The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have again hiked their fees. IIM-A last week increased fees from 11.5 lakh to 12.5 lakh citing rising costs of teaching as the reason. IIM-L also hiked its fees from Rs. 5 lakh to 8 lakh. Just last year all the IIMs had announced an unprecedented fee hikes for their two-year post-graduate programme in management. This is going to have a huge effect on the students aspiring to pursue their MBA from these elite institutes. And the situation is worsened because of the ongoing recession period.

IIMs have been subject to constant media attention. And this attention hasn’t been kind or flattering. Salaries are now reported with some cynicism and the institutions seem to have fallen from being seen as national symbols of pride to being perceived as elitist institutions. The recent fee hike by IIM Ahmedabad (IIM-A) has done IIMs no favours either.

If at all the IIMs want to become autonomous, they should ensure that this transformation is brought gradually and without affecting the interests of the students. The IIMs from the beginning, should operate according to a well planned strategy, the IIMs must work, on the one hand, with the banks to make them provide higher loans to students, and, on the other, with the corporate sector, which should be persuaded to pay off the loans incurred by the students they recruit from the institutes, rather than having to waste their time in battling for autonomy.

The Government okayed the three-fold fee hike by the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad) last year after the institute chairman Vijaypat Singhania assured that the scholarship corpus will be increased making more students eligible for scholarships.With a poor track record in disbursing scholarships in the past,wat IIM A is trying to do is to sugarcoat the fee hike with fee waiver scheme.

Although there are loans available, they are of limited use only, for average Indians 12.5 lakhs is simply too much.

First, our bank lending policy ensures loans for worthy students. The banks offer educational loans of up to Rs10 lakhs for domestic studies. Most banks also offer a repayment holiday of up to a year after graduation or six months after starting a job. But all this isn't that easy, banks take a lot of guaranty measures,the banks wont provide any loans to a poor landless farmer. The process to obtain such loans is very gruelsome. One more thing dats worth mentioning over here is that not all the amount is handed out directly to the applicant, the payments are made only after showing the receipts of fees etc, So how would the poor students manage, how are they supposed to pay the fees in the 1st place to avail of the loan schemes?

The reasons for IIM-A’s phenomenal hike are unconvincing. Recovering costs and retaining talent don't tell the full story. Many questions remain unanswered. The promise to increase scholarships can't be a reason to charge more; nor can the availability of finance. The bottom line is, for a public institution to charge more simply because it can, is senseless.