Education

Alumni Stand With IIMC Students Protesting Fee Hike

The decision to increase fees by 10% annually is anti-education and anti-student, the alumni said.

New Delhi: Several alumni of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) have written to the secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to express their solidarity with the current batch students who are protesting against a fee hike.

IIMC is among the many institutes in the country where protests are underway opposing fee hikes. As the protests entered their seventh day, the administration has promised to “look into genuine demands”.

Around 120 alumni, in their statement, said, “We are of the firm belief that the decision to increase fees by 10% annually, is anti-education and anti-student and demand that it be rolled back with immediate effect.” The fee structure of the IIMC needs to be “reexamined by all the stakeholders, including students and officials”, the said, adding that the current structure is “too much a burden on the students”.

They also disputed the institute’s claim, on December 8, that it is not a ‘funded institute’. “The website of the institute says it is very much so,” the alumni wrote. “We have attached necessary documents with our letter. It is utterly shocking for us to learn that IIMC has turned from being an institute funded by Government of India to one which has to generate a third of the fund from internal revenue,” they said.

The complete statement has been reproduced below.

§

Dear Sir,

We, the alumni of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), write to you to draw your attention to a host of issues affecting our beloved alma mater, including the recent increase in fees for the courses it offers.

Here, it won’t be out of place to mention that current students of the institute have been protesting against the fee hike for more than a week now.

As you know, IIMC offers post-graduate diploma courses for Print Journalism in various languages, including English (EJ), Hindi (HJ), Odia, Urdu and Malayalam; Radio and Television Journalism (RTV) and Advertisement and Public Relations (AD-PR).

Here is a tabulation of the fees (in rupees per annum) for the various courses charged since academic year 2009-10 showing the increase over the years:

YEAR PG DIPLOMA RTV

Per cent hike in a given year from 2009-10 in brackets

PG DIPLOMA AD-PR

Per cent hike in a given year from 2009-10 in brackets

PG DIPLOMA  EJ

Per cent hike in a given year from 2009-10 in brackets

PG DIPLOMA HJ

Per cent hike in a given year from 2009-10 in brackets

PG DIPLOMA Odia/Urdu/Malayalam

Per cent hike in a given year from 2009-10 in brackets

2009-10 76,000 48,000 34,000 34,000 20,000
2010-11 84,000

(10%)

53,000

(10.4%)

38,000

(11.8%)

38,000

(11.8%)

22,000

(10%)

2011-12 92,000

(20%)

58,000

(20.9%)

42,000

(23.5%)

42,000

(23.5%)

24,000

(20%)

2012-13 92,000

(21%)

64,000

(33%)

46,000

(35.3%)

46,000

(35.3%)

26,000

(30%)

2013-14 92,000

(21%)

70,000

(45%)

50,000

(47.1%)

50,000

(47.1%)

28,000

(40%)

2014-15 1,00,000

(45%)

77,000

(60%)

55,000

(61.8%)

55,000

(61.8%)

30,000

(50%)

2015-16 1,10,000

(45%)

85,000

(77%)

60,000

(76.5%)

60,000

(76.5%)

33,000

(65%)

2016-17 1,20,000

(57%)

93,500

(94%)

66,000

(94.1%)

66,000

(94.1%)

36,000

(80%)

2017-18 1,32,000

(73%)

1,02,000

(112%)

72,000

(111.8%)

72,000

(111.8%)

39,000

(95%)

2018-19 1,45,000

(90%)

1,12,000

(133%)

79,000

(132.4%)

79,000

(132.4%)

43,000

(115%)

2019-20 1,68, 500

(121%)

1,31,500

(173%)

95,500

(181%)

95,500

(181%)

55,500

(175%)

(This does not include library fee, student welfare fund and other college expenses)

The fee increase by 121%, 173%, 181%, 181% and 175% in RTV, AD-PR, English and Hindi journalism courses and regional language courses, respectively, in a decade is staggering by the standards of any government-run institute in India.

A press statement by the Institute (dated December 8, 2019) stated: “IIMC is not a funded education institution but an autonomous body under I&B ministry. As per a memorandum of understanding signed with the parent ministry, autonomous bodies are required to generate a third of their budget as internal revenue.” The statement does not reveal when the memorandum was signed; nor does the institute’s website mention any memorandum bearing any such information.

On the other hand, the website states: “The IIMC Society, an autonomous body registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1867, runs the Institute. It is funded by the Government of India through the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India.” (http://iimc.nic.in/Content/8_1_About%20IIMC.aspx). A screenshot to this effect is attached as annexure 1.

It is a matter of shock for us that IIMC has turned from being an institute funded by the Government of India to one which has to generate a third of the fund from internal revenue. Not only has the change come without adequate discussion among all stakeholders, but also the institute’s website still fails to list such vital information for the perusal of the country’s citizens.

Even taking up the December 8 statement at its face value raises the question whether putting the financial burden on the students was the only option? 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% 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% for language journalism courses, 17% for AD-PR and 16% for all other courses.

Here, we would also like to cite the examples of similar courses offered by other public institutes: At the Banaras Hindu University, a student can complete a post-graduate course for less than Rs 2,000 for two years. Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi charges Rs 70,000 for its two-year post-graduate degree course. Its self-financed broadcast journalism course which is similar to IIMC’s RTV course stretching over ten months costs Rs 74,000.

IIMC’s massive fees are topped up by the charges its students have to pay to avail of 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). All male students at the Delhi campus are not even accommodated and those left out have to arrange for their own accommodation without any scope of reimbursement.

You must be aware that a sizeable section of the students of this prestigious institute come from weak financial background. Many have to borrow and/or mortgage family assets to finance and facilitate their studies. There are several whose families survive on daily wages. Freeships to select students, as the institute claims, are no panacea because it affects a larger landscape. 

How much the steep fees affect such education seekers is evident from the fact that 28 reserved category seats remained vacant despite re-examination.

We, the former students of the institute, are of the firm belief that this fee hike is anti-education and anti-student and demand that it be rolled back with immediate effect; that the decision to increase fees by 10% annually be suspended for all the upcoming sessions and reexamined by all stakeholders, including students and officials, until a consensus is reached; and that IIMC’s fee structure be brought on a par with other public educational institutions.

Besides the fee structure, the fact that none of the five regional centers—Aizwal, Amravati, Kottayam, Jammu and Dhenkanal–have even a single full-time faculty member is also something which deeply worries all of us.

We, the undersigned hope you would sincerely look into these issues in the best interest of our alma mater. We have given individual line of consent to this letter in our individual capacities as alumni of the institute and do not represent any organization.

A hard copy of this letter is also being sent to you.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes and regard

Alice Gauram—1992-93, English Journalism (EJ)
Anshu Gupta—1990-91, Hindi Journalism (HJ) and 1991-92 and Advertisement & Public Relations (AD-PR)
Ramesh Muniyappa—1991-92, EJ
Alok Gupta—2001-02, EJ
Avtansh Chitransh—2002-03, HJ
Abhishek Shrivastava—2002-03, HJ
Joyjeet Das—2002-03, EJ
Anusha Chandrashekharan—2002-03, EJ
Sahasranshu Mahapatra2006-07, EJ
Jaya Nigam—2008-09, HJ
Syed Hassan Kazim—2006-07, EJ
Avaneesh Kumar—2007-08, HJ
Banjot Kaur—2009-10, EJ
Smita Mugdha—2009-10, EJ
Saquib Iqbal Khan—2011-12, HJ
Varun Shailesh—2008-09, HJ
Amiya Kumar Kushwaha —2009-10, EJ
Heena Saran—2008-09, EJ
Vinayak Dutt—2009-10, EJ
Rahul Sankrityayan—2014-15, HJ
Shikha Singh—2009-10, HJ
Arpita Mukherjee—2007-08, AD-PR
SONY SHEETAL TIRKEY—2009-10, Radio & TV Journalism (RTV)
Gajendra Singh Bhati—2008-09, HJ
Shishir Kumar Yadav—2009-10, HJ
Rohin Kumar—2014-15, HJ
Shreya Sethuraman—2009-10, EJ
Vivekananda Singh—2013,14, HJ
Ruby Rani—2009-10, EJ
Anand Dutta—2011-12, HJ
Himanshi Matta—-2009-10, EJ
Amrita Singh—2009-10, HJ
Kanika Kanojia—2011-12, AD-PR
NIRANJAN KUMAR—2011-12, HJ
Mohit Kumar Pandey—2017-18, RTV
Ritika—2016-17, HJ
Bharat Chupal—2008-09, HJ
Meeqat Hashmi, 2012-13, RTV
Sindhuvasini Tripathi—2013-14, HJ
Avinash Dwivedi—2014-15, HJ
Mahima Bharti—2015-16, AD-PR
Saad bin Omar—2009,10—HJ
Vrishali Jain—2015-16, EJ
Pankaj Kumar—2011-12, RTV
Neeraj Kumar —2011-12 (HJ)
Adrija Chatterjee —2014-15, EJ
Sumit Kumar—2012-13, HJ
Amit Raj Singh—2017-18, RTV
Simple S Mishra—2009-10, RTV
Patil Vijay—2014-15, EJ
Shubham Singh Thakur—2017-18, HJ
Jasveni Kaur—2014-15, EJ
Sadhna Yadav—2016-17, EJ
Neha Jha—2011-12, HJ
Prakash Kumar—2009-10, HJ
Pankaj Upadhyaya—2007-08, HJ
Avinash Kumar Chanchal—2011-12, HJ
Gaurab Dasgupta—2014-15, EJ
Abhishek Singh—2018-19, EJ
Rohit Upadhyaya—2014-15, HJ
Vikas Vashisihth—2009-10, HJ
Pari Saikia— 2012-13, EJ
Sunil Kumar—2014-15, RTV
Suraj Pandey—2014-15, EJ
Mandeep Singh—2017-18, HJ
Khushboo Mandal—2016,-17, HJ
Abhishek Shukla—2016-17, HJ
Dheeru Yadav—2016-17, RTV
Khushboo Tiwari—2016-17, EJ
Vaibhav Palnitkar—2016-17, RTV
Ajeet Tiwari—2013-14, EJ
Saket Anand—2016-17, RTV
Srija Naskar—2014-2015, EJ
Anurag Gupta—2016-17, HJ
Jeevan Deep Vishwakarma—2016-17, HJ
Samyak Pandey—2016-17, RTV
Khushboo—2016-17, HJ
Avinash Rai—2010,11, HJ
Sahal Muhammed—2014-15, EJ
Abhishek Sonu—2011-12, HJ
Somrita Ghosh—2012-13, EJ
Guneet Singh—2015-16, EJ
Surbhi Prasad—2012-13, EJ
Shubham Singh Thakur—2016-17, RTV
Shikha Salaria—2013-14, EJ
Vineeta Mandal—2016-17, RTV
Parisha Tyagi—2014-15, RTV
Shubham Manekar—2016-17, RTV
Pranesh Tiwari—2016-17, HJ
Suraj Pandey—2014-15, HJ
Shubham Gupta —2013-14, RTV
Pranesh Tiwari—2016-17, HJ
Aprajita Sharma—2013-14, EJ
NARENDER SONI —2016-17, HJ
Raghwendra Shukla—2016-17, HJ
Pawan Jaiswal—2016-17, HJ
Neelam Gurve—2017-18, HJ
Archana Gupta—2016-17, RTV
Khurshid Ahmad—2016-17, Urdu Journalism (UJ)
Deepankar Patel—2016-17, RTV
Garvit Garg,—RTV, 2017-18
Hemarghya Bal—2016-17, EJ
Tanish Chachra—2018-19, EJ
Shatakshi Asthana—2016-17, HJ
Megha Aryan—2016-17, EJ
Vikas Kumar —2016-17, EJ
Bhavey—2018-19, EJ
Jai Shankar Thakur—2017-18, HJ
Mahin Khan—2016-17, EJ
Tanuja Yadav— 2017-18, RTV
Ankit Kumar —2012-13, RTV
Afzal Alam—2017-18, HJ
Aqueleema Hasan—2017,18, UJ
Shagufta Parveen—2016-17, HJ
Rajkumar Ashuotosh Singh—2017,18, HJ
Krishna Muraru, 2018-19—HJ
Akshay Razdan—2017-18, EJ
Sourabh Kumar—EJ, 2018-19
Abhishek Singh—2018-19, EJ

CC: Director General, IIMC

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