Holding various placards reading ‘National Institute of Fees and Taxation’, ‘Hike jobs not fees’ and ‘Stop molesting our bank accounts’, students of Khargar’s National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) staged a protest yesterday at their college campus gate against the proposed fee hike to be implemented by the management from the next academic year. The high-voltage drama, which started from 9 in the morning continued through the day.
The management claims that there will be a 10% fee hike for both new and existing students in the general quota. “When we joined the course we were informed about a certain amount which we would be expected to pay as fees every semester. There was no mention at that time about there being any kind of fee hike.
A lot of us have got loans sanctioned for our fees. Getting additional amounts of money sanctioned now is going to be difficult,” said a first-year student on condition of anonymity. A student from Kolkata, who is studying in the college, said that he is afraid that he might have to leave the course halfway on account of the fee hike by the management.
“My mother has taken a loan for my education. I cannot afford to burden her any further,” he said. Most of the students were of the opinion that the management should not have hiked the fees of the existing students.
NRI students too seemed agitated. They were upset because their fees are already much higher than the other students. An NRI student said, “We are expected to pay our fees annually and not semester-wise like the other students. Our annual fee runs into lakhs already. Why would they burden us more?”
The students were also worried because their stationery items cost a lot, over and above their fee. “We spend thousands of rupees every month to bring fabric and other stationery material. Although there is a stationery store in the college the rates are higher compared to shops outside,” said one of the second-year students.
The other side
The director of NIFT, Nilima Rani Singh, rubbished the students’ claims. “It is a 10% minimum fee hike. Last academic year the first year students paid around Rs 66,750 as their first semester fees, while this year the fees will be Rs 75,500 for new students. This hike in students’ fees has come after two years, and with inflation this is justified. I do not see any reason for NRI students to complain as they come in through reservation while the other students get admission based on merit.”
The management says the move is due to increased expenditure to conduct the course. Pradeep Kumar Jha, deputy director said that the fee hike is imperative. “We are providing students with latest machines and are trying our best to improve the infrastructure,” said Jha.