The protest against high cost of education spread from Jawaharlal Nehru University to the neighbouring Indian Institute of Mass Communication on Tuesday, where students agitated against the "unaffordable" fee structure, claiming the IIMC administration has turned a "blind eye" to their issues.
The students said their protest was against the high tuition fee and "unruly" hostel and mess charges, considering IIMC is a publicly funded institute.
Astha Savyasachi, a student of English Journalism at IIMC, said Rs 1,68,500 for a ten-month course in addition to hostel and mess charges is unaffordable for poor and middle-class students. She said students have to leave the course after the first semester because of this.
The fee for a course in Radio & TV Journalism is Rs 1,68,500, for Advertising and PR it is Rs 1,31,500, for Hindi Journalism it is Rs 95,500, Rs 95,500 for English Journalism, and Rs 55,500 for Urdu Journalism. Hostel and mess charges cost around Rs 6,500 for women and Rs 4,800 for men every month, the students said.
They also complained that not every student gets accommodation in hostels. "For the past one week, we are trying to seek redressal of our issues through dialogue, but the administration has turned a blind eye to our issues saying it is beyond their ambit to alter the fee structure.
Now that we have tested the other resorts, protest is the only option," said Hrishikesh, a student of Radio & TV Journalism at IIMC. He said affordable education is a right of every student. "We cannot allow media institutes to be accessible only to the people who can afford to pay lakhs.
Education, after all, is a right and not a privilege," he said. JNU has been seeing a strike by students for over four weeks against hostel fee hike.