Dissenting voices of students from the centrally-funded National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Bangalore, grew louder as their protest against fee hike entered the third day here on Wednesday.
Students boycotted classes and gathered at the administrative block and raised slogans against the fee hike, a move which they claim was decided at the Board of Governors meeting recently.
Students said that the increase in fee structure was different for students from different years. A third year student leading the protest said the fee hike was an unaffordbale 40 per cent for third year students.
Another third year student, who has taken an education loan, said: “Most of us are from middleclass families and have taken loans to pursue our studies. If the college increases the fee, where are we supposed to get the money from?”
A fellow student added: “We joined here as it is a government college and hoped that the fee structure would be affordable. Moreover, the facilities they provide are not proportionate to the fees they charge.”
Students also alleged the faculty was trying to suppress their strike by threatening to take action against them for attendance shortage. A student said that messages were sent from the Director-General of NIFT to the parents stating that “students may be misguided by these protesters and that they were losing valuable teaching hours.”
The protests, being staged at other NIFT centres across the country, have gained momentum on social networking sites too. A copy of the memorandum addressed to Prem Kumar Gera, Director-General, NIFT, posted on a website with signatures of 1,460 supporters states: “The problem is that they are not receiving an education and facilities worthy of the outrageous amount of money that it currently costs to attend NIFT.”
A senior official from NIFT Bangalore said that the fee hike was a “central decision”. “The fee hike is only 10 per cent. The students have been misguided about the quantum.”
Sources at NIFT head office in Delhi pointed out that the directors of all the centres have been asked to attend a meeting on Saturday. “We will discuss and resolve the fee hike issue,” an official said.