PUNE: A handful of students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) protested outside the institute’s gate on Friday against the increased application fees for admissions for the new academic year.
However, FTII Director Bhupendra Kainthola said the fees hasn’t been increased much. The amount appears bigger as the application fees of entrance exams has been combined. The protest was held during the inauguration of a replica of Swami Vivekananda Memorial, which was set up at the institute gate on National Youth Day, on Friday.
This year, FTII has decided to conduct a joint entrance examination, for the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata, which also functions under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and FTII. The application fees for the joint entrance examination is Rs 8,000 and January 25 is the last date of application. The entrance exam is scheduled on February 18.
Speaking about the issue, Robin Joy, Secretary, FTII Students Association said, “When we wrote the entrance examination, we paid Rs 2,150 as application fees. However, this year, the fees has been hiked by around 400 per cent to Rs 8,000. Considering that FTII is a government-run institute, it ought to serve the common man and keep the fees low to enable students from all sections of society to take admission. The fees this year is higher than private film schools. It looks like the institute is trying to make the courses available only to rich students.”
Clarifying on the issue, Kainthola said, “Last year, the application fees for FTII’s Film and Television courses were Rs 3,500, while those of SRFTI were Rs 4,000. Thus, until last year, the students answering both these exams were anyway paying Rs 7,500. So, we have just hiked the fee by Rs 500, which is very reasonable. In fact, a joint entrance test has saved students of inconvenience of answering two separate exams, travelling etc.” He said in case students wish to answer the entrance for either of the two courses, they just have to pay half the fees.