduate students.
The stipend cut-off was not at all called for. When only interested students opt for the postgraduate course, the decision of not giving the monthly stipend will further discourage the interested students. Cracking GATE requires hard work over months and sometimes, even years. The students who pass it with flying colors sacrifice a major chunk of their time. Most students complete their B.Tech through education loan. Such fee hike with no security of jobs will prove as a deterrent in the technical advancement of the country. Engineers, along with a few teachers, gathered at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on 4th October to protest against the fee hike stating their plights, demands and anger.
The centre looked at just one side of the coin where they found the fee hike to be the solution for everything, the other side, however, shows that fee hike will further add to the existing problems. I hope that the centre will see the other side too and reconsiders its decision. When we train minds without putting stress on them, it is then that the human resource of the country yields positive results.