The Film and Television Institute of India in Pune on Wednesday withdrew its earlier notice that had barred hostel facilities for students opting for three-year courses. It made the announcement on its website following protests by the FTII student body against the March 3 notification.

The institute had earlier announced on its website that hostel accommodation will not be provided to students choosing any of the three-year courses offered at FTII. “Such students will have to make their own stay arrangements,” the notification had read. The notice did not pertain to those who chose one- or two-year courses at the institute.

The decision was made a day before TV actor and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gajendra Chauhan’s tenure ended as the chairman of the institute on March 3, reported The Indian Express. The FTII Governing Council, then headed by Chauhan, had approved the move, and the administration had said three hostel buildings will be demolished to construct new ones.

Last year, students had said that the institute had brought in a 20% hike in tuition. “So new students will not only have to shell out close to Rs 1 lakh per year, but also spend Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000 per month to stay outside in Pune,” FTII Students’ Body General Secretary Rohit Kumar had told The Indian Express. This rule ensured that only students from rich families can study at the institute, not those from economically backward classes, he had said.

Kumar had also alleged that Chauhan and FTII Director Bhupendra Kainthola were trying to make the courses “non-residential”. This was being done because they did not want the student community to remain as “united” as they did in 2015, when they had protested against Chauhan’s appointment as FTII chairman. Chauhan’s term at the institute was mired in controversy, with students deeming him unfit for the role.

Credit: FTII