Education for all? Universities across India fight fee hikes

Over the past few months, students from several public universities have protested against "unjustified" hike in fees and have alleged that an increase in fees will make education inaccessible for many.

As universities across India march over the Citizenship Amendment Act, in solidarity with their colleagues in other colleges, another battle plagues the educational institutions in India -- of a spate of fee hikes across premier institutions.

Over the past few months, students from several public universities have protested against "unjustified" hike in fees and have alleged that an increase in fees will make education inaccessible for many.

While Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University grabbed national headlines after its students took to streets over a proposed hike in hostel fees, many other universities have the same gripe.

In Kolkata, six students of Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI) are on an indefinite hunger strike demanding that the authorities roll back the hike in fees. The cost of education has doubled in SRFTI in a span of three-four years -- from Rs 70,000 to Rs 1.4 lakh.


Photo: Twitter/@Mr_VinodPal
In the western part of the country, students from another premier film institute Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) have gone on an indefinite hunger strike. our FTII student leaders - Aadhith V Sathwin, Vivek Allaka, Rajarshi Mujumdar and P R Manikandan - are on a hunger strike since Monday to protest the10 per cent yearly fee hike and also the "exorbitant" entrance exam charge, and demanding a roll-back. Students claim here has been an "exorbitant" rise in the JET (Joint Entrance Test for both FTII and Kolkata-based Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute or SRFTI) application fee.

"From Rs 1,500 in 2015, the entrance exam fee has gone up to a maximum of Rs 10,000 for JET 2020.

"The exorbitant hike in the entrance fee shows that the institute is making itself inaccessible to a large section of aspirants," stated the students in a release.

In Delhi, JNU students are still protesting. As the deadlock over the fee hike continues, many students have now decided to boycott semester-end exams. The institution has seen protests for over a month over the hostel fee hike issue and even though the university has twice offered partial rollbacks, the students have refused to accept them.

Source : https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/education-for-all-universities-across-india-fight-fee-hikes-1629501-2019-12-19

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