Pune, Dec 17 (IANS) Four students of the prestigious Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) here have launched an indefinite hunger strike to protest against what they termed as “exorbitant fee hikes” by the management.
Addressing the media here on Tuesday evening, FTII Students Association (FTIISA)President A.V. Sathvin and General Secretary Rajarshi Majumdar said that there has been a 10 percent hike in fees implemented every year since 2013.
“From the annual fees of Rs 55,380 for the 2013 batch, the amount for the upcoming 2020 batch has climbed upto Rs 118,323,” said Sathvin.
Majumdar said that besides the course tuition fees, there has been a similar massive hike in the Joint Entrance Test (JET) for both the FTII and Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata.
“From Rs 1,500 in 2015, the entrance exam fee has now gone up to Rs 10,000 for JET 2020. The institute is making itself completely inaccessible for a large section of the population,” he contended.
The FTIISA has demanded that the fees be reduced and immediately and the JET-2020 be stopped till the entrance exam fees are brought down.
They claimed that repeated pleas to the management against these fee hikes have been ignored, compelling the students to resort to the drastic step of a hunger strike.
Hundreds of students of the Pune University on Tuesday joined a protest to express solidarity with the fasting FTII students.
The FTII management has said that the FTIISA has not served any notice for the hunger strike, implying it was an unauthorised agitation.
Official sources said that the students’ plea was discussed in the FTII Governing Council – the sole body responsible for deciding the fees structure – last week, and it has recommended to the JET Committee to review the fees for the JET-2021.