The students of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Bhubaneswar, who launched a strike on Monday in protest against ‘massive’ fee hike, continued the agitation on Tuesday as the Institute authorities stuck to the decision.
The agitating students alleged that the semester fee was increased from ` 40,000 to ` 55,000 arbitrarily. They were peeved that the increase was made applicable to all the students violating the practice of applying it to the freshers only. “The Board of Governors at its meeting last month decided to hike the fee structure and made it applicable to all including the old students,” said Madhavi Verma, a student.
They said they could pay a five to 10 per cent increase but a hike of 42.7 per cent was not acceptable. In NIFT, Bhubaneswar the students pay around ` 20,000 per semester as tuition fee. The first year students will be hit most as they have to pay the increased fee not only now but also brace up for 10 per cent hike every year on the existing fee.
The students will also have to bear additional burden of ` 2,000 under examination fee while library fee and insurance premium have also been hiked. The agitating students claimed that there was no need for increasing the examination fee as they appear at two examinations per semester and each of them uses two to three answer sheets per examination. Students were not ready to buy the argument that fee was still low compared to institutes like National Institute of Design (NID).
NIFT Director KCS Ray said the fee hike was ‘inevitable’. “We are paying increasing expenses at every level. So, fee hike was unavoidable,” Ray said.