The protest against hostel fee hike at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had spread to the neighbouring IIMC in December last year. (Photo Credit: File)
At least 11 students of the Indian Institute Of Mass Communication (IIMC) on Monday claimed that they received a show cause notice and were placed under suspension for organising a public talk on affordable education. The notice said there have been "concerted acts of indiscipline" on the part of students within the IIMC campus in spite of repeated counselling by authorities in the administration and even the faculty members.
The protest against hostel fee hike at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had spread to the neighbouring IIMC in December last year, where students protested against the "unaffordable fee structure". Some IIMC students had staged a strike in the campus against the high tuition fee and "unruly" hostel and mess charges.
In December last year, more than 100 former students of IIMC wrote to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry condemning the over 100 per cent fee hike within a span of 10 years and demanding a rollback.
As many as 120 alumni of the institute wrote to the secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I and B), expressing solidarity with the protesting students. The secretary, Ministry of I and B, is also the chairman of the IIMC Society which governs the institute.
The fee increase by over 100 per cent across journalism courses and regional language courses, respectively, in a decade is staggering by the standards of any government-run institute in India, the former students said in the latter.
The IIMC, in a statement issued on December 8, said it is not a "funded institute" but the website of the institute says it is very much so. It is “utterly shocking” to learn that IIMC has turned from being an institute funded by the government to one which has to generate a third of the fund from internal revenue, the alumni said.
Not only this change has come without adequate discussion among all stakeholders but also the institute's website still fails to enlist such crucial information for the perusal of citizens of India, they said.
"Such a move is bound to move the institute away from catering to the masses. May we also recall that at an executive council meeting a decade ago it was decided that course fees would be increased by 10 per cent every year.
“While that itself, to our mind, is unreasonable, the increases in fees between 2018-19 and 2019-20 are way above that level: 27 per cent for language journalism courses, 17 per cent for advertising and 16 per cent for all other courses,” the letter said.
IIMC's massive fee is topped up by the charges its students have to pay to avail hostels: a steep Rs 5,250 per month for men (on a triple-sharing basis) and Rs 6,500 per month for women (single-occupancy), it said.
(With PTI inputs)