IIMC, Why an Unaffordable Fee Hike in a Public-Funded Institution?

IIMC, Why an Unaffordable Fee Hike in a Public-Funded Institution?

My Report

We, the students of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), have been protesting since 3 December against the revision in fee structure, which we think is both unaffordable and exclusionary, especially for those who are from weaker sections of society.

What shocked us was the notice from 28 November that stated that students must submit the second semester fees by 15 January, 2020. IIMC is a public-funded institute and I&B Ministry’s premier media training institute.

'How's the fees? High sir!' a poster reads.
'How's the fees? High sir!' a poster reads.
(Photo Courtesy: Jessica and Richard)

On what basis are the fees being hiked each year for it to now be priced between Rs 1-1.75 lakhs?

Our primary demand is for the fees to be made affordable for all, in tune with the fact that this is a public-funded institute.

This, so that people from all backgrounds can study journalism here. The current revision is exclusionary.

“My sister paid the fees for the first semester for which the first instalment was Rs 88,000. The second instalment is Rs 80,000 and for that too, I’d have to ask my sister or my father if he is able to take a loan.”
Harish, Radio & TV Journalism Student

Many have taken loans or borrowed money from their friends.

“I’ve given the first instalment by borrowing money from my friends. I have to pay the second instalment now but I don’t know how.”
Shrey Srivastav, Radio & TV Journalism Student

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Hostel Accommodation For All

There is also the demand for better housing facilities. The boys’ hostel, for example, has only 42 seats. Moreover, the accommodation fee is also high. The administration should at least arrange for alternate living arrangements for students.

“There are around 250 students here. The boys’ hostel is not sufficient to house everyone. The fees is Rs 5,250 for a triple-sharing room.”
Anjani, Radio & TV Journalism Student

We also want 24-hour access to the library, and machines for sanitary napkins. Then there were other demands related to the Radio-TV lab and books.

On 4 December, the administration called for a meeting with the students where we put forth our demands, including affordable education, better hostel and mess facilities. While the administration supported a few of our demands, for issues related to the fees, it strictly said that it wasn’t in their hands but up to the Executive Council to decide the future course of action. Till the time the administration passes a decision on the hike, our protests will continue.

(The Quint has reached out to IIMC for a response, the story will be updated if we get one.)

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