by Priya Jadhav
Some student representatives held a meeting with DG, IIMC K S Dhatwalia on 26th November 2019 and submitted a petition demanding reduction in course fee charged by the Institute along with a few other demands. This was followed by another meeting with the faculty and administration on 27th November 2019. DG, IIMC assured the students that all their genuine demands would be looked into by 15th December, to which the student representatives agreed. However, instead of waiting till 15th December, a section of students began poster protest in the IIMC campus on 3rd December 2019, despite the fact that channels of communication with the Institute’s faculty and management were open. IIMC administration and faculty also held an Open House on 4th December, where various queries of students were answered by OSD Manish Desai, Dean Prof. Mukul Sharma and other faculty members. DG IIMC has also constituted a Committee of Faculty under the chairmanship of Dean (Academics) to hold dialogue with students, in which 9 student representatives are also members. The above fact makes it clear that the student representative’s allegation that the IIMC administration has turned a blind eye is not true.
Some of the students demands like extended library hours, round the clock reading room facility for hostellers have already been met. IIMC is also in the process of substantially upgrading its IT infrastructure and audio-video equipment upgradation in a phased manner, both in Delhi and five other regional campuses.
It is pertinent to mention here that IIMC has not hiked its course fees mid way. The course fee charged is as per the information given in the prospectus. IIMC offers skill based professional PG Diploma Courses with high employability potential in English and Hindi Journalism, Radio & TV Journalism, Advertising & PR etc, and the course fee charged is more or less comparable to fees charged by similar other institutions in public domain, including the two film schools under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. IIMC is not a funded education institution, but an autonomous body under the Ministry of I&B. As per the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the parent ministry, autonomous bodies are required to generate nearly a third of their budget as internal revenue.
Since 2008, IIMC effected a 10% hike in course fee every year to meet the increasing expenditure. However, after noticing that some of the course fees had already crossed Rs 1 – 1.5 lakhs, the IIMC Executive Council has suo-moto halted the system of automatic increase in course fees, in preference for taking decision on case to case basis in its meeting held on 30th May 2019.
In a bid to support students coming from economically weaker sections, IIMC offers students’ assistance in the form of merit-cum-means freeship ranging from Rs 11,250 – Rs 40,000 per student. In very deserving cases, half freeships are also considered. The merit-cum-means freeships are granted on the basis of composite index taking into account family income, merit as determined through marks secured in the entrance examination and punctuality. DG, IIMC has directed IIMC administration to announce the merit-cum-means freeships early next week.
About the students’ demand for hostel, presently IIMC is in a position to provide limited hostel facility on the campus as is the practice in many other educational institutions, and this fact is clearly mentioned in the prospectus. IIMC's plan to construct a new student hostel is yet to get regulatory clearance, since the area falls under Delhi's ecologically sensitive ridge area.
Students’ allegation that hostel mess charges are being hiked are unsubstantiated as no such circular has been issued by the administration.