IIMC students protest against unaffordable fee structure
Considered to be one of the India's premium media institutes, Indian Institute of Mass Communication's high tuition fee triggers students' anger.
Students of Indian Institute of Mass Communication(IIMC), New Delhi, staged a strike inside campus premises against the expensive tuition fees, hostel and mess charges on December 3.
IIMC, founded in 1965, is an autonomous society under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
It has been ranked consistently as one of India's top media institutes for years.
Students of Radio and Television Journalism, the costliest course offered by IIMC, pay 1,68,500 for a ten month course. Other courses like Advertising and PR, Hindi Journalism, English Journalism, and Urdu Journalism pay tuition fee ranging from 55,000 to 1,31,500.
As a public funded institute, students feel that a monthly hostel and mess charge of 6500 and 4800 for boys and girls respectively is very high.
“1,68,500 for a ten month course plus hostel and mess charges is unaffordable to a middle-class student let alone a poor fellow. There are students who would have to leave the course after the first semester” says Astha Savyasachi a student of English Journalism at IIMC.
The students also argue that if this is the state of a state funded top media institute, enough representation of marginalized and poor communities in the media will forever be a dream.
Responsing to Asiaville’s queries, Director General office of IIMC sent an official reply that it has set up a Committee of Course Directors to look into the genuine demands of the students.
In addition to that, the students’ other demands of extended library hours and 24x7 reading room facility have already been met. IT infrastructure and equipment upgradation is also underway, the official statement said.
Regarding the high tuition fees charged by the institute, the reply was that the courses offered by IIMC are akin to ‘self finance courses’, where the course fee is normally much higher than the regular courses.
The official statement admitted that the students’ demand for hostel facility is genuine and that IIMC’s plan to construct a new student hostel is yet to get regulatory clearance.
It also said that the IIMC Executive Council has pro-actively halted the earlier system of 10% automatic fee hike every year during its meeting held in May 2019.
A March 2017 report by NITI Aayog recommended the review of existing expenditure and ways to generate more funds from these autonomous societies. Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU), University Grants Commission, Prasar Bharati, Delhi Development Authority are some of the bodies that are under the scanner of NITI Aayog.
JNU, who share borders with IIMC, is seeing weeklong protest and strikes against proposed fee hike in their institute.