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FTII director says student agitation against fee hike is a ‘manufactured controversy’

According to FTII officials, the students’ claims of a fee hike is rather inconsequential as the ultimate expenditure to be made by the aspirants for the Common Entrance test for the Kolkata-based Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute and FTII in 2018, has come down.

pune Updated: Jan 15, 2018 15:02 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,FTII,student agitation
Students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) staged a protest in opposition of the hike in application fee which was announced recently by the institute, on Friday.(Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

Students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) staged a protest in opposition of the hike in application fee which was announced recently by the institute, on Friday. However, according to FTII officials, the students’ claims of a fee hike is rather inconsequential as the ultimate expenditure to be made by the aspirants for the Common Entrance test for the Kolkata-based Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute and FTII in 2018, has come down. FTII director Bhupendra Kainthola called the fresh row as manufactured controversy.

The new fee structure had been released on the website of the institute on December 24.

“This is a manufactured controversy because if you look into simple mathematics, you will realise that the increase is much lesser than the overall decrease in the application fee. Till last year, FTII and SRFTI, had been conducting separate admission procedures, and now we have integrated it into the first joint exam for the convenience of the students. At that time, students applying at SRFTI had to pay ₹4,000 for two courses while they paid ₹3,500 for the same at FTII. For applying for acourse in film at both the institutes, they had to pay ₹5,500, which in 2018 has come down to ₹4,000, which is a decrease by ₹1,500,” saidKainthola.

“Further, talking about the increase which is a mere increase of ₹500, whereby initially an aspirant had to pay ₹7,500 to apply to all the courses in both the institutes. Now, they will have to pay ₹8,000. I don’t understand the reason for any controversy in an increase of ₹500, when we are making other arrangements to make the exam procedure more convenient for the students,” he added.

Aspirants will now have to pay the application fee once, for a single Common Entrance exam. The institute officials added that a number of admission seminars are being conducted across the country in order to ease the process for students.

However, according to the students, the hike is a huge setback for students coming from economically backward sections."In a country where 30% of the population lives below the poverty line, such a high fee is unaffordable for a majority of the population,” said the student body statement.

Secretary of the students association of FTII, Rohit Kumar, added, "In 2016, the application fee for two courses in film and television was ₹2,150, which was increased to ₹3,500. But, now again this has been increased to ₹4,000. If the two institutes can have a common test, then there should be a common standard fee structure.”

The student body, which had demanded a roll back of the fee hike before January 25, the deadline for receiving applications, has written to Anupam Kher, chairman, FTII and is awaiting his response. Meanwhile, the protest is on and the students are planning to hold a survey among aspirants to document the inconvenience caused by the hike.

The Common Entrance test will be held on February 18.

First Published: Jan 15, 2018 14:59 IST