No student, not even one with a penny-pinching budget, believes that he or she is going to use the same mobile phone forever, so the tax increase proposed in the Union Budget on mobile phones costing more than Rs.2,000 received has left the student community angry.

Phones with a camera and Internet access were considered luxuries in the early years of the mobile, but no longer. “My current phone cost me about Rs.20,000. I am giving it a life cycle of less than one year. The only sort of phone available for less than 2,000 is the basic model variety that I stopped using years ago. It is just not practical that I live in to function with that sort of phone,” said Karan, a student of Campus Law Centre.

Many students felt that having a “smart phone” was a basic need. “A mobile phone is a fixed liability for me,” said Siddarth, a law student.