FTII council approves 10% hike in fees, rejects age limit restriction

PUNE,Oct1: The Academic Council of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) decided to hike the fee for all courses by 10% for 2017. The hike has been applied to the fees from 2015. The council also voted against imposing an upper age limit for seeking admission into the renowned institute. These decisions will now be presented to the governing council for ratification at a meeting scheduled in November.

The 10% hike in fees has been applied on the existing fee of Rs 48,315 for both 2016 and 2017, which means the students will have to shell out Rs 58 460 in 2017.

A mediclaim insurance policy for students was also approved at the meeting. According to this policy, it will be mandatory for all students to be insured except in cases where the students are already covered.

Initially, the FTII had proposed a 10% increase in the fees with 2010 as the base year. This was struck down after it invited sharp criticism from the faculty, students, and a few academic council members. Going by the original proposal, the fee for the acting course in 2017 would have crossed Rs 3 lakh.
Another proposal, to increase hostel fees by 10 %, was also approved by the council. The new fee is Rs 14,520 for aided courses and Rs 18,150 for unaided courses. Even for this, the base year was changed from 2010 to 2015.

The students, however, remain unhappy with the new fee structure. “This is a government-run institute. Our demand is to make this a state-sponsored institute, just like NSD (National School of Drama) and other institutes, where not only is education free but also, a stipend is granted to take care of monthly expenses. We are not asking for a stipend, but at least the tuition fee should be subsidized,” said Harishankar Nachimuthu, president of FTII student body. He thanked the faculty and the academic council members who had spoken up against the exponential fee hike.

The students also protested against the disrespectful behaviour of the chairman, registrar and director towards the students and the institute. “The entire talk was about profit and loss. It was like we were there for a business deal. This is a national-level institute, and every student comes here on merit,” added Nachimuthu.

The students, however, said that their fight was far from over. “We are not planning to go on strike. But we will try to get the GC members to understand that this institute, just like any other national level institute, should not be looked (at) solely on the basis of a profit-loss statement. This is a centre of excellence for film and TV courses in India, and only support from the government can help poor students in the country pursue their passion in the fields the institute offers,” said a student.