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Fee hike protest: FTII chairman meets students on hunger strike, says panel convened to address concerns

Five students from FTII and six from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) are on a hunger strike to protest the annual hike in the academic and entrance exam fees.

Written by Ruchika Goswamy | Pune |
Updated: December 21, 2019 5:17:51 am
 Pune news, Pune city news, Pune FTII protest, FTII students protest FTII Pune fee hike protest, indian express news Since 2017, FTII and SRFTI have held a Joint Entrance Test (JET) for admissions. Based on this test, the students are invited for interviews. This year, the application fee is Rs 4,000 for one course, Rs 8,000 for two courses and Rs 10,000 for three. Additionally, there has been a 10 per cent hike in the academic fees since 2013. (File)

Authorities of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) on Friday said a special panel is being convened to address the concerns of several students who have been on hunger strike for the past five days over a hike in academic fees.

“FTII chairman Brijendra Pal Singh sat with the protesting students for over three hours, heard them out and informed them that a Special Governing Council meeting is being convened on December 27 to address their core concerns. He appealed to students that now that their demands will be discussed in the highest forum, especially convened for this purpose, they should call off the protest and return to their classes and projects,” said FTII Director Bhupendra Kainthola. He added that the FTII administration is engaging student representatives in discussions.

Five students from FTII and six from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) are on a hunger strike to protest the annual hike in the academic and entrance exam fees. Vivek Alaka, one of the protesting students, has withdrawn after being advised by the doctor. “Two more students have replaced him,” said Shubham Ghadge, a student from the sound department at FTII.

Kainthola said, “A medical doctor who has been examining the students twice daily since day one has said they are doing quite fine. Their health is being continuously monitored.”

Since 2017, FTII and SRFTI have held a Joint Entrance Test (JET) for admissions. Based on this test, the students are invited for interviews. This year, the application fee is Rs 4,000 for one course, Rs 8,000 for two courses and Rs 10,000 for three. Additionally, there has been a 10 per cent hike in the academic fees since 2013.

Kirti Singh, film director and an alumni from SRFTI, said that with the hike in entrance test fee as well as overall annual fee, it will be unfair to aspirants who wish to join the institution. “I am from a small town called Tundla in Uttar Pradesh. If the fee hike is not addressed, students from humble backgrounds will be unable to pursue filmmaking and the opportunities will be open only to those who are well off,” she said.

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