Mumbai: Student groups at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, have raised a stink against their ‘non-messing’ fees and the charge that students have to pay to opt out of the institute’s food mess.
A recent RTI (filed by a student’s group within IIT-B) report based on three hostels revealed that nearly 60% of the students who pay for the mess service avoid eating at the facility since the IIT-B charges them Rs 1,240 every month for opting out of the service, amounting to Rs 7, 440 every semester.
The student group has called for the removal of this ‘non-messing’ fee while pointing towards the recent hike in the existing mess fee.
“Students pay a total of Rs 27,000 each semester to eat at the mess. Since academic areas are away from hostels and the mess, most students miss out on the restricted lunch and dinner hours. However, opting out of the mess costs us a heavy sum in addition to paying for food outside, so we are in a fix,” said a hostel resident at the IIT-Bombay.
The student groups have asked the IIT to do away with the ‘non-messing’ fee while reducing the current mess fee as well. “I have been to other IITs and IIT-Bombay is the only one that charges ‘non-messing’ fees to the students. Other IITs have innovative options like coupons but no one charges their students for opting out of service,” said an IIT-B student.
In August 2022, a group of students at IIT Bombay went on a relay hunger strike to protest against various fee hikes at IIT, one of which was the semester mess fee. The students also demanded permission to pay mess fees in installments which were granted by the IIT, alongside a partial fee rollback.
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